Q & A with Nyah Graham

nyah graham in front of a landscape paintingName: Nyah Graham
Major: History
Future Goals: Currently, post-graduation I am seeking admittance to law school. I’m interested most in constitutional law at the moment, and I hope to attend law school then begin as a practicing lawyer in the D.C. area, maybe one day becoming a judge. While I haven’t decided which law school is right for me, I do feel that VCU History has prepared me for seeking the right one by making the principles of a supportive community and engagement important to me.

The number one reason to consider majoring in History at VCU is the faculty and staff surrounding you. This department is so supportive! Everyone is looking out for you and there is always someone that you can count on.

Why did you decide to study history?

I decided to study History because I felt happiest whenever I was learning about it. Through school, I was always looking forward to my history classes that day and I always felt most engaged in those courses. In my view, History is like being told stories that you have to connect to how the world is today. It has always been a field I completely loved and found to be fascinating. Coming into university, I felt pressured to do something completely different. After a semester of doing it, I realized that I wasn’t engaged with what I was studying. I felt lost and dreaded each class. So, I chose to do what I had originally always wanted to study. I put my own interests first in pursuing what I loved to hear, see and write each day.

What was your favorite class that you took in your major? And why?

Out of the classes I have taken, my favorite class that I have taken would have to be Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650 with Dr. Leigh Ann Craig and History of Richmond Cemeteries with Dr. Ryan K. Smith. I can't decide between the two because they are the same in the regard that I signed up not knowing much about them and spent the whole semester fascinated by the subjects. They both made you think deeper about the social implications in the practices of people in the past and you get into how people could think the way they do. For me, that had never been focused on in a history course through High School. Each source to read was interesting and I look back on each moment of these courses fondly.

Who was your favorite professor in your major? And why?

My favorite History professor here at VCU would be Dr. Leigh Ann Craig. Coming to university, I was always really shy and scared that my own ideas wouldn’t be important. Through her class and working with her on the student organization, HistoryNow! I have felt seen. I have felt encouraged to not only share my own ideas but to take up action to make them a reality. I have felt that her encouragement has been really impactful on me and as challenging as things can be, in my experience, you should always have someone to look up to and foster the best within you!

Why should students consider history as a major?

The number one reason to consider majoring in History at VCU is the faculty and staff surrounding you. This department is so supportive! Everyone is looking out for you and there is always someone that you can count on. You form real connections that mean something and will support you, not only through university but after. The classes that I have taken have been new perspectives into subjects that I had once learned, but have been expanded upon in new lights that I never could have imagined. You learn about much more than history though; you learn about how to effectively examine the world around you and that is a skill that I have gained here at VCU.