Jackie Emick is one of the amazing American Studies students that will be graduating this June with a Major in American Studies, along with a Major in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. She has shared some of her memories from being an American Studies student and where she will be headed next.

Please share your fondest memory from being an American Studies student.

My fondest memory about being an American Studies students was hard to pick, so I have to say two of my fondest memories as I couldn’t decide. My first memory is on Program Exploration Days in my second year, second semester. Professor Alexandra Rahr asked me and a few other students to come and aid at the booth as ambassadors for the program. Ever since then, I have had the opportunity to participate every year, even though this year was virtual. This has been one of the best experiences as I was able to share my passion for the program to possible students. The second fondest memory would have to be the many meetings I had with the executive board of the American Studies Student Union. I participated every year of my undergraduate time in American Studies as a Vice President for both academic and social events. The seminars and social nights we put on were major highlights.

What are some of the courses that you really enjoyed taking and why?

My favorite courses would have to be USA311 – American Public Monuments from the Confederate Flag to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial with Professor Rahr, USA310 – Mass Incarceration in the United States with Professor Mishler, USA403 – Land and Indigenous Politics with Professor Maile and USA402 – Graphic! With Professor Sammond. As you can see, it was again hard to pick my top favorite courses as I enjoyed all of the American Studies classes I took. These specifically stuck out due to their important context which they provide to modern issues. Some courses which I also wanted to mention are USA401 – History of Protest Movements, USA400 – US War History and Experience and USA311 – History of Epidemics.

What are some ways that you were involved with the program?

I was a part of the American Studies Students Union for three years, over various positions. I aided in Program Exploration Days for three years as well as aided the manning of the desk set up for the club’s fair for each in person orientation I was around for. On top of this I was also the communications and events assistant for CSUS as a part of the work study program in my third year.

Do you have any words of wisdom for current or future American Studies students?

Take advantage of the amazing small cohort of professors and classmates you are exposed to. American Studies is a unique and tight knit community within the university that allowed me to communicate one on one with professors, get expert advice on careers and academic work as well as fully take advantage of all the resources available to me. The experiences which American Studies gave me are invaluable. Seize every opportunity you can get!

What are next steps for you after graduating from U of T?

I am currently working this summer as a Senior Intern Analyst for CPP investments in the Public Affairs and Communications Department within Global Corporate Communications. This is my second summer interning with them! I hope to continue this area of work and pursue a career in communications and public affairs in the future.

What are some insights from the American Studies Program that you think you will be able to apply in your future activities?

The interdisciplinary style of the American Studies courses gave me the basis for which I have been able to build many of my skills, specifically in the area of communications. Although my future career aspirations and current intern role are not directly associated with the program, the skills which I learned and the courses I took prepared me to be a skilled communicator. Furthermore, the global positioning of the courses gave me a well versed understanding of many global issues which benefits me everyday.

Congratulations to Jackie! We look forward to continuing to hear about her endeavours and can’t wait to see what her future holds!