Meet this week’s Campus Profile, Ramata Diallo! Ramata is super invovled in a ton of great things happening on campus, so keep reading for an insider’s view on all that she does!
Class Year: 2017
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Major: Economics, Art History
Eclipse, Planning, Priorities, Budgeting Committee (PPBC), Senior Gift Committee, Umoja, Economics SAB, Connecticut College Alumni of Color Intern, Coffee Grounds Barista
Tell us about your summer internship!
I spent my summer interning with a non-profit in New York called “Minds Matter”. It’s an organization that helps high-achieving, low-income high school students get to and prepare for college. They incorporate mentoring, tutoring, community service, and enrichment experiences to their students. I spent my time helping out with programming and some development. I also got to meet and interact with the students. I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to give back to an organization that has supported me for the past seven years.
What was the most surprising thing you learned from your internship?
I learned that at some point in my career, I would love to work for a non-profit as a full time employee. The mental and spiritual benefit of working with purpose is empowering and rewarding. I also learned that I am valuable and bring a lot to the table. It’s easy for organizations and companies to treat their interns as only interns and nothing more. However, at Minds Matter I felt that I was apart of the team and my input was valuable. This was hands down one of the best summers I had filled with enlightening experiences.
Tell us about your semester abroad last year!
I think about Paris all the time; I truly miss it. I studied abroad in the spring of 2016 in Paris. It was such a carefree time, which I never get to experience here at Conn. I had such great classes, friends, food, and host family. My classes were so great that I decided to take an additional course about Paris that was also a great decision because I got to lean more about the city I was living in. I made some great friends that I still keep in contact with, especially one from a fellow NESCAC. I would go in detail about the food but that would only make you jealous and me hungry. I will just say that the weight gain was a happy weight gain J. Lastly, I stayed with a host family and they were hands down thebombdotcom. I sometimes find it hard to describe how great they were to me. Speaking of that, I should probably email them so they know I’m alive.
What was the most challenging part of being abroad? What about the most rewarding or exciting?
The most challenging part was the trains closing and missing my mom. I am from Brooklyn, where the trains are 24hrs but Paris was not about that life. So, I definitely racked up a hefty Uber bill on the weekends but it was worth it. On a serious side, I missed my mom so much. I would end up calling her at crazy hours and leaving her voicemails in broken French. She still plays them to this day and it’s so embarrassing.
The most rewarding was living carefree. Waking up everyday with the freedom to do things alone. I usually couldn’t use my phone so I would always just get lost in Paris. That feeling is something I have never gotten to experience. I highly recommend ditching your phone and getting lost in Paris.
We’ve heard you play an important role in the on-campus performance of Eclipse…tell us more!
So this year, I am the President of Eclipse! It’s a lot of pressure and stress but I know that the end result will be phenomenal and worth it. Our theme this year is Roots. We want to refocus the purpose and meaning of Eclipse, which over the years has gotten lost. My executive board and I have been working hard throughout the year and this show is going to be different from what students have seen and are use to. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that everyone should mark their calendars for April 29th.
As an art historian, who is your favorite artist you have studied?
During my sophomore year in my sophomore research seminar, I conducted a research project on the “Portrayal of Blackness in Art” focusing on invisibility and power. Through conducting my research my Professor highlighted a women by the name Renee Cox as a great artist to mention. Specifically, she uses her body (nude or clothed) to recreate famous paintings through photography. She focuses on challenging the white gaze, while celebrating black womanhood. I would have to say hands down she is one my favorite artists that I have studied.
What is the most exciting thing you have achieved with the Senior Gift Committee?
I’ve achieved so much knowledge about the meaning of giving back to Conn. We as senior camels have decided that something about Conn was worth it for four years. Be that friends, a professor, department, etc. We had our camel moment. I know that this institution is expensive, however that number is less than the real cost to attend Conn. The rest of that bill is covered by gifts that the college receives through their alums. Personally, that means that I, we, as seniors owe it to current camels and perspective camels to find that camel moment. You can always target your gift to a club, department, sports team, etc. No matter how big or small, your gift is valued. This is about participation and building philanthropy.
What has been your favorite memory created at Conn on Res Life?
Still having my previous first years say hi to me. It makes me feel like the ‘cool mom’. I think I have been blessed with having some great first years throughout my Res Life career and I even more blessed that I still have great relationships with them.
I am definitely a mixture between a squirrel and sour patch. I am a squirrel, because my attention span has diminished and I can lose focus in an instant. A sour patch because I can be sour but very sweet.
Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream J
Bad & Boujee and Bounce Back.
Go-to dance move:
Classic two step with some hip action and finger snapping.
When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good. When you play good, they pay good. When they pay good, you live good.
Favorite place on campus:
Coffee Grounds! I also make the best drinks and have the best music playing during my Monday shift from 4pm-8pm #shamelessplug.
Favorite class you have taken at Conn?
A tie between Imagining Otherness in Visual Culture and Economics of Discrimination
Most embarrassing Camel moment?
I literally cannot keep track of how many times I embarrass myself. Most recently, I have started wearing glasses. However, without I mistake people for someone I know and enthusiastically say hi only to find out that I’ve never met the person.
The dreaded question: any post-grad plans or ideas?
My plans are under construction. Right now I am playing around with human resources. But I know that at some point I want to work at a non-profit. I want to take my time because I don’t want to and up at a place that I hate but I decided to work there because it was a job. I want to have a purpose and be intentional in my decisions.