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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Female students celebrate female faculty, grateful for their mentorship

Kierra Mykel, a recent alumna, reflected on what her life was like prior to meeting the faculty she calls the “Destiny Child of Baldwin Wallace”: Courtney Robinson, Randi Congleton and Timeka Rashid.
Kierra+Mykel+%28left%29+stands+next+to+Courtney+Robinson+%28right%29+at+the+Black+Cultural+Center.
Konner Hines
Kierra Mykel (left) stands next to Courtney Robinson (right) at the Black Cultural Center.

Whether you see them in the halls, dining areas, or classroom, female-identifying faculty impact campus every day. From Claudia Nauth’s welcoming smile at Colony Café, to Laura Berg’s commanding direction in the conservatory, the student body could not see BW campus the same without them.

“I would say the biggest thing overall is that they made me feel seen and also believed in like my potential, and that was really refreshing,” said Maya Norman, junior theatre acting and directing major. “It makes your dreams and the things that you want to be successful feel a lot more attainable because you’re able to gain so much wisdom, so much knowledge and physically see that be enacted by learning and understanding things through the eyes of other women who are now in these positions.”

Norman personally sought out Keira McDonald, an associate professor of the theatre and dance department, for one of the professors she admires deeply. Despite Norman not having an accredited course with McDonald, Norman recalls getting to work with McDonald in a production of “The Burial at Thebes” last spring.

“Whenever I need somebody within the department to kind of like be honest with me…talk through something, or when I’m trying to look for some outlet that’s a little bit outside of narrative that I’m thinking through, she’s always able to like to give me suggestions and guidance,” Norman said.

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Norman took her inspiration from McDonald, along with faculty members Tracy Grady, Jacqueline Jordan, Rene Copeland, and Tasha Benson, to make her directorial debut at BW in the production of “Skeleton Crew” by Domonic Moore in the upcoming February of next year.

Graduating Media Production student Kierra Mykel reflected on what her life was like before meeting the faculty she calls the “Destiny Child of Baldwin Wallace”: Courtney Robinson, Randi Congleton, and Timeka Rashid.

“I did not have any insight whatsoever,” Mykel said. “The lessons that I learned from them started to affect the way that I carried myself or the way that I go about things and how I make my career moves as well as internal moves in my life, and I think it’s definitely molded me into the woman and the career individual that I am talking to you today.”

First-year Early Childhood Education Major, Taylor Woods, also chose to acknowledge Robinson and Congleton. “I was struggling to open up,” Woods said. “To have a black female in a PWI… It gives you like your sense of somebody who knows you what you’re going through because females must work harder for anything.”

Mykel also wanted show great gratitude toward Ruvimbo “Ru” Mareya, who is pursuing her Master’s in Education and Leadership and Higher Education, while also being a longtime mentor to Mykel.

“I’m always going to shout out my girl Ru Ru,” Mykel said. “She has been there for me since I came in as a first year here at BW and she’s seen me grow…She’s helped me become I would say like the best version of myself which is now just really you know, into what I do you know what I love and what I’m passionate about she’s just been supportive the whole way.”

In an interview with The Exponent, Robinson shared some wise wisdom to what keeps her motivated to make an impact on campus to both female and male students.

“It’s such a strange and impactful time in your life like you from the moment you hit these steps on campus to the moment that you leave, you’re always going to be a different person is going to change you forever and it’s a time of exploration,” Robinson said. “And I think like if you can catch a young person during that time and really pour into them and help them navigate that you’ll have an adult that’s going to go out and change the world.”

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