John C. Blankenagel Endowed Wesleyan Scholarship
Miranda ’16, a German studies and theater double major from Boston, Massachusetts, says, “I chose Wesleyan because I was astounded by the passion of the student body. Attending Wesleyan means being able to pursue my passions and interests to the fullest with resources available for me to do so."
Why did you choose Wesleyan?
I chose Wesleyan because I was astounded by the passion of the student body.
What is your major and why did you choose this area of study?
I am a German studies and theater double major.
What classes are you taking this semester?
This semester I am taking an Advanced German Literature Seminar, American Sign Language (ASL) II, Ebony Singers and squash.
Which class is your favorite this semester and why?
This question is so difficult because it's definitely a three-way tie between ASL, Ebony Singers and squash! If I really had to choose, though, I'd say squash is my favorite class this semester. I've never played squash before and Adjunct Professor of Physical Education Geoffrey Wheeler is an excellent instructor. He really is an expert and every time he gives me a tip or trick, it improves my game immensely! The class remains educational and fun—I can't wait to take the skills I've learned in this class with me long after I graduate!
Who is your favorite professor this semester and why?
My favorite professors are the two professors that teach my ASL class, Visiting Instructors in Sign Language Leslie Warren and Keith Vinci. They have such an amazing way of balancing their two different styles of signing and teaching, while still bringing together a complete picture of beginning ASL and deaf culture. Our assignments are always a lot of fun and bring the ASL signs we learn in class to life. For example, last semester I performed an ASL interpretation of “Irreplaceable, ” by Beyoncé, and this semester I'm working on an interpretation of The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. I am so thankful for the two of them.
Did you do an internship during your time at Wesleyan?
Yes, I worked this summer as a senior interviewer in the Office of Admission. It was a great experience staying on campus and getting know the people behind the college application process.
To date, what is your biggest academic achievement at Wesleyan?
My biggest academic achievement has been completing my first performance studies paper this past spring. It was a lot of challenging material but I am proud of myself for my work.
To date, what has been your biggest academic challenge?
My biggest challenge has definitely been processing the practical and theoretical sides of theater both in and outside the classroom. I've always understood them to be different, but I recently have come to conclusions about where they can intersect.
Which class, program or experience had the most impact on your Wesleyan career to this point?
Stage-managing In the Heights has had the biggest impact on my Wesleyan experience up to this point.
Which activities, jobs, sports and/or clubs do you participate in outside of class?
I am a DJ for WESU FM; I work at WesWings and Weshop; I am the head tour guide for the Theater Department; I am co-chair of the Theater Majors Committee; and I’m a senior interviewer for the Office of Admission.
What are your post-graduation plans?
After I graduate, I hope to move to Boston or New York and find work in the field of directing.
Tell us about the professor or faculty member who had the strongest impact on your Wesleyan experience.
Associate Professor of Theater Claudia Nascimento has had the strongest impact on my Wesleyan experience. She is ruthless while still remaining caring and understanding. I feel like I've developed a really strong relationship with her that will last beyond Wesleyan.
After graduation, in a year, or five years, what do you think you will remember most about your time at Wesleyan?
I will definitely remember my friends and all the amazing experiences we’ve had together.
What advice would you give to a new or first-year student?
I would tell a new student: Don't forget to have fun and always allow things to surprise you!
As you reflect on your time at Wesleyan, what does attending this university mean to you?
Attending Wesleyan means being able to pursue my passions and interests to the fullest with resources available for me to do so.
Learn more about Miranda '16, whose senior project is a production of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, in this Wesleyan video.