CLA Students: Creating New Knowledge
The College of Liberal Arts prepares students to become independent and original thinkers, innovators in their chosen fields, creators of meaning in their lives, productive citizens, and leaders in their communities and the world.
CLA students work alongside world-renowned faculty committed to developing new ideas and knowledge across disciplines. Together they lead breakthrough research initiatives to solve problems that touch our lives every day. Why do we behave as we do? How do we apply discoveries in science and medicine to improve lives? What makes life worth living?
Read about three CLA students whose research and creative projects are addressing historical traumas, examining psycholinguistics, and counteracting stereotypes.
Colin Walker Wingate is pursuing a major in English and a minor in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies (GWSS). He considers gender, sexuality, and capitalism in his studies and research as a black feminist. Wingate presented two research projects at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference in 2018.
Annika Kohrt has majors in linguistics and German and minors in neuroscience and computer science. While her four areas of study aren’t always associated with each other, she has found exactly how to combine her interests. “What I found really beneficial about [studying German],” Kohrt says, “was that it offers a cultural lens and a historical lens on language and on the pieces that connect to that.” Her wide range of coursework gives her an interdisciplinary, intercultural edge, and her recent research in psycholinguistics proves how beneficial that is.
Jill Fish, a PhD candidate in psychology, works to change that single narrative and create more equitable spaces for Native people. Fish’s dissertation project is the Native American Digital Storytelling Workshop. She and her team of research assistants visit urban centers in Minnesota to host workshops where people come in and share their stories. The team records each writer telling their life story, their lived experiences, or their history. Each story helps to change the long-held, single-sided narrative about Native populations and empowers members of Minnesota’s Native communities to give voice to their own strength.
These stories are pulled from features written by undergraduate students in CLAgency, a brand communications agency comprising 40 students. The agency increases college and department visibility by creating engaging content for websites, newsletters, and social media channels. CLAgency supports the dean’s Career Readiness Initiative by providing hands-on training and valuable work experience for CLA undergraduates. Participants in the program graduate with networking experience, an in-demand skill set, and an impressive portfolio that sets them up for success in a variety of career paths. Learn more at clagency.umn.edu.