Keren Scarlat, CLA Outstanding English Senior
Keren Scarlat, CLA's 2013 Outstanding English Senior
On June 15, 2013, the College of Liberal Arts held a banquet to honor the outstanding students of the college. Keren Scarlat received the Outstanding English Senior award and shared the following speech.
I want to start out by saying that coming to Cal Poly was the best decision I have ever made and I would like to thank the College of Liberal Arts for providing me with a home and creating a space for me to explore my interests and pursue my intellectual and creative passions.
More specifically, it is within the English Department that I have found my voice and my love of the written word. This department has irreversibly and irrevocably bettered me as both a scholar and a human being. Through the insightful words of my professors, especially the brilliant and eloquent Dr. Campbell, and the words of the authorial minds we have studied together, I have learned that there is no such thing as black or white. All binaries can be destabilized and all standards can be questioned. Therefore, I will interact with the world the way I interact with a text: critically and deeply, raising questions and constructing my own arguments and truths. My English education, above training me for a job or stuffing my head with literary quotes, has expanded my perspective and opened my mind to the possibility of infinite personal growth and opportunity to make an impact.
Additionally, my thanks would not be complete without mentioning my family. Ima, Aba, Sharon, and Lee-Or, your wisdom and support have been everything to me. You are my rocks and I am forever indebted to you for all of my happiness and success. Toda. And to Jenny Michelfelder, my lifelong best friend, thank you for being a constant inspiration and role model. I would not be me without you.
Thank you all for being here, I wish you all the same experience that I’ve had in the English Department: studying that which ignites your soul in the company of such caring and wonderful people. Being recognized for something that I love so deeply, this department and discipline, is an indescribable honor and I am so grateful. Thank you.