Aubrey Sneed – Pursuing Social Justice through Teaching

How would you describe your time as an English or Film Studies major at MSU?

My undergrad experience at Michigan State was nothing short of amazing! Studying English has shaped me into an informed and critical thinker. I am now able to analyze the world around me through multiple lenses and share my knowledge with others.

Which classes, instructors, or experiences particularly stand out for you and why? How did they prepare you for the next phase of your life?

I would say that the most influential professors throughout my undergrad experience have been Tamar Boyadjian, Lamar Johnson, and Hui-Ling Malone from the English department and Joanne Marciano and Raven Jones Stanbrough from the College of Education. Each of these professors have challenged me and encouraged me to become a better and more informed writer, educator, and human being.

What advice would you give future English or Film Studies majors, based on your experiences in the department?

I encourage future students in the department to not only take courses that align with their interests, but to also branch out and explore new genres or time periods when selecting English classes. You would be amazed at how much you can learn when you step outside of your comfort zone!

What coursework-related projects were/are you working on this year, and what interests or excites you about them? 

Over the last year, I have been working on developing lesson and unit plans that are both engaging and inclusive. I am really passionate about pursuing social justice work throughout my teaching career and finding ways to build upon and improve the curriculum in secondary English classes.

What are your hopes and aspirations, post-graduation? 

After graduation, I will be completing a year-long teaching internship through MSU’s College of Education. Once I am certified, I plan to teach high school level English classes in the Detroit area. In the future, I hope to open a non-profit in the downriver area that provides academic support and resources for low-income students.

Finally, reflect a bit on the strange experience of being a graduating senior during this on-going period of pandemic, of local and global crisis. What resources have been most useful to you in navigating this unprecedented situation?

This pandemic has created less-than-desirable circumstances for the Spartan (and global) community, but we are stronger together. Connecting with my peers during this tumultuous time has made the situation much more manageable. I encourage everyone to find a support system to lean on in times of need.