Wondering how you’ll do without your favorite seniors come fall? You may not have to if they are among the 20 seniors who are returning in the Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship Program. These “post-bacs” will continue to engage with the Knox community through feminist discourse, audiovisual sports casting, grammar classes and more.
For senior Joy Westerman, graduating with a gender and women’s studies major and double minor in creative writing and psychology, this next year will allow her to expand her understanding of feminism by using the knowledge she gained in her four years here and outside research.
“There is a disturbing lack of cohesion and understanding of what feminism is, so I’m creating a platform to showcase the different kinds of feminist research and activism on campus,” Westerman said. This platform will be a website accompanied by two panels, one each in the fall and spring.
Westerman stressed feminism is active in many places on campus.
“People don’t know these things are happening, so they find themselves clinging to one strand of feminism as presented by one club on campus or one professor. That can be empowering to find your own definition, but at the same time you are limiting yourself with this fragmented sense of feminism.”
She hopes to talk with students and faculty in different fields working on projects related to feminism. By showcasing their projects, she hopes students will see the intersecting ideas of what feminism is and how it is approached, both on campus and in a broader sense.
Seniors Ryan Paulus and Liz Guth are continuing their time at Knox on related paths. Paulus is a anthropology/sociology major and composition and rhetoric (self-designed) minor, and Guth is a creative writing and Spanish double major. They both will be working on projects related to the Center of Teaching and Learning (CTL).
Paulus will be aiding in the re-certification of Red Room and CTL tutors, and take on administrative work at the CTL. Guth plans to teach grammar lessons to first-year students.
“I think this will give me a better idea of whether or not I would like to become a teacher. It’s going to give me access to resources that are here [that I can use for my future],” Guth said.
“At grad school there is going to be a lot of writing and a certain elevated level of [critical thinking],” Paulus said. “I think that having only a couple of classes allows me to focus and really delve into that material and push myself hard.”
A chemistry major and psychology and biochemistry double minor, senior Yuhan Du is focusing on two of her passions: cosmetics and chemistry.
“I drew a proposal about finding the toxic chemicals in cosmetics and they really liked it, and liked to see if I could do something beneficial to the school. My plan is to carry out a lab that’s going to tell people about specific dyes and chemical components [in cosmetics].”
In fall term, she hopes to do research on the reactions of different cosmetic products. Then in winter she plans to elicit the reactions and, if successful, create it into a lab that the forensic class can perform themselves.
Senior Miranda Loeber, theatre major and Chinese minor, is taking on the role of assistant supervisor for the costume shop through the year. During winter term, she will also serve as TA for a historical fashion design workshop, and throughout the year teach students how to do digital painting. The latter of the two is new to the theatre department.
“I want to get to the point where a lot of the department knows how to use it and utilize it. Generally for design classes we learn drafting … but no one knows how to do [with digital print making], so I hope to pass on that knowledge.”
Loeber was inspired to pass down what she learned at Knox by a post-bac who helped out as costume shop supervisor her freshman year.
“She taught me to sew and instilled in me the values that I’ve taken with me, and now I’m excited to be able to continue that circle of life and be the person that taught me.”