Student Profile

Gabrielle Mendy
Gabrielle Mendy ’17
New Orleans, LA

Recipient of the Christopher John Rupright Odyssey Scholarship

What did you do this past summer?
This past summer I worked as a research assistant for a novel that focuses on the history and legacy of African American dance in the south.

Please comment on the pursuit of your major and minor, as well as any other academic interests.
I am currently undeclared, but I am almost positive that international studies will be my major. I also plan to minor in comparative race and ethnic studies with a concentration on African studies. Archaeology is a passion of mine, so I have been thinking of ways I could possibly incorporate that into my B.A. thesis. As of now, I am thinking my thesis will be on the mobility and flexibility of objects. I think writing about the objects people take during immigration, emigration, diasporas etc, and how these objects then come to change and function in the new environments would be very interesting. I would like to focus on this mobility in area such as West and North Africa, focusing on movements to either Europe or Latin America.

Please tell us about a significant or memorable experience you have had during your time at UChicago.
Probably the most memorable experience I have at the university was actually before I officially started classes, and was called the Chicago Academic Achievement Program. It is designed to help incoming first-years get accustomed to campus life, the rigor of UChicago classes, and the city of Chicago in general. It was a great experience and I met some of my closest friends during CAAP.

What activities do you participate in outside of the classroom? Are there any that are new from last year?
Outside of the classroom I enjoy playing sports such as volleyball, soccer, and tennis with my friends. I also am in the Organization of Black Students and the Socioeconomic Diversity Alliance. I currently work at the Office of International Affairs, and I like to read whenever I have free time. I occasionally paint, which is always relaxing.

As a scholarship recipient, to what extent are you grateful for the support you received?  What are your thoughts on how you might one day give back to the University of Chicago?
I am so incredibly thankful for the support I have received. It has made attending UChicago so much more feasible. Coming to the university has been a dream of mine for a long time, and to see that dream come to fruition, thanks to your help, is beyond amazing for me. THANK YOU!

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