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Kalamazoo College

Claudia Greening

Royal Oak, Michigan
Study Abroad:
Varanasi, India
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 15 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
It will help you become a stronger student, more engaged with the K community, and more conscious of global narratives.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I think what especially drew me to the history department was the professors. As soon as I started my first year at K, professors in the history department went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed into this new community. As I have progressed through my K career, the history professors continue to challenge me, support me, and help me become the best student (and person) I can be.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
My advice is to figure out what works best for you as a student (in terms of reading, writing, and studying) and stick with it. If something isn’t working, change it. My other piece of advice is to take advantage of office hours. Your professors want to talk to you and help you!

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
The history department has given me the ability to effectively communicate my ideas and defend them, which applies to everything I do on campus. Specifically, I think it allows me to work alongside people who have had different experiences, or hold differing opinions from me. My academic work allows me to see that the world isn’t defined by right and wrong; things are far more complicated (and that’s okay).

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Stemming from my academic experiences, my time abroad in India, and the relationships I’ve built with other K students, I think I have learned how to be myself. I have found space to express myself and find my passion, without forgoing my past experiences.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
Tough question. I think my favorite class was Dr. Boyer Lewis’s Colonial America, which I took the spring of my first year. The class was fully engaged with the material, discussions were exciting and challenging, and the topics were an intersection of everything I am interested in studying! Also, Dr. Boyer Lewis did an incredible job keeping everyone engaged with fascinating material.

What is your SIP?
For my SIP, I will be studying portraiture from Colonial America. I am specifically interested in explore the intersection of gender and class in the images that people paid to have painted. Not only are the portraits beautiful, but they could represent the social and cultural expectations of Colonial America.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I hope to go abroad again for an extended period of time. As of now, I’m thinking about many different ways that I can continue my education, from graduate school to law school to travel.

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