Student Story

Melody Tuan '22: The Ifill Scholarship is a Chance to Carry on Gwen Ifill’s Legacy

Why did you choose to attend Simmons?

I chose to attend Simmons because the University’s emphasis on inclusivity in education resonated with me. I wanted an intimate learning environment, and Simmons encourages community involvement. At the beginning of my college search, I knew I wanted to attend a liberal arts college, and I wanted to attend a smaller school as it’d be easier to bond with students and work closely with faculty.

I’m an international student from Taiwan, but I was always poised to pursue higher education in the United States. I chose Boston because it’s a historically significant city bustling with students, though I’m still not quite used to New England weather and snowy springs.

What professors have helped you reach your goals?

I’m pleased to say I’ve felt connected with most professors I’ve taken a course with during my time at Simmons. They’ve been supportive of students' pursuits and pillars of wisdom in their teachings. Unfortunately, some of my favorite professors have retired, but I still remember their classes fondly.

I’m also grateful to Professor Lydia Fash for her guidance during this period of remote learning. I’d also like to thank Professor Wollman, Professor Kiely, and the Communications Department and English Department faculty. I appreciate you.

Simmons students are forces yet to be reckoned with...

What does the Ifill Scholarship mean to you?

The Ifill Scholarship is a chance to carry on Gwen Ifill’s legacy, which is an unimaginable honor I still can’t fathom. This last year has been difficult, and the Scholarship is an inspiration for me and an affirmation that the hard work I’ve put in over the years is worth it. Last semester, I often felt weighed down and feared I wasn’t putting my best foot forward, but the support from the Simmons community shows me that I am not alone and that we can overcome hardships and achieve excellence together.

How do you think students in the Gwen Ifill College will carry on her legacy and impact the world?

I’m always astonished by the work I see my colleagues doing. Quite frankly, the passion I see within students at Simmons can be intimidating at times. Simmons students are forces yet to be reckoned with, and once we’re released into the world, I can only imagine the differences we can make.

As you look to the future, how do you hope to connect your passion to a lifelong purpose?

I’m a humanities lover at the core, and I’m drawn to the arts, literature, and cultural studies. I believe meaningful learning is integrative, so I aspire to find a way to combine my passions to a larger purpose. My work focuses on identity and creative expression. I hope to create influential work that generates deeper discussions about the self while developing human empathy.

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