Student and Mentor Views
The Student View
Iida Pöllänen might never have considered graduate school for Comparative Literature, were it not for her experience with the Nomad Mentorship Program. When she came to the US from Finland in 2011 as a Fulbright exchange student, Iida was surprised by the diversity of endeavors by her Nomad peers. “It was a year when I started looking at literature from a different point of view,” she says.
Along with Nomad mentor Julie Bacon, Iida built her knowledge into a discernible product, “Illuminating the Construction of Narratives and Identities in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated,” which was published in the 2012 “TRICK” edition of nomad.
“In literature, I’m always studying the entire world,” she says, “I’m learning about how people communicate and how meaning is conveyed. To me, the study of literature is the study of life.”
The Mentor View
Rob Moore: “For my money, this is where we in the humanities truly provide a unique service. In an era of consumerized education, the opportunity to slow down and focus on a single argument, and to do so one-on-one with a mentor, is a wonderful anomaly. It recalls us to what education was always supposed to be: the chance to pursue ideas in a community.”
-Rob Moore, Nomad Mentor, shown above with Nomad participant Yimeng He
Palita Chunsaengchan: “If I could live again my younger years in college, Nomad would precisely be the kind of extracurricular program I would seek. Why? The answer is simple—the Nomad Mentorship Program includes everything you need to become a better writer and researcher in the field of humanities. Nomad offers a great opportunity to do extra research on a topic that interests you. And if you ever feel lonely in this rough academic path, the Nomad program lets you work with a graduate mentor on that specific topic of your interest. Isn’t it exciting to see yourself starting from zero idea and gradually completing a scholarly article of your own that will be published and presented to the public? If this still doesn’t thrill you, let me talk from my wonderful experience. My mentee was interested in French ballet in the 19th century–how we could read the movement as language and which factor allowed ballet to finally make its way to become art in the eyes of the public. This sounds tough but eventually the discussion between me and my mentee over coffee turned out to be amazing every time we met; we brainstormed about the material she could use to develop her article, then we talked about food and weather in Bangkok, Arizona and Eugene. We shared our common interest in French literature and listened to the others’ academic project and future plan.”