Student Bimbola Akinbola '11 helped her art professor create an art history textbook.
BY Bimbola Akinbola ’11
American Studies, Studio Art
I came to Macalester knowing that I would pursue my art regardless of what major I ultimately chose. My father has always reminded me that my art has the potential to be a part of any career path I choose. As a double major in American studies and studio art, I enjoy bringing an artistic eye and the knowledge I've gained in my painting and drawing classes into my American studies courses, and vice versa.
"Creating a text that will actually have a place in college classrooms — I see this as an opportunity that could only have been available here at Macalester."
— Bimbola Akinbola ’11
Last semester I had the privilege of combining my deep interest in American studies and my love of the fine arts in the course “Race, Ethnicity, Class and Gender in American Art,” taught by art history professor Joanna Inglot. At the start of the semester, she expressed concern that there was still no standard textbook for the material that we were studying. That got me thinking about what I wanted to do to change the lack of scholarship on the topics that interested me the most. I shared my feelings with Professor Inglot, and a few weeks later she approached me about collaborating with her to create an anthology for art history courses like the one she was teaching. A few months after that, I successfully proposed the project for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship.
As a Mellon fellow, I was able to spend all of last summer on campus doing research and bouncing around ideas with Professor Inglot. We continued the work during the school year and will spend this summer on it as well. It’s amazing to create a text that will actually have a place in college classrooms. I see this as an opportunity that could only have been available to me here at Macalester.
My advice for prospective first-years still deciding on a college is to choose the school where you think you'll have the most opportunities and be forced to grow. The wonderful thing about Macalester is the amount of support there is for students who want to pursue their passions.