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Central MA College Standout: Clark University’s Maya Singh

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

 

Clark senior Maya Singh has two passions that make an unlikely—yet successful—pair: social justice and theatre.

Maya Singh, a 21-year-old senior from Sterling, MA., is pursuing a double major at Clark University in History and Theatre Arts. Her specialty area, within her history studies, is oppression and marginalization. Singh was a Clark MAD (Making a Difference) Scholar during the summer of 2013 for her extraordinary commitment to social change as well as her dedication to using her talents and energy to make a difference in the community. 

A Conversation with Maya Singh 

SW: Describe the career and/or future you envision for yourself.

MS: I have two great loves in life. One is social justice issues and the second is theatre. Throughout high school and college I’ve tried to explore my interests in both simultaneously and I’ve realized that the two complement each other very well! I love how theatre can be used to inspire social change, and even more, I love how the skills that I’ve learned through theatre can be used in my work outside of productions. The career I envision for myself is one where I can use the tools I’ve garnered through theatre (public speaking, collaboration, and attention to detail) in a non-profit setting. Also I’d love to be in a city where I can access and be involved in awesome theatre!

SW: What made you choose your school?

MS: I was looking for a small liberal-arts college in New England, of which there are many. But Clark just felt different in that the students I met were very friendly and socially engaged. That’s something that’s really special about Clark, so many of the people I meet here are doing such amazing things outside of the campus. I’ve really grown to love Clark and especially the city of Worcester.

SW: What was your most memorable course?

MS: I took an amazing Holocaust and Genocide Studies class last semester called Seminar on Mass Atrocities. This was an absolutely fantastic class where we learned—among other things—how to transition from theory into practical application. In one of our seminars we discussed memorials and the various issues behind representing victims of mass atrocities. Our professor (who actually got her PhD from Clark!) asked us to think of the mass atrocities we had studied in class and to describe what a good memorial might look like. This was such a striking moment for me because we had read so much about memorials and had critiqued them. We had theoretical background, and she was asking us to apply that theory to real cases. The act of applying theory is where, I think, the real work of social change is rooted. It was a great class!

SW: You have been able to turn your interests into leadership opportunities. Can you explain?

MS: I’ve taken on some really fulfilling leadership positions in theatre. For the past couple of shows I’ve been involved in, I’ve been elected Actor Deputy. The Actor Deputy is a liaison between the actors and the Director, Stage Manager, and Music Director. My job was to be there for actors who had questions or concerns that they wanted relayed to the decision-makers and to facilitate conversations between the two groups. I really enjoyed doing that because ultimately we’re all there to put on a good show for the audience and it’s nice to have a hand in making communication smoother so that we can all achieve this goal.

SW: You have become involved in Girls Inc. What have you been doing there?

MS: I’ve done a few different things outside of campus but I’ve really found my niche at Girls Inc., Worcester. This past summer I interned in the office with their Director of Fund Development and it was such an incredible learning opportunity for me! I just learned so much about grant writing and development and have grown to be very passionate about the amazing programs that Girls Inc. offers.

SW: What’s your favorite place to go to on campus?

MS: Atwood Hall. This is where most of the musical theatre productions take place and it’s a really cool, old building on campus. I’ve spent a lot of time here and have some really great memories of Atwood. Also, apparently the building is haunted!

SW: What is your favorite way to spend time off campus?

MS: I love to visit thrift/vintage stores in Worcester! One of my favorite places in the world is Crompton Collective. I love to go there to hunt for antiques and vintage clothing. Also there’s a super cool vintage store that I recently got embroidered gloves at called Trunk and Disorderly and there’s an awesome one called Grime that sells great shoes! My friends and I will go out on a Saturday and make a day of thrift shopping!

SW: What is your favorite book or movie?

MS: I love the movie Bridesmaids! It’s just hilarious and has an amazing cast of really talented women.

SW: What or who has had the greatest influence on you to date? Why?

MS: My 8th grade English teacher. Eighth grade is hard because you’re really transitioning between adolescence and adulthood. I was lucky to have her as such a fantastic influence on my life. She inspired my love of academics and theatre. I remember that we read Romeo and Juliet that year and as part of our comprehension exercises, she split the class into groups and asked us to perform the prologue to the play. Getting up in front of my entire class was one of the most terrifying moments of my life, but once I did it, I was hooked on theatre! I am indebted to her for everything she has done for me.

SW: What would someone be surprised to learn about you?

MS: In 10th grade my dad got me a microscope and I still use it! There’s something about concentrating on one tiny area and seeing the world from a different perspective that I find very meditative.

SW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

MS: I could be anywhere! I can see myself pursuing a doctoral degree in something that really interests me. I want to take some time off between undergraduate and graduate studies to work and travel so that I can really hone in on my interests. I can also see myself pursuing a MFA or working at a non-profit organization. I’m excited for what’s next!

 

Central MA College Standout is a weekly feature that profiles college and university students in Central MA. Join us every Tuesday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of today’s local college student. If you have suggestions for a profile, please [email protected].

Susan Wagner is the president of Susan Wagner PR. In this challenging economy, she has begun a new division to offer affordable start-up packages to new and emerging small businesses and non-profit organizations that include professional writing services, websites, collateral, marketing, social media, grassroots outreach and PR campaigns.

 

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