Headshot of Mikal Nash

What did you like about the program?

What I liked most about the Program in African American and African Studies was the interdisciplinary nature of the program, which allowed me to study from the perspective of different disciplines in the humanities and social sciences such as history, political science, sociology, literature and religion. The program gave me an opportunity to strengthen my research skills.

What was the greatest strength of the program?

The dedicated faculty and their commitment to their craft, work, and the students that they serve. Their passion for their work was evident in the way that they extended themselves to me.

How did your experience as an African American and African Studies major or minor influence your choices concerning further education or work?

The bonding that took place between my professors and me opened up a new world that I probably world have not entered had I not had the experience. Having the opportunity to observe my professors close up and receive feedback on academic areas inspired me to want to do the same for others. I developed a love and temperament for teaching African American and African Studies from my undergraduate experience.

What aspect of your training in African American and African Studies has been a benefit to you personally or professionally?

Learning how to think critically, be reflective, perform research, and write was a great benefit to me. I was not a great test-taker, so these skills helped me to prove myself as being worthy of an opportunity for graduate studies.    

Do you have any advice for current African American and African Studies students? For the Department?

I would advise African American and African Studies students to get to know the department’s goals, its professors and what they have to offer. Find a faculty member whose work you like and get to know them and what inspired their work. Ask them questions and read their publications.

What courses best helped you prepare for graduate work or professional work?

It is difficult to say which courses helped prepare me for graduate or professional work since all of them were very interesting and high quality. But, if I had to choose I would say that the Black Experience in Western Culture was one of the highlights of my entire undergraduate experience.

What would you recommend about the program?

I would recommend its interdisciplinary nature, urban mission and global outlook.

Please describe your experience in three (3) words or phrases.

Empowering, enlightening and nurturing.