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‘I Can Only Hope That My Work Will Be Impactful…’


Recent grad Tarik Desire ’18, an Africana studies major, has just finished a five-month immersion program for software development, following up on his long-held interest in STEM and an idea from Hamilton Professor of Literature Vincent Odamtten. Desire answered three questions for us about his time at Hamilton and about his future.

Now that you’ve been out of college for a bit, what stands out about your experience as an Africana studies major?

Being a postgraduate Africana studies major, I am constantly reminded of how my study in the department was an intimate, transformative process, one of self-discovery or self-realization, and the curation of a critical eye through which to truly make sense of the world we live in. 

Was there a course or professor you will never forget?

It's a toss up between The Black Self: Identity and Consciousness and Afro Latin@ “Gangs.” Although I have a deep appreciation for many of the professors currently and formerly in the department, namely Professor Odamtten, Associate Professor of African Studies Nigel Westmaas, Associate Professor of History Celeste Day Moore, and former Visiting Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Reynaldo Ortiz-Minaya, I would say Professor Todd Franklin was the most impactful of my Hamilton career. (Franklin is Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies and chair of African studies.)

What is your fondest career hope?

As we progress further into the internet age, it becomes increasingly important that we challenge the forces that encourage injustice, alienation, and fear. Although I am uncertain of where life will take me, I can only hope that my work will be impactful in ways that not only enrich my own life, but positively shape the lives of others in ways that brings people together.

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