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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: Double major in Southern Studies and Media & Journalism.

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

A: Dr. Engelhardt’s senior seminar studying the history and culture surrounding Southern apples (AMST 410).

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

A: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward.

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

A: There are so many different things you can choose to specialize in within the major and professors really allow you to cater your degree to your interests. For example, I’ve been very interested in how products and services are strategically branded as “southern” and I’ve been able to further explore that in most of my classes. When I tell people I am a southern studies focus, most people say they never knew it was an option and I wish more people knew it was.

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: Studying southern studies has made me realize how important it is to seek out diverse voices for information. You may think you know all about a particular subject, but studying and listening to people’s stories of their life experiences in the American South made me realize there are so many voices that haven’t been heard and that there are so many voices waiting to tell their story. My biggest takeaway is to never stop digging and searching for those stories.

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

A: I hope to merge my interest in southern culture with my interest in marketing. Regardless of what I end up doing professionally, I will always maintain a personal interest in southern culture.

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

A: The classes are interesting and inspiring. My southern studies courses are ones that I will look back on as some of my favorite classes that I took during my four years at UNC.

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