Friday, December 18, 2015

Student Spotlight: Megan Richwine, English and Political Science Double Major

Q: You're an English major. What drew you to the subject?

A: Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved to read. During the summers I read a book a day and I read anything I could get my hands on. It grew into more than just a hobby and soon I started writing short stories. Entering into college, I knew I had to go into the opposite of Math and Science. I had dreams of becoming a newscaster, but quickly realized the shoe didn't fit. I stumbled upon the English major by looking at the courses I would have to take: Studies in Shakespeare, Russian Novel, Victorian Period, etc. They all were classes I would take just for fun and even though I didn't know what I would do with an English major at the time, I didn't want to take any other classes. God pointed me in the right direction and to this day it is one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Q: What have been some of your favorite classes in the major so far and why?

A: Two classes come to mind: Russian Novel and Contemporary American Studies Seminar. I took Russian Novel the spring semester of my sophomore year. We read War and Peace and The Brothers Karamazov. I enjoyed both books tremendously. In fact, War and Peace has become one of my favorite books. Contemporary American Studies Seminar was interesting because we read non-fiction such as Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. It was a great discussion class and the topic was easy to relate to and talk about.

Q: How does your English major complement your major in Political Science?

A: Political Science and English work well together because they both offer a chance to write. My Political Science major helps me develop my critical thinking as well as my critical writing. Many classes that I have taken for Political Science have been discussion-based classes that encourage, well, discussion among students. Pairing this with English was a great decision because English helps to strengthen my writing (and reading) while Political Science strengthens my reasoning and my critical thinking. Political Science and English complement each another because they challenge me in different areas. This being said, I use my critical thinking that I've gained from Political Science and apply it to some of my English classes. Likewise, I use my "improved" writing in English and apply it for projects or papers that pertain to my Political Science major.

Q: What else do you do on campus and in your spare time?

A: Since I am a commuter, I don't spend as much time as I would like on campus. I am involved with the Ashbrook Scholar Program as well as the Honors Program. I work at the AU Box office selling tickets to performances and I also intern for the MFA Program. I interned with the MFA summer residency this past summer and spent two weeks with graduate students, professors, and authors. I was responsible for runs to the airport to pick up and drop up authors and professors as well as helping to organize daily craft talks. During this semester I have been helping with odds and ends like filing and sending perspective students information about the program. Next semester I will be president of a Turning Point USA chapter which we will be launching come January! This organization encourages college kids to exercise their right to vote and become more educated about the issues facing our country. I was a columnist for this organization and recently went to CPAC this past February to help promote Turning Point USA. I'm very excited about bringing this chapter to campus and spending some more time with fellow students. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and reading books that are not for school. My "go-to" stress reliever is sitting by the fire eating apples with caramel. I also collect books and my collection has grown close to 700. I like to go antiquing and collect small dishes that I find in antique stores and garage sales.

Q: Could you recommend some books, whether they're old favorites or recent discoveries?

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Matched by Ally Condie
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

...And many, many more!