What activities are you involved in, both within the RC and elsewhere on campus?
I am involved in RC film forum and the RC mentorship program as well as the UofM Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program, Pi Beta Phi, CURIS, and I'm a co-facilitaor for an Intergroup Relations Class (ALA 321).
What are some highlights of your career - or side projects - that you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of the way I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to attend UofM from out of state. I have met phenomenal professors and people who have really helped me grow as a person and as a student. I'm also proud to be the first female adaptive athlete at University Michigan, as well as the first adaptive track and field athlete. With the support of the UMich Adaptive Sports Program this past year I was able to keep training and competing and earned a #1 World Para Ranking in Javelin (see photo at bottom) and #2 in Discus. Go Blue! Outside of sports, I am super excited to be a co-teacher for ALA 321: Practicum in Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation.
What are you doing lately that you’re passionate about?
I am working on writing a children's book this summer focused on the importance of inclusion and "being seen". I can't wait to get it published and share it with everyone! I'm also helping collaborating on an Adaptive Sports & Inclusion Recreation Initiative with the goal to introduce inclusive physical activity and adaptive sports into several Ann Arbor public schools this coming year.
What about it makes you so passionate? What is the underlying reason or cause you’re doing what you’re doing?
I want to be the role model I never had growing up. I hope all children, including those with disabilities, feel included and valued. I only knew of one book that featured a leading character with a physical difference or disability when I was growing up and it would be great to see children's books include a broader range of lived experiences and characters.
How does something you do in the RC relate to this?
The RC Mentorship Among Peers (MAP) program made me feel less alone during covid. Additionally, my favorite class in the RC so far has been Leslie Stainton’s “Writing Lives” because we got to delve deep into our own identities and the identities of others. She has inspired me to write a children’s book because she helped me to become more at peace with my identity and become a better storyteller.
If you could have dinner with anyone, fictional or real, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would have dinner with Malala Yousafzai. I remember reading her book, I am Malala, when I was 14 and being inspired by how resilient, articulate, and poised she was/is in the face of adversity. She inspired me to become more involved with women’s right to an education, especially women and girls with disabilities.
What’s your favorite food to make, and why?
My favorite food to make is a Gray Family favorite. My grandmother always used to make a dessert called Delicate Cake. It is three layers of vanilla cake with whipped cream, sugar, and pecans in between and on top. By making it, I feel like I am carrying on her traditions.