What is your hometown, your pronouns, and your major(s)/minor(s)?
My home town is Inman, South Carolina, a small mountain town on the outskirts of Spartanburg, SC. My major is political science with a concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and the law. My minors are Women’s and Gender Studies and Studio Art.
What areas/aspects of gender activism and/or social justice do you find most engaging/interesting, and why?
I find LGBTQIA+ issues most engaging to me when it comes to gender activism and social justice due to my identity as a non-binary lesbian. This aspect of my identity is very important to me because I spent the first twenty-one years of my life in the closet. Now that I have a supportive community, a self-love mentality that enabled me to be out, I want to support those who continue to struggle with this aspect of their lives.
Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing (ex. volunteering/local activism), or any involvement you have on campus with clubs/organizations.
I am involved in many extra circular activities. I currently work for the REACH department at the College of Charleston as their student assistant and academic tutor. I’ve worked in these roles for approximately four years. I also work part-time at Cru Catering as a banquet server. I am involved in multiple scholarship programs including HSS LEAP, Ketner-Crunelle Scholar, and the Phi Eta Sigma honor society. Last semester I was the vice president for the pre-law society at CofC. I am also starting my Master’s degree in Public Administration this semester. In fall 2019, I traveled to Trujillo, Spain for a faculty-led study abroad trip.
What impact have your WGS courses had on you? and/or: Why should every CofC student take a WGS class before they graduate?
My first experience with a WGS course was as a tutor for the REACH program in spring 2020. I was tutoring a student in an introduction to WGS course. I actually took the same course last semester for a minor requirement and my professor used the same textbook. This introduction to the program was one of my first college experiences in intersectionality, equity, and greatly aided in my pathway to accepting myself as a member of the LGBT community. My second experience with a WGS course was in Trujillo, Spain with Dr. Kendra Stewart. She taught a comparison course about the lives of women in America and Spain. This class is what inspired me to make WGS one of my minors.
What does being a Ketner-Crunelle scholar mean to you?
Being a Ketner-Crunelle scholar means I get to fulfill one of my childhood dreams – being supported by, while simultaneously, uplifting the local LGBTQIA+ community. It means so much to me to be out and proud and to help those in my CofC community, and the greater Charleston community, celebrate their identities in a safe space.
What are your plans and goals after graduation?
After I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in Political Science, I will continue my education at the College of Charleston by getting my Master’s in Public Administration. I will continue volunteering with a local LGBTQIA+ activism organization. I am currently looking for full-time, salary-based employment at the College of Charleston.