By: Essence Buckman, senior writer
“I felt like it was beautiful thing to see an African-American woman, standing [before the Wofford community] intellectually strong,” Leah Craft, ’19 says. “Seeing a woman that looks like me being able to do many amazing things broadens my perspective and helps me see things differently because I want to do things along the lines of what Regina does.”
Regina Fuller, ’11 visited Wofford college for three days to mingle with current students, alumni, faculty, staff and other members of the Wofford and Spartanburg communities. Her visit was also a part of the Inclusive Pedagogy series co-sponsored by the Center for Innovation and Learning and the Diversity and Inclusion committee.
While Fuller attended Wofford, she was involved with the Association of Multicultural Students (AMS), was a part of re-chartering Wofford Women of Color on campus, and traveled as a Wofford Presidential International Scholar investigating identity in the African Diaspora. Fuller graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Intercultural Studies and earned her master’s in African Studies from the University of Ghana Legon. She is currently completing her doctorate in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.
Tim Lindsey, class of 2018, worked with Fuller to plan an informal dinner with students of color on campus in AMS house on the night prior to Fuller’s presentation in Leonard Auditorium for the general public. Lindsey says, “I was at the dinner with Ms. Fuller, and just to hear her talk about her experiences abroad as a Black person and how it’s good to go back and experience a part of where you’re from, I think was a big take away. That’s something I want to do in the future, and hearing her encouraging [Black students] to do the same was inspiring for me.”
Students were able to sit and converse with one another and could ask Fuller questions about her experiences in an informal setting. According to Fuller, she wanted to create a safe space for the perspectives of current students of color on campus to be heard, and desired feedback on how she could help their experience as an Alumna.
At her presentation in Leonard auditorium, Fuller gave a talk on “International Education” and how that relates to being human. She spoke on how traveling internationally and having exchanges with different people can have one reflect on their own humanity.
She discussed experiences she had in five countries where she has visited and studied: Nicaragua, Brazil, Ghana, Rwanda, and Israel. She connected each country with a concept dealing with her international education and experience, as well as humanity.
When visiting Nicaragua, for example, Fuller explains how she spent days alone in her hotel room, trying to figure out how to get in touch with the community. As she was riding in a taxi cab she recalls asking her taxi driver how she could get to a certain community she was searching for: “He said that I could get on the boat with his cousin and travel into the community.” From that, she lived in a house with four people in fishing village of 400. What Fuller learned from that was that a part of being human means that “sometimes you’re going to be alone. But know that you can reach out and that there are people in the world who will invite you into their home and not even know you.”
After Fuller’s presentation, members of the audience were able to ask a variety of questions regarding her influence on students of color that travel abroad, how she would apply her international experiences domestically and questions about her future endeavors. Fuller hopes to have her doctorate degree in the next three to four years and plans to return to Ghana next year to continue her education and focus on sexual education.
Fuller encourages students to apply and continue to apply for as many things as possible in the field that they are interested in, and to not get discouraged when they do not get everything they applied for.
The afternoon following her International education talk, Fuller presented a workshop on inclusive pedagogy for all faculty/staff members that were interested.