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Catching up with Sidra Jefferies
“I think getting a minor in black studies can only help a person and boost their resume, particularly if he/she would like to go into any field that deals with policy issues”
Sidra Jefferies graduated from Washington College in 2007 with a major in History and a double minor in Black Studies and Political Science. She discovered the Black Studies minor in her senior year, and she loved it so much she was able to fulfill all of the requirements and still graduate on time. “It was an extremely new minor when I took it so unfortunately I didn’t get to take advantage of all that it offered. However, I am very happy that the minor has continued to grow as the years have gone by.”
During her time at WC, Jefferies loved the discussions she would have in her small, upper level courses. Her favorite professors were history professor Dr. Carol Wilson and English professor Dr. Alisha Knight. “I was a history major so of course I loved the historical black studies classes I took with Dr. Wilson (and the way she taught them made them even more interesting). I was most surprised with how much I enjoyed the African American literature class I took with Dr. Knight. It was the only literature class I took at WC and the discussions and way it was taught made it very enjoyable.”
After graduating, Jeffries went into computer programming. For a few years she worked for contractors for the office of Head Start. Currently she is with a contractor for the United States Agency for International development. Jefferies has found the minor to be extremely beneficial for her career. “The black studies minor has helped me professionally in that both organizations I’ve worked for have been focused on helping minority communities, both at home and abroad. ” She notes that being able to discuss the cultural and historical influence that black people have had in society is an asset. On a lighter note, “Plus it can be useful at cocktail parties if you are the only one who has true historical knowledge about films like Selma or Twelve Years a Slave (and can even brag that one of your professors was consulted for 12 Years a Slave!).”
—Zoë Schneider ’15