Growing up in the small town of Clayton, North Carolina, Dana Broadus already dreamed of exploring distant lands and writing the stories of the people she met there. But she had no idea how her world would expand once she became a Spartan.
A writer imagines her future
By the time Broadus was considering college, she had already published a book. An avid reader from a young age, Broadus is the author of the young adult fantasy fiction book, “Imagine”while he was still in high school.
“It’s about a girl who goes to another world and has to save the planet and everything in her kingdom,” she says. “It’s hard to believe that I was only seventeen years old and did all the research and work necessary to self-publish my own book. I’m still proud of it.
The main character of “Imagine”’s determination to make a difference in her kingdom reflected the young author’s dreams as she began to consider going to college. During a visit to UNC Greensboro, she was struck by the diversity of the campus and the opportunities offered by Lloyd International Specialist College.
“I wanted to to study abroad for as long as I can remember,” says Broadus. “Then I learned the classes were smaller and a little more challenging. I love a challenge anywhere! Add to that living with like-minded students who are passionate about their studies, and I was sold.
Explore a Broadus world
As the younger daughter of a minister in Clayton, North Carolina, campus life initially brought culture shock to Broadus, but she found her calling at UNC Greensboro.
“I didn’t exactly understand how to interact with people from different backgrounds, but connecting with others at club events and volunteering on campus was monumental for me. Now I run The Undergraduate Creative Writing Cluba UNCG organization that I founded, in hopes that I could reach others in the same way.
Broadus thrived in the interdisciplinary educational environment of the Honors College and credits professors for helping her forge a field of study that not only aligned with her passions, but also defined a career path.
“I knew I wanted to be a English and study literature, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with this degree. Broadus explains. “I also knew that I wanted to minor in Spanish. I was inspired by volunteering at a refugee center in my hometown, but I didn’t know how to incorporate writing into it. From the beginning, I was able to work with professors who helped me decide how to get where I wanted to go.
Broadus took classes that allowed him to explore the connections between his favorite subjects. A first year classical studies The class compared Greek mythologies to modern cinema and piqued their curiosity about UNCG films. anthropology minor. A course in comparative literature introduced him to linguistics. Then a summer abroad program in Cadiz, Spain completely turned his world upside down.
“I was the only one in my family with a passport and it was my first time on a plane,” Broadus recalls. “I was scared, so a faculty-led project
, the group trip was ideal for me. When I got there, I immediately realized how big the world was.
“I visited places like Granada and Seville,” Broadus continues. “I saw cross-cultural resources coming in and out of cities and heard people speaking in different languages sharing their perspectives. It deepened my interest in anthropology and made me realize that I could use my writing to tell diverse stories.
Interdisciplinary education at work
Broadus returned from Spain with a better focus for her studies and for the practical skills she wanted to hone before graduation.
Like a McNair Scholar, she embarked on undergraduate research. The prestigious federal program encourages undergraduate research opportunities for low-income or underrepresented students who plan to pursue a doctoral degree. Broadus worked with Dr Amy Vines on a research project and attended academic conferences with a view to presenting his own research results in the summer of 2023.
Broadus’ research compares American folk tales, such as Br’er Rabbit, to medieval Spanish literature with influences from Arabic and North African cultures. Although English is not a common field of study at McNair Scholar, Vines says Broadus has used this opportunity to undertake research that supports his interests in diverse cultures and linguistics.
“She was invested in presenting the humanities as a viable career path,” Vines says. “Her project represents her passion for studying the connections between globality, history and narrative, and examines how these elements come together to influence cultures today. She is very committed and, at each stage of her academic journey, she is determined to create more options for herself.
Broadus’ drive also showed in his part-time job on campus. In addition to classes and research work, she devotes twenty hours a week to Academic communication (UC).
“I am so grateful that Career and professional development pointed me toward the UC position to develop my writing skills,” Broadus says. “I loved my interdisciplinary studies, but I always wondered how I would use them to contribute to society. As a UC writer, I interview students on campus and work to understand their perspectives so I can help them tell their stories.
To date, Broadus has written more than 50 articles for UNCG News during his two-year term. This semester, she wrote a series for celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in English and Spanish. She enjoys the real-world application of her studies and the people skills she developed at UC: “I went from a shy student to a professional capable of writing a compelling story that grabs readers’ attention. ”
Courageous steps forward
As Dana Broadus reflects on graduation, she can’t help but admire the journey that took her from the fantasy screenplay “Imagine” she created in high school to the writer and scholar who s He is heading towards a higher school of linguistic anthropology.
“When I was a teenager, I suffered from anxiety. When I found myself stuck in situations, my parents would encourage me to do it with fear. They gave me the support I needed to channel my stubbornness and my power. I’ve used this family slogan when I was afraid to travel, when I was intimidated about presenting my work or conducting interviews, and in any other situation that prevented me from trying something new.
This guidance, along with an exploratory educational journey where she took full advantage of faculty support, paved the way for Broadus at UNCG. Her advice to other students is to enjoy the ride, no matter where it takes you.
“With each course, I get a little closer to what I want to do. From classics to Spanish, cultures, anthropology and linguistics, each step brought me closer, even if it felt like I was taking two steps back,” she says. “My time at UNCG has expanded my world in ways I could never have imagined. »
Story by Becky Deakins, University Communications.
Photography by Sean Norona, University Communications.
Go beyond reading and writing.
Help us celebrate our graduates on social media!
Tag posts #UNCGGrad and #UNCGWay. Tagged messages will be displayed live on the Greensboro Coliseum screen prior to the ceremonies.
Mention @UNCG in celebration posts on Instagram and X and @uncgreensboro on TikTok.
Visit UNCG digital gift page to for graduation themed graphics, filters and templates.