Amanda Dominique is a first-year MA student pursuing the Nonprofit Management Concentration. She received her Bachelors in Religious Studies and International Studies at Ohio State University and my Masters of Education at the University of West Alabama. In this interview, we chat with Amanda about her first semester in the program, her research interests, and her plans for the future.
Why did you choose to pursue an MA in religious studies?
I am pursuing the MA in Religious Studies with the goal of teaching religious studies to secondary students. I love getting to hear the opinions of young people and being a mentor. I am also passionate about promoting social justice, equity, and inclusivity through education. Having a deeper understanding of the religious studies field will help me engage my future students in cross-cultural education and open-minded thinking.
What’s something surprising or interesting you’ve learned this semester?
Something surprising I learned this semester is that there are different types of ghosts! You might experience a spirit, a haunting, or even a poltergeist - and they all have different attributes!
What courses are you enjoying the most, or what topics in your classes have you found the most engaging?
I am really enjoying reading different contemporary theorists in Pro-Seminar on Theory and Method. Dr. Moultrie put in the effort to show us diverse thinkers who engage critically with social justice issues and religion. In particular, I've found the work of Gloria Anzaldúa and Judith Butler very interesting and useful for my future research plans.
What research projects are you working on this semester?- presentations, publications, thesis, etc.
This semester I am working on several research projects. I have a paper comparing surrender by Muslim women in the work of Saba Mahmood with surrender in Al-Anon. I am currently developing a paper on Sufi Islam soul beliefs and a grant proposal for creating a secondary school curriculum on religious studies. I also participated in a panel discussion unpacking Native American perspectives on Thanksgiving and Columbus Day put on by the Multicultural Center at Georgia State.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I would like to return to teaching - either teaching religious studies or some form of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
What are some of your interests and hobbies outside of religious studies? Any other fun stuff you’d like to share?
Outside of class, I spend a lot of time traveling and hiking. I'm currently planning a trip to Scotland to explore the Highlands!