Where did you complete your Undergraduate Studies?
University of California, Berkeley
What degree are you working toward?
I am working toward a Ph.D. in French/Francophone Studies, with a possible double minor in Renaissance Studies and Italian Studies. My research interests focus primarily on representations of labyrinthine space in seventeenth century French rewritings of myths, fables, and fairy tales, especially their intersection with Louis XIV's absolutist politics.
Why did you choose graduate school at IU Bloomington?
The diversity of research interests that my department represents is a rarity within foreign literature programs across the nation. IU's Department of French and Italian is home to faculty who conduct research in all time periods from all sorts of perspectives. We have several specialists within the Renaissance and Early Modern periods alone who offer me insights that I would not have been able to get if I had gone to a school with a smaller program. Our program also highly prioritizes a well-rounded education in addition to resources and opportunities for career preparation. By coming here, I feel that I am being guided through my learning and emerging a better scholar, not just thrown into a research environment and left to fend for myself.
What's been your favorite academic accomplishment since you've been here?
I started auditing Italian language classes my first year, having had zero experience in Italian. Two semesters later, I was able to tutor advanced undergraduates in Italian and take graduate-level courses with native speakers. I would say that's my proudest accomplishment since I've been here. Apart from that, I spoke at my first two conferences this past year and also took a leadership role in organizing our department's graduate student conference. Those also figure among my list of favorite academic accomplishments since I've been here.
What do you enjoy most about life in Bloomington?
I spent ten years of my life intending to major in music and am still in many ways a musician at heart. The operas, ballets, and other shows offered here, thanks to the involvement of the Jacobs students, are of excellent quality but cost only a fraction of the price that we would have to pay for similar events outside of IU.
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