When my eighth grade teacher suggested I read Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I discovered a new type of storytelling I hadn’t encountered before, one that transported me to a different time and place. The language was challenging, the plot was dark, and I loved every page. I continued to grow as a literature student during my high school English classes, and when I applied to the University of Washington, I thought I would become an English major. Just a few months into my first year at the UW, however, I discovered a different type of storytelling in journalism.
In winter quarter of my freshman year, I joined UW’s student newspaper, The Daily. My first assignment was to cover a table tennis tournament held each year for students and faculty. Though this was a very low-stakes assignment, I felt nervous about approaching strangers and asking them questions. I am usually the textbook definition of an introvert. But everyone I spoke to that day was friendly and receptive, and over the course of the next year, I fell in love with journalism and how it connected me to my community. Highlights from my first two years at The Daily included interviewing U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, covering transgender TAs' fight for gender-neutral bathroom access, and writing my first theater reviews. Just as I had discovered different worlds in literature, I discovered many worlds within the UW community.
As I prepare to graduate after three years as a UW student, I hope to carry the storytelling skills I've gained into my future work. Whether I work in journalism, non-profit organizations, the government, or another field, my UW experience has taught me that communication is the solution to many conflicts. I've learned how to seek diverse perspectives and to ask where other coverage has gone wrong. I've learned how to work with professors, editors, coworkers, and other students to tell stories in new ways. While my literature classes taught me the power of a fictional story, journalism has exposed me to the stories all around me.
The work samples below were produced in my classes in the UW Honors Program. Visit the research page to read about my experiential learning activity.
Truth and Reconciliation Across Class and Ethnicity: Reactions to the South African and Peruvian TRCs Spring 2015 "Memory, Hope, and Activism in Latin America"
In this paper, I compared Peru and South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. Since both countries dealt with conflicts along ethnic lines, with some claiming to be "real" Peruvians or South Africans and rejecting other minority groups, I was interested in seeing what each country did to improve relations between these communities. Ultimately, the conflicting opinions on each TRC's effectiveness reveal lasting tensions between ethnic groups.
What You Will: Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Autumn 2015 "Global Appropriations of Shakespeare"
This class focused on global adaptations of Shakespeare and how they challenged the original messages of the plays. During the class, we focused largely on representations of race and gender in plays like The Tempest, King Lear, Richard III, and Macbeth. Since we didn't discuss cross-dressing and sexuality during the class, I chose to examine how modern productions of Twelfth Night experiment with gender presentation and homosexuality in a way that would not have been possible during Shakespeare's time. Twelfth Night has always been an important play to me, and I enjoyed learning about international productions like the Globe's all-male production and films like the Argentinian movie Viola.
Epidemiology and Treatment of Migraine Spring 2016 "Pain"
This class gave me my first opportunity to write a paper about a scientific or medical topic. The course focused on the science behind pain, how pain is represented in literature, and current options for pain management. For my final paper, I researched why certain segments of the population are affected by migraine and what treatments currently exist. This topic interested me because my great grandmother, my mother, and I all suffer from migraine. I wanted to learn more about the hereditary nature of the disease, why women are more often affected by it than men, and what long-term solutions seem most effective.