Meet the individuals who comprise the 2020-2021 DCI Fellows cohort!
Political Science | Education Studies
My 3 brothers and I (all Davidson students) were raised as swimmers. Still a swimmer today as member of the Davidson Men’s Swimming team, I have brought my love and appreciation for grit and dedication to the team’s Social Justice Committee and most recently, the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative. This past summer, I interned at Baltimore City Public Schools and helped develop a school reopening plan and remote learning program.
My interest in the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative comes from my desire to rebuild compassion and respect in our political area. At Davidson, I have been afforded the opportunity to develop my humane instincts and ability to identify inequities and injustices. In recent years, one of the greatest failures of the citizens of the United States of America has been the abandonment of these ideals, most notably, the ability to recognize another individual’s humanity and right to a happy life which contributes to the gross hyper-polarization seen today. At the DCI, I hope I can use my toolbox of skills to set a positive example for my peers and fellow citizens and to enact change both in our Davidson and national community.
Neuroscience (Pre-Med Track) | English
I am a Posse scholar, a junior (class of 2022), and intend to go to medical school after graduating from Davidson. Besides being a DCI Fellow, I am a Hall Counselor for Belk, for the second year this year. I am also a part of Dance Ensemble, Treasurer for BEST (Believing Everyone Should Try), and am working on a thesis in Dr. Ramirez’s lab. In my free time, I run a book blog.
I wanted to be a Deliberative Citizenship Fellow because I think it is important to work to improve my understanding both of concrete concepts and also generally how to listen to others’ experiences without inserting my own preconceived opinions, both generally as a citizen at a time of high political tension and as someone who intends to work in the medical field in future – in which I will work with patients from a wide range of experiences and identities. Being open-minded, empathetic and attentive to others are traits I consider myself to have, but that I am also aware needs continuous practice, which I think this initiative will provide me.
Political Science | Education Studies
Charlotte, North Carolina
Laurinburg, North Carolina
Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
Davidson, North Carolina
WDAV- Administrative Assistant
Mooresville, North Carolina
I am the Administrative Assistant for WDAV Classical Public Radio and a Holistic Adviser for first year students. I have a background in classical music and opera, and am a current student of Queer Studies with a focus on Mental Health at Oregon State University. I am involved in several Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives at Davidson and also work as a choir section leader for Trinity Presbyterian Church. I am also a proud mother to a six year old daughter, Magdalene.
Within each of my roles, I participate in deliberative citizenship. None of these conversations or progressions came easily, and are always ongoing. However, the consensus I have been able to witness as a participant in all of these situations has been extremely rewarding and led me to the conclusion that the work of deliberative citizenship not only works but is absolutely necessary. In these times of social justice, a worldwide health crisis, and major change, initiatives like DCI will be the vehicle of civil discourse that will help us evolve as a society.
Political Science and Hispanic Studies
I am thrilled to be part of this important initiative and look forward to watching the DCI grow. At Davidson, I am a member of various performing arts groups, and have performed several principal roles in Theatre Department productions. I am part of the Center for Political Engagement and am motivated to help students like myself vote. Beyond Davidson, I hope to pursue a career in law and public policy with an interest in public housing administration and the right to housing. Currently, I am researching access to legal aid for those experiencing homelessness in North Carolina within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I joined the DCI because I believe that discourse aimed at mutual understanding is imperative on college campuses and elsewhere. The truth of any issue, I think, lies somewhere between what each side of a discussion believes to be true. I am a strong believer that the statement ‘Davidson Serves’ can refer to the ways in which we serve one another by becoming active listeners and overcoming polarization. The DCI provides an invaluable opportunity to listen and feel listened to, find common ground, and educate ourselves about the political and social issues that matter to us the most.
