Hailey Oppenlander | June 12, 2019
Shelene Baiyee’s time at Notre Dame has been characterized by connection – whether it’s with faculty, other students, or seemingly unrelated subject matters.
The rising senior Africana studies and biology major may be busy with clubs, service, research, and more, but never loses sight of what drives her forward — the connection between it all.
“When you have a liberal arts education, it forces you to interact with other fields outside of your necessary major, and it opens your eyes to other points of view,” she said.
Shelene SslpBaiyee carrying the youngest participant at the holding the youngest participant of the Claver House Summer Camp in St. Louis, where she was helping as part of the Center for Social Concerns' Summer Service Leadership Program.
Growing up in Indianapolis, science was the way in which Baiyee explored and understood the world. Baiyee is still fascinated by scientific knowledge, but she has also learned that science cannot serve as her only form of understanding.
“I knew that I could not just do STEM, because STEM alone doesn’t explain anything beyond biological processes, how organisms interact together,” she said.
Africana studies provided Baiyee with that other form of understanding.
“It’s really important, especially as a black female in America, to understand the history of race in America, and to acknowledge a lot of history that has been left out of history books,” she said. “Having two extremely different majors allows you to see the interconnectedness of certain topics and life in general, because what you can understand through science can be aided by history.”
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