Interdisciplinary Studies Grads Take On Challenging Topics 

Faith Auon

Two Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS) graduates, Faith Auon and Duncan Anderson took on questions of equity in their final capstone theses. Both projects hold in common a willingness to question and identify perceived or received assumptions about the ways in which the social environment encourages us to perform our own individuality.

Their unique projects were both described as “brave” by INDS Chair Dr. Will McConnell, for remaining authentic to the fierceness of their own ideas.

Faith’s interdisciplinary practice brings together film and creative writing, as manifested in her final capstone project which is a short film that could double as a pilot for a serialized medium. In the pilot, she tackles questions of whiteness and grapples with how to talk about where diversity, equity, and inclusion movements are going socially. While all her inquiries don’t focus on whiteness specifically, she does explore how people who have that privilege struggle to talk about it, even among themselves.

Faith Auon on set

Her research also took her into cultural studies, African American studies, and emerging ideas of social justice. Dr. McConnell says this puts her thesis at the forefront of people willing enough to do that kind of work. Faith, he says, has “bravely developed a project that goes where many people fear to enter.” Dr. McConnell enjoyed working with Faith because of the “constant drive she has to challenge some of the most difficult assumptions about systemic articulations of that inequity.”

Majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, Faith says, has “given me a lot of confidence as I step into this new chapter of my life after university.” She plans to work in production for various projects, ranging from scripted to unscripted, with a long-term goal of writing and producing her own projects.

Duncan Anderson

Duncan Anderson is another highly successful INDS graduate. His final capstone project challenges the way creativity is perceived in academic styles of learning. Duncan’s project focuses on what he calls “creative disruption” as a systematic way of approaching the development and maintenance of his own creative drive. Duncan’s work studies the discovery and functioning of neurons for creativity and empathy.

The deliverable is a talk that mirrors the TED Talks format. This is surely a perfect format for Duncan, a skilled actor who told us in a previous interview that CoLA’s INDS program has enabled him to fully realize his creative potential.

“The flexibility of my INDS path is a huge plus,” he said, “because it allows me to explore a combination of particular interests. This opportunity was not available at any other college or even any other academic path.”

Congratulations to our INDS grads!


Last Updated on May 6, 2022. 

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