April 8, 2021 at 3:07 pm

Class of 2021 | Miranda Christy Gets Creative in Face of COVID Closures

Miranda Christy, portrait

Miranda Christy

After Miranda Christy graduates from Ohio University this spring, she heads to Virginia Tech to start her M.A. in history.

Christy double majored in History and Classical Civilizations in the College of Arts & Sciences at OHIO.

She says COVID restrictions tried to get in her way, but she powered past it and got her thesis done.

Q:  What was the hardest hill you had to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) at OHIO? And how did you overcome challenges or obstacles in your path?

The biggest obstacle was my History Departmental Honors thesis. Archives were closed for COVID, so I had a lot of trouble accessing materials at first, communicating with organizations was much more difficult, and I felt extremely discouraged because I was struggling to make progress. At the end of fall semester, after talking with my thesis adviser, I was able to reset and find ways to work around gaps in my source material. I was able to become more flexible and more creative in how I found information because of that.

Q: What stands out in your mind as you think about graduating despite COVID?

While this wasn’t a year anyone was prepared for, I’m struck by our community’s resilience. Everyone seemed to do their best to make our online format work, and with vaccinations opening up for so many people, it feels like we’ve gotten through this together!

Q: Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life? 

I’ve had so many positive experiences with faculty, but I’d have to say these professors in particular:

  • Dr. Brian Schoen taught his courses in a way that made me re-think what I knew about United States history. I became much more interested in communities of color, which was something I often overlooked. As my thesis adviser, he gave me the space to connect what I learned in the classroom with our local community’s heritage, which made my coursework more meaningful. His encouragement helped me to gain more confidence in my research and professional goals, for which I am very grateful.
  • Dr. Neil Bernstein is my work study supervisor. He’s given me many opportunities to work on interesting projects and to develop new skills. Having professional mentorship was extremely helpful to me as a first-gen student, and I was very fortunate to find a mentor who has been very supportive while still challenging me to get out of my comfort zone.

Q: What was your ah-ha moment at OHIO—that point where you said to yourself, “I’ve got this!”?

It took me a while! Last spring, I was doing a directed study with Dr. Schoen, and because of COVID, I had to change directions on my project with a month left to go. We talked through my new project, and the paper that came out of that became my writing sample for graduate school applications. Working through that in a short time frame made me realize that maybe I knew more than I thought I did!

Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?

My favorite times were memories I made with my friends. Wandering around empty Athens in the summer, going to events together and getting dinner together afterwards, movie nights with my roommates.

Q: What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss?

Get out, try new things, and meet new people! There’s something at OU for everyone, and it’s worth taking the time to see what’s out there and making memories while you’re here.

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

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