Both my MSc at the University of Edinburgh and my PhD at the University of Cambridge have been supported by Rotary International, through first a Service Above Self scholarship and later, a Rotary International Global Grant.
I was awarded a Rotary International Service Above Self Scholarship by District 7980 for academic year 2013-2014 to help me complete my MSc at the University of Edinburgh. This scholarship allowed me to embrace my new community in Scotland in the same spirit as I had the home I left behind. From speaking to Rotary Clubs to attending and participating in events run by the Scouts and the Scottish Storytelling Centre, I met a network of wonderful, passionate people who were committed to not only serving the local community but also to fostering better fellowship between people around the world.
As part of that scholarship, I organized and planned workshops with international students where I used team-building games to open discussions on nationality, global citizenship, and how to foster communication across cultural barriers.
I was then very lucky to be then awarded a Global Grant in 2017 with the support of the Rotary Club of Madison and Rotary International District 7980, to pursue a PhD at the University of Cambridge. This grant allowed me to study children’s literature and media at the Centre for Research in Children’s Literature at Cambridge.
As a former RI scholar I am available to speak with Rotary Clubs and Rotarians about both my education goals, my research and its applications, and my experience with my local club growing up. I can be reached through the contact form.
In short, it is me.
Synonyms of ‘wayward’ include defiant, obdurate, contrary, headstrong, capricious, whimsical, wild, and rebellious. And while in some ways I do love academia and research and I am willing to put my head down and do what needs to be done, in many other ways, I look at the greater structures of this industry and the stated and unstated rules, and I cannot really stand to quietly exist within them. So I have a small tendency to throw the rules out of the window, and draw from the various other identities I’ve had outside of academia to inform how my life moves forward and in what directions.
I’ve worn many hats and studied across various disciplines. All of my work in experiential education, leadership training and at summer camp, and jobs in retail, publishing, and journalism have fed into my research, in some way. Academia is enriched by the richer our experiences are, and how widely we live our lives. I don’t think that my identity as a scholar is anything but bolstered by other experiences. I hope to continue wider growth, and work to bring that which is silo’d outside of the ivory tower, within it.
I came up with the idea of being a ‘wayward academic’ after a conference experience when I was between graduate programs, and there were certain attitudes towards being unaffiliated present. I figured, well, if I don’t quite fit, better to claim my asymmetry. This space is one for me to work out my own thoughts and musings, archive pieces published elsewhere on the internet, and explore my irregularity. If anything, I’ll at least learn my own mind better, and find new paths forward that I might not have thought of exploring previously.