Assistant Director for Career Development | Science and Preprofessional Health
Princeton, North Carolina
I’ve been with Davidson for a year an 9 months now, since starting my job in the Center for Career Development I have moved from Exploratory Career Adviser into my new role as Adviser for Science and Pre-health students. I’m a part of the LGBTQ+ Staff and Faculty Caucus and also Chair Elect for Staff Council; I will be taking on the role of Chair in October. Some of my professional interests include: career exploration, StrengthsFinder coaching, experiential learning topics, and diversity equity training in the workplace. In my free time I like to take hiking trips to Pisgah with my dog; personal hobbies include: fantasy books, binging Netflix, indoor plant care, and most recently settling into and decorating my new home.
I decided to partake in the DCI initiative for a variety of reasons. However, the following three areas stood out to me as the most important: the chance to experience critical dialogue on various issues, to develop my ability to facilitate conversation, and to engage with the Davidson community in a new way. I value these tenants for the individual merit they possess and how when combined, they present a unique opportunity for a growth mindset and elevated interactions with students, fellow staff, and faculty.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre
Charlotte, North Carolina
I am a theatre director, playwright, and actor, as well as an alum of Davidson College. Prior to returning to Davidson, I spent eleven years in professional theatre in New York City, where I ran an independent theatre company, worked as an associate director on Broadway, and wore numerous hats as an administrator for one of the industry’s leading off-Broadway companies. I also taught at Brooklyn College, Fordham University, and LIU Post, and I was a two-time guest director for Yale University’s Dramat.
I am most drawn to plays that embrace theatre’s historical roots as a civic gathering place, as a forum for the audience to engage more deeply in the complex issues facing the community. My recent play The Refugees, which I developed for Davidson specifically, captures deliberative discourse surrounding immigration and climate change through the form of Greek Tragedy. I am deeply drawn to the art of more productive conversations, and though I’ve found myself feeling cynical about the possibility for these amidst our intense polarization, I believe that the DCI is approaching this essential democratic tool with genuine optimism for its potential in our chaotic world.
Political Science | Hispanic Studies and Education Studies
Grand Rapids, Michigan
On campus, I am the President of the Davidson College Democrats and the Vice-President of Davidson’s Center for Political Engagement. Beyond my political work, I am a Terry Fellow, frequent volunteer for Davidson’s Admissions Office, and the Director of Communications for the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College. I am an avid runner and am training for my fourth half marathon.
I have a deep interest in policy, law, and development work as potential career tracks. With this, I believe that learning about and understanding people’s stories is the key to finding creative solutions to complicated issues. The Deliberative Citizenship Initiative is a conduit to channel how to better facilitate and be a part of deliberations that result in actionable change. The DCI has already become such a resource and has given me tools that I am already using in my daily life.
Anthropology | Political Science
Belington, West Virginia
I am a Davidson College Junior, majoring in Anthropology and Political Science. As a student, I’m interested in understanding the role of education in a democratic society, specifically for groups marginalized by factors such as race and socioeconomic status. Beyond my studies, I work as a Lead Volunteer for the Ada Jenkins Center and serve as President for Davidson Students Demand Action, a student organization that works to create space for dialogue around the role of guns in American society.
From the moment I first heard about the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative, I was struck by how relevant the work was in our current democratic society, especially on a college campus. Through my last year as a DCI Working Group member, I was able to see what is possible through constructive deliberation that seeks to challenge our understanding and expand our perspective of not only others, but of ourselves. The DCI has helped to challenge even my most closely held viewpoints through the deliberative process, and I’m honored to continue that work this year as a co-convener.
Economics | Political Science
Charlotte, North Carolina
I am the Co-Convener for Deliberation Assessment and Research, in charge of fulfilling the DCI’s fifth goal — analyzing the deliberative process and supporting deliberation research. I am helping to identify the most promising and problematic deliberation practices being used by other initiatives, and evaluating how well the DCI’s programs are operating.
I am participating in the DCI out of interest in pursuing the initiative’s fundamental goal — creating opportunities for people to productively engage with each other. To fulfill this goal would be to satisfy my desire to foster communication between individuals of widely differing views, fueled by a newfound respect for the challenges that opposing beliefs present to their own.