Admin Assistant II for the Ethnic Studies Department in Eddy
Currently reading: Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals
“My stepson is about to read this YA novelization of The Little Rock Nine for his advanced seventh grade literature class. I knew it was an intense novel so I wanted to read it so that way we could discuss the impact of it together.”
What are you studying at CSU: “I’m a double major in Ethnic Studies and Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts.”
What is your advice for CSU students: “Never be afraid to ask for help but be sure to ask nicely. A lot of the faculty knows what it’s like to be first generation or non-traditional students. We have the resources to help but can’t if you don’t ask.”
What is your main priority: “To finish my undergrad degree with little to no debt and 3.8 GPA or above.”
Part Two: English Department Communications Intern Courtney Satchell conducted the original interview for this feature, but Communications Coordinator Jill Salahub had lingering questions for Megan, so emailed them the next morning, and Megan was happy to answer.
Ethnic Studies puts signs up in the front facing 2nd floor windows that can be seen from the front of Eddy, such as “Ethnic Studies supports Sexual Assault Awareness Day” or “Black Lives Matter” or “Block the Pipeline.” How did those signs start, what is their origin story? Who decides what to put up, how often do they change, and who is charged with printing and placing them in the window? (And, btw, please tell me you are taking pictures and keeping an archive somewhere of them).
The signs started when we moved in the Eddy building in the summer of 2015, we realized our conference room had windows facing one of the busiest arteries of the CSU campus – so Irene (our chair) and I talked about making it our “protest window.” It is tricky deciding what we put up in the windows sometimes, we usually pick topics based on importance and newness within our culture; we also chose days/movements to align ourselves behind to help bring attention to issues that are difficult to talk about. Our hope is that by showing our support for “Black Lives Matter” or “Ethnic Studies Stands with Orlando” we can help give voice to some of the most marginalized groups on our campus. I also hope that our signs prompt students, faculty and staff to reflect on how those movements/issues we bring attention to, though they are often far removed from our campus, impact us all.
I handle the creation of the all the protest window signs, but I work with Irene and other faculty on discussing potential themes. A lot of ideas we have don’t get put up, mostly because we don’t want to lose our current freedom to use the protest window (we want to be edgy, but we have to conform to some academic freedom guidelines… and we can’t support one candidate over another in the election).
And yes, I do have an archive of our window signs we have put up!
Have you ever taken a class in the English department? If so, what was it (or what were they) and how did they inform your studies, add something to your experience/education (if they did – oh, I hope they did)?
I must admit I have only taken the composition courses (150 and 300) thus far, but I do plan on taking more English courses – it is difficult to take on campus classes when you work full time so I have to be strategic. I am glad that I took the composition classes, while many students think “ugh, required AUCC courses,” I saw them as an opportunity to grow as a writer, to build the foundation to be a stronger student – you write in nearly every class (and we write daily – be it social media, or journaling), so why see it as a burden when you can look at composition courses as the key to being a better student, and human being.
I will say this, I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know many of the English faculty, and they are some of the most wonderful and caring people – I look forward to taking more classes with these people and I hope that other students will see English and composition courses not as mundane requirements, but rather as an opportunity to grow as a person.
Why is it important to study the Humanities, Liberal Arts?
I think it is important to study Humanities and Liberal Arts because it teaches us to think critically of the world around us through the examination of ourselves, and of other viewpoints and ideologies that we might not have been exposed to without an education in Liberal Arts. We need to stress the need for Liberal Arts courses, they will strengthen communication, creativity, social and political understanding, and human insight – which is valuable in any job. I think we often times lose sight of the importance of Liberal Arts – for instance in science without our ability to reflect on the human impacts will we ever truly know to what end we use science? To what extent do we allow ourselves to experiment without considering the impact we are making.