One of my earliest memories is the fleeting image of a torrent of water flooding my childhood home, taking countless books and family photos with it as I, in my tighty whities, hopelessly clung to a firefighter. Granted I was only six years old, so the broader idea of losing decades of my family’s history through the passage of muddy water didn’t register with me in the moment. But as I reflect on how history can be lost through nothing more than misfortune, my curiosity has propelled me into the field.

Prior to transferring to UC Santa Barbara I spent two years at College of Marin where I was fortunate enough to find my niche in the study of history: historiography and contemporary/non-colonial history of Africa. At College of Marin I was provided the opportunity to work closely with a multitude of inspiring professors who taught me the importance of a critical eye in research, to embrace the, at times, arduous writing process, and to pursue my interests by applying them to my work.

As I start my junior year at UCSB as a part of the Mellon Engaging Humanities initiative, I wish to translate what I’ve learned at the community college level into research more closely tied to the continent of Africa. I hope to pursue new creative avenues that will allow me to pursue my interests, discover new ideas, explore new and innovative media formats, and develop my writing through through translatable hands-on work.