Combining Global and Cultural Interests

Sata Diakite '21

HOMETOWN: New York City
MAJOR: Political Science
MINOR: French and Francophone Studies

Sata Diakite '21

With intimate classes, caring professors and faculty-led study programs across the globe, “Union seemed like the perfect institution to help me to grow,” said Sata Diakite ’21.

A self-described “creative, inquisitive and adventurous person,” Sata has been making discoveries in and out of the classroom since she first set foot on campus.

Here, she talks about stretching herself out through terms abroad, research and a range of extracurriculars.

How did you decide on your major?

I wanted a major that was structured but also ever changing, and that would eventually enable me to go into any job sector. I am really interested in the global world and comparing global trends. I wanted to learn who has power, who doesn’t and why, what systems were in place to sustain this, what movements changed the course of history.

What courses did you find particularly eye-opening?

I especially enjoyed Comparative Ethnic and Racial Politics, taught by Professor Robert Hislope, and my U.S. Seminar class on the Trump presidency with Professor Cliff Brown. I am excited for my senior thesis, which will be on China’s Neocolonialism in Africa.

Why did you choose a French minor?

I always thought language acquisition was important but never had the right time or environment to learn a new language. I took a few French classes and fell in love with them because of the terrific faculty. Junior year, I spent a term abroad in Rennes, France, with Professor Michelle Chilcoat. All of it was amazing – my charming host family, the French friends and lifelong connections I made, the solo walks I took, and classes in civilization and history, all in French. Of course, my French improved immensely.

You also did a domestic term, the San Francisco Internship on Innovation and Creativity.

I was part of the communications and engagement team at Global Fund for Women, an NGO that funds grassroots women’s organizations in developing countries. I helped with the rollout of their documentary series, “Fundamental.” I also did research pertaining to early child marriage and reproductive rights, and worked on graphic design projects. In addition, I learned about Silicon Valley in classes, talked to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists about the work sector in San Francisco, and went on many group excursions, including a tour of the Tesla facilities.

What campus activities are you involved in?

I’m a member of BSU, Black Student Union. It is important, now more than ever, to support Black people and Black issues, and for Black voices to be heard. I’m hopeful for the future at Union with President David Harris's leadership and proposed initiatives to address racial injustices in our communities. In addition, I am an artist and editor at the “Marginalized View,” a webzine centered around the marginalized voice, and I am involved with the art magazine, “The Muse.” I enjoy the LatinX dance club, where we learn dances from various regions in Latin America. And I love our radio station, WRUC 89.7. I am currently treasurer and have also worked as station manager. I get to DJ and share my love of music with other students, and our listening parties bring a variety of genres on campus.

How is Union preparing you for your future?

I have learned so much from faculty and taken advantage of so many networking opportunities. I have become more of a global citizen thanks to my study abroad. But I think it could’ve been the opposite if I weren’t actively seeking those things. Union is for those who really want to push themselves outside of a box, who allow for a community to educate them and uplift them when possible, and who want to let their voices be heard by participating in necessary discourse.

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