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HumanitiesX Welcomes 2023-24 Student Fellows

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It is a great pleasure to introduce the newest additions to the HumanitiesX Collaborative: our wonderful Student Fellows! Our Student Fellows embody a vast range of interdisciplinary perspectives and personal experiences, and they join our Faculty and Community Fellows, who, through three distinct new courses offered this spring, will demonstrate the importance of experiential humanities studies, the relevance of project-based learning, and the impact of community engagement. 

We asked our Student Fellows to share a bit about themselves and their connection to the 2023-24 HX theme, Democracy & Rights. Without further ado, and in their own words, we present the 23-24 HumanitiesX Student Fellows:

Angelina Alvarez 
Angelina Alvarez

Pronouns: She/Her

Program and Level of Study: Angelina is a Senior majoring in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies. 

Interest in 2023-24 Theme: Democracy and rights impact everyone, so it was something that really spoke to me. There are always opportunities to learn more about what can be done to create change within our society and within our own communities.​

Book Recommendation Based on Theme: As Long As Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight For ​​​Environmental Justice, From Colonization to Standing Rock ​| Dina Gilio-Whitaker​

Fun Fact: I’m the first in my family born in the U.S.​​​

Bella Netti  
Bella Netti

Pronouns: ​​They/She/He ​

Program and Level of Study: Bella is a Senior double majoring in Women & Gender Studies and Community Psychology.

Interest in 2023-24 Theme: My interest in the theme of democracy and rights stems from my desire to problematize and challenge the ways in which current mainstream social movements strategize around rights and democracy to gain “equality” or better yet, liberation. I question what true democracy is if not lead by and for the people. I question the meaning of equal rights within a system of control and historical oppression. Finally, the class themes of LGBTQ rights and immigrant and migrant justice are of interest to me as I question the role of rights and democracy in the fight for true liberation. ​

Book Recommendation Based on Theme: Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law | Dean Spade​

Fun Fact: I play on the DePaul Club soccer team. ​

Camille Perry 
Camille Perry

Pronouns: She/Her/They/Them 

Program and Level of Study: Camille is pursing a combined degree program, earning her Bachelor's in ​Sociology along with a Master's in Critical Ethnic Studies. 

Interest in 2023-24 Theme: I’m in the position of being a college student in a time of immense unrest in the country, which means I never truly leave the classroom. Thus, it is my responsibility to utilize the resources at my fingertips, the community beyond the doors of Arts and Letters Hall, and my voice to learn and amplify the voices of the oppressed, and to create tools and pathways for those like me and those who will come after me to do the same.​

Book Recommendation Based on Theme: The Fire Next Time | James Baldwin 

Fun Fact: I used to be able to recite the entirety of The Incredibles (2004) from memory.​

Fiona Reed 
Fiona Reed

Pronouns: She/Her

Program and Level of Study: Fiona is a Junior  majoring in Political Science with an International Politics concentration) and minoring in both Sociology and Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies (PAX). 

Interest in 2023-24 Theme: My interest in the 2023-2024 theme of Democracy and Rights comes from my personal relationship with politics. My father's career led him from the military to the Office of Attorney General and eventually education lobbying, while my mother's work enco​mp​assed advocating for queer acceptance within the Methodist denomination, grant writing to fund community services provided by disability rights organizations and exoneration for wrongfully incarcerated people​. They raised me with an awareness of the importance of encouraging social practice and political policy which protect vulnerable people's access to the rights afforded under a democracy. The motivator of my work and study is to support that legacy, as well as utilizing my privilege of access to higher education for good. ​

Book Recommendation Based on Theme: Freedom is a Constant Struggle | Angela Davis 

Fun Fact: This past year, I participated in the Scotland short term study abroad in June, as well as the term long Florence, Italy program. Much love to DePaul study abroad! ​

Taylor Sellers-Varela 
Taylor Sellers-Varela

​​Pronouns: Them/Them

Program and Level of Study: Taylor is a Sophomore double majoring in English (Literature focus) and Media & Cinema Studies. 

Interest in 2023-24 Theme: As a minority with multiple intersectional identities living in a big city, it's impossible to not be political in my beliefs and actions. The concepts of democracy and rights, how we use them, and (most importantly) how they often fail us, are necessary things to think about in our current world.​

Book Recommendation Based on Theme: Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist | Judy Heumann​

Fun Fact: I have an Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy in Latin.​​

Saf​iyah Simpkins 
Safiyah Simpkins

Pronouns: ​She/​Her​

Program and Level of Study: Safiyah is a Senior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy. 

Interest in 2023-24 Theme:​ As an individual at the intersection of various marginalized identities, I feel that it is vitally important that everyone in our nation not only have equal rights but an equal voice in our government. History and the present have shown that without this, drastic inequalities are able to fester within and corrupt our society. ​

Book Recommendation Based on Theme: The Wretched of the Earth | Frantz Fanon​

Fun Fact: I've been to 5 different countries outside of the US​.​