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The coronavirus crisis has resulted in major shifts within all of our lives, unfortunately including the delay of graduation celebrations and ceremonies for college seniors. While we may not be able to celebrate in person, our “Celebrating AMST Seniors” series is dedicated to recognizing and congratulating seniors graduating with majors in American Studies for their accomplishes and sharing what they appreciated about the major during their time at UNC.

Q: What are your majors and minors?

A: Biology BS major, AIIS Minor.

Q: What has been your favorite course or professor in American Studies?

A: Favorite professors have been Dr. Richotte and Dr. La Serna. Both presented such interesting topics with the knowledge and passion I hope to have one day.

Q: What has been your favorite book and/or reading from an American Studies course?

A: My favorite book has been The Truth About Stories by Thomas King.

Q: What do you wish people knew about American Studies?

A: There is an entire cove of knowledge just beneath the surface of everything you learned in grade school. Indigenous studies is not just history; it is studying the now. It’s like seeing a color you never knew existed and suddenly it’s everywhere.

Q: How has studying American Studies affected your understanding of life in America, or what has your biggest takeaway from your time in American Studies been?

A: Most of all, I find myself questioning what is probable. What’s unlikely in one knowledge-base does not mean it’s not probable in another. If this is confusing, please refer to Kennewick Man.

Q: How do you hope to apply your studies in American Studies professionally?

A: I want to combine my passion for AIIS and forensics by working with indigenous communities to tackle to disproportionate homicide and violent rape cases that haunt their communities. I’d also like to explore physical anthropology and how I can apply my skills in that field.

Q: Why should students pursue a major or minor in American Studies?

A: I cannot emphasize enough times how much it opens your mind. Did you know just in Georgia is a plantation home that belonged to a Cherokee man? Have you ever thought about the Civil War and Native Americans in the same context? I definitely had not until my first AMST class and now I can’t stop connecting all the different worlds we live in.

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