The Columns

My W&L: Lauren Mosely ’15

— by on September 5th, 2016

Lauren Mosely '15

“I will always remember my time at Washington and Lee because it has helped me to grow and realize my interests.”

During my time at Washington and Lee I have had many wonderful experiences, such as performing with my friends in SAIL’s Showcase and the Lunar New Year celebrations, camping with my Bible study small group, dancing through the night at Fancy Dress, studying abroad in Kanazawa, Japan, and acting in the “Bye Bye Birdie” production. I have matured during these past three and a half years thanks to my experiences in and outside of the classroom. My work in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in particular, introduced me to identity studies, and thanks to W&L’s commitment to liberal arts, I have expanded my knowledge of this subject through various classes. While I had very little experience in identity studies prior to attending Washington and Lee, I have grown more interested in it and hope to continue studying it in the future.

Many people of the W&L community know the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for hosting a number of events throughout the year, including a dinner-dance during Parents’ Weekend, a week-long celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in January, the Donning of the Kente for graduates of diverse backgrounds in May, and much more. Since my first year working in the office, I have improved my organizational and communication skills; however, through these events, I have also participated in numerous dialogues in which students describe their identity in the W&L community. From these dialogues, I came to realize the complexities involved with identity and the need to do further investigation on the subject. So it was not necessarily in a classroom where I was first introduced to identity studies–rather it was working with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Through various politics and history courses, I had the opportunity to study other minorities’ identities. In a course titled “European Politics and Society,” I looked to see how the government was involved in the assimilation of Polish and Russian minorities. The following year, I observed the role of “race” and classifications in the assimilation of the Japanese population in Brazil in a class titled “Race and Ethnicity in Latin America.” This past year, I was able to interview a number of people of Haitian background and analyze how they relate to other African-Americans and the American society as a whole for another history class titled “Afro-Latin America.” During my research for these projects, I began to discover not only how complex this topic is, but also the importance of it with regard to how these groups of people interact with their particular societies and governments.

I will always remember my time at Washington and Lee because it has helped me to grow and realize my interests. My time in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has not only equipped me with a number of skills that will help me in the future, but it has also introduced me to identity studies. Thanks to W&L’s liberal arts education, I was able to take history classes that did not technically pertain to my major. These classes have given me direction with regard to what I will do with my majors in the future. “My W&L” concerns matters both in and outside of the classroom, and I am ever grateful for this opportunity.