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Friday, October 2, 2015

Reimagining the Classic H Sweater: Simone Abegunrin '18

I'm excited to share some more photos from my recent photoshoot with the super charismatic, fun, and edgy Simone Abegunrin, a member of the Class of 2018 at Harvard. I got to know her well through the shoot and through our interactions, and it's safe to say that this girl is intent on making an impact at Harvard and doing it in her own way. 

I had the absolute best time getting to know Simone, and watching her climb up buildings to help us get the best shot. She's someone with so much spirit, and a contagious smile, so our hour-long shoot was so, so fun. Oh, and having to trek all the way to the Harvard Quad (a grouping of upperclassmen residencies about a mile from main campus) wasn't even that bad!



So, who is Simone Abegunrin?

What activities are you a part of?
ABHW Social Chair, HCCG Associate, IOP PRE Steering Committee, Eleganza Photographer

One thing you wish you could do at Harvard: Be Dean Khurana for a day.
One tradition you could start at Harvard: Professor-Student Flip Day; for one day, the students are the professors and the professors are the students; the students can get together and teach whatever they want to their professors, complete with an agenda for the day and even powerpoint slides if they so choose, and the professors have to take notes and prepare for a graded quiz that will occur at the end of the class -- if the professors do well on the quiz, the grade will be taken into account on theier course's Q scores). 
Weirdest moment in the dining hall:
Saying hi to people but they don't see me ://
Why are you a campus ambassador?: I really wanted to add personality to the perception of Harvard. I think a lot of people have certain ideas that come to mind when they think of the "typical" Harvard student, and I want to challenge that misperception and show that there is more than just one kind of Harvard student.
What's your spirit animal? Rihanna (;
How many tourist photos have you photobombed?: Hundreds? Thousands? I honestly have no idea.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Loquacious. Loyal. Woke.
How you defy the Harvard stereotype: As an African-American woman, I am aware that my demographic is not the first image that pops into people's minds when they think of Harvard. When people see me on the plane or elsewhere in public wearing a Harvard hat, a Harvard shirt, a Harvard jacket, and a Harvard keychain on my backpack and not only still must ask me which college I attend but also react in a shocked, almost disbelieving fashion, I force them, at least for a fleeting moment, to redefine their notions of what kind of students attend Harvard and of the things that Black and African-American woman can achieve. I am unapologetic, I refuse to let people define me or put limits on what they think I can achieve, and I continue to do me. I'll wear riding boots one day, the next day I'll wear Timberlands, and the day after some high-heeled boots. I do what I want and what feels good, and there's no single way to define me.
Why you're wearing the H sweater: Having worked so hard to get to where I am today on this campus, I am proud to show the world (and myself!) the proverbial fruits of my labor; plus, it's stylish and soooo warm (clutch item during those unforgiving winter months #caligirl)
What does inclusivity mean to you: To me, inclusivity is the notion of arriving at a state where embracing those different from ourselves is no longer considered a chore but a blessing, where respecting others is no longer a task but a day-to-day lifestyle as easy and ubiquitous as breathing, where the term "safe space" is no longer defines a specifically designated and socially stigmatized place but is a phrase synonymous with "my hometown," "my college," "my country." Inclusivity is not about simply hearing others' experiences and nodding along or fulfilling some sort of personal quota to excuse oneself from truly addressing issues; rather, it consists of actually listening and thinking deeply and actively about implications and ways to incorporate the take-aways into one's own lifestyle.







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