Just who is a typical CASL graduate? The simple answer is that there is no such person.

Mariam Mustafa

CASL alumni have a diverse range of skills, talents, experiences, and goals.  By “spotlighting” someone every other month, we hope to introduce you to our diverse group of alums ... and maybe you'll see a familiar face.

Name:  Mariam Mustafa

Degree, discipline, graduation year:  Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Women's and Gender Studies, 2015

What are your current job responsibilities and/or volunteer activities and/or graduate school studies?  I am currently finishing up my Master’s program in Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University. I am working on a thesis that I hope will be publishable in the near future, and will be taking a gap year after this degree to focus on sustainable action and change resulting from the research I have conducted thus far. Currently, I serve as a graduate assistant for WMU’s honors college, something near and dear to my heart after my honors program experience at UM-Dearborn. I also volunteer regularly at Kalamazoo’s YWCA as an Emergency Response Team member, where I assist survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault with immediate needs and resources.

Does your career/volunteer work/grad school relate to what you studied at UM-Dearborn or is your degree in a totally different field?  I would say that a lot of what I do now is directly influenced by my time at UM-Dearborn. Though my academic field is quite different than my undergraduate degree, the skills necessary for research, and the passion I have for academia really started because of the faculty I had at UM-Dearborn. I still engage in my community through volunteer work because of the work ethic, compassion, and determination within every student organization I was a part of during my time on campus. UM-Dearborn had an incredibly heavy hand in shaping who I am as a person today.

Looking back at the classes you took, pick out one of your favorites and tell why.  Only one?! I feel as though I have a favorite class under every semester categorized alphabetically somewhere. There are a few courses that stand out, though of course I cannot remember their names. The first was a literature course I took with Dr. Jarenski that focused on American lit and horror; one of my all-time favorite courses in my major. The second course that comes to mind I believe was Gender and Globalization, taught by Dr. Bergeron. I remember my best friend and I having a total blast and looking forward to that course every week.

If there was a “favorite” professor(s), let us know and why.  Now this one isn’t fair! I have so many favorite professors at UM-Dearborn, and I’m sure those who worked with me in the Dean’s office remember all the faculty members I really looked forward to seeing. However, I want to highlight Dr. Brainer, my research advisor, as one of my favorites because she is so devoted to student success; her help was critical during my graduate school applications. In addition, Dr. Bergeron, Dr. Hershock, Dr. Amin, Dr. Moran, Dr. Bond, and Dr. Linn (rest in peace), were all critical to my success as a student, and probably as a human being, too.