Sheila Martin

Sheila Martin

Sheila Martin

What is your involvement on campus?
I am involved with Arise Campus Ministry.  I play percussion for the organization’s band.  I also lead a pub theology group in the Rathskeller on campus.   It’s an interfaith discussion group that meets twice a month.  I am also a member of the Black Student Association.  I am working with the African & African American Studies program to develop the first Undergraduate Journal of Black Literature and Letters.  I also hold an on-campus work-study position in the Paul Robeson Resource Room.

What has been your favorite class at Mason?
Dr. John Foster’s English 366: The Idea of a World Literature class.  I took the class during my first semester at Mason.  It challenged me to reconsider my preconceptions about literature.  Through taking the class I discovered that literature is not static, but instead a vehicle that allows cultures and people to interact.

Who is your favorite instructor?
It would be a tie between Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott and Dr. John Foster.  Both instructors have challenged me to dig deeper to be the best scholar possible.  They provide me with the motivation to continually worker harder every day.  

What is the most exciting aspect of this current year?
Of course I am excited to earn my degree and graduate.  I decided to enroll in an extra semester here at Mason to get more involved in undergraduate research.  I will write my thesis for the English Honors Program.  I will be working on an independent study with Dr. Foster on African literature.  I will also work with Dr. Stephen Robertson from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media on a digital history project focusing on soldiers at historic Blenheim. Finally, I will continue my yearlong research project with Dr. Manuel-Scott where I have explored the Black Church’s role in suppression of human sexuality within the African American community.   

Tell me about your experience in the English department’s Honors Program.
The English Honors Program is a tight-knit community that supports research and scholarly endeavors.  It provides me with a foundation of support to pursue my own individual academic pursuits. 

What would you do with an hour of free time away from classes?
I would play ping-pong.  Last year I was on the Mason Table Tennis Club.  We met and practiced in the Corner Pocket on campus.  I am unable to participate or play this year because I am so busy with other responsibilities. 

What is your favorite movie? 
The first movie that comes to mind is Forrest Gump.  It is amazing to see how the writers and directors incorporated many important historical events into the plot.  Forrest Gump is a ping-pong player, so I am basically following in his footsteps.