Sophia Ancira | Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Art History

Other Awards: William Garnet Anderson Endowed Scholarship, Galbraith Endowed Art Scholarship

Hometown: Huntsville, AL

Favorite Experience: I am fortunate to have experienced many amazing opportunities at the Capstone, not in the least having received incredible mentorship and support from each of my professors in the Art History department. Overall, my time as a College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador has been one of the most rewarding experiences. There were so many events where I was able to give back to the professors who have helped me so much, like the Woods Quad BBQ and Arty Party, and connect with prospective students and alumni on a personal level. A&S Ambassadors has been such a supportive group, and it always felt really special to be surrounded by students who are so passionate about the College. I had the chance to lead a Community Engagement Pod this Fall, organizing a service day at the Kentuck Arts Festival for four other Ambassadors. We volunteered in different tents helping the Kentuck staff prepare for the festival and sell artist merchandise; afterwards, my group ate lunch and walked around the festival together. It was incredible to give back to Tuscaloosa with my group and see so many familiar faculty and staff at the festival as well. Dr. Young and Kevin Reid were wonderful advisors, and I am so appreciative to have been an Ambassador!

Favorite Class: As difficult as it is to choose, my favorite class was a seminar I took for my minor in the Blount Scholars Program, BUI 301 Recipe for an Autobiography: The Fundamentals of Food Writing. Matthew Minicucci taught this course and was one of the most engaged professors I have had at the Capstone. He genuinely invested in everyone’s success, in the class and beyond, and provided feedback that completely transformed the way I approach writing. Our discussions on food writing explored fundamental aspects of the human experience and showed me how an essay about eggs can be a valuable piece on cultural traditions, feminism, and personal identity. The three papers I wrote for this class—on Greek yogurt and first heartbreak, the prairie dogs in Oklahoma, and food deserts in the Alabama Black Belt—are some of the papers I am most proud of, and if I was given the chance to take this class again (and again and again) I would.

Future Plans: I will be attending graduate school for Museum Studies at either New York University or Georgetown University.