Margaret Glenn Sales Semmes, who studied music at Northwestern in the 1940s, was one of 856 women who served in the Women’s Army Corps’ 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, also known as the Six Triple Eight, the only American Army unit comprising all women of color during World War II. They faced a mammoth task: sorting through a multiyear backlog of mail that had yet to be delivered to American soldiers, government personnel and Red Cross workers serving abroad.
Cody Keenan ’02 spent eight years as a White House speechwriter for President Barack Obama ’06 H. Now a visiting professor at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Keenan talked with Northwestern Magazine about his start in politics, what he learned from the former president and what gives him hope.
Isabella Twocrow interned for 10 weeks with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, working alongside some of the most important decision-makers when it comes to Native American life, including Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “They’re the people protecting tribal sovereignty through policymaking,” says Twocrow, who is Oglala Lakota and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and co-chair of Northwestern’s Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance.
Classroom trips brought Northwestern students around the globe to conduct research on the history of midwivery in England, investigate reports of a power plant sickening residents in Panama, study how Israel is becoming a worldwide leader in water management, and more.
For her first feature-length film, ‘Being BeBe,’ documentary filmmaker Emily Branham ’02 spent 15 years chronicling the unconventional story of drag performer Marshall Ngwa, aka BeBe Zahara Benet, an immigrant from Cameroon and the first winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
ESPN legends Mike Greenberg and Michael Wilbon are part of a loud and proud network of Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications alumni in sports journalism. We talked with several prominent and up-and-coming sports media stars about how serendipitous timing put them in the right place to do groundbreaking reporting — and how sports reporting helps us understand broader societal issues.
Engineering student Charlotte Oxnam started Cue the Curves as a fashion blog to improve the shopping experience and create a supportive environment for plus-size people. Her mission resonated with many — and got a boost in March 2022, when Oxnam appeared in an international ad campaign for Microsoft Windows 11.
Mesmin Destin’s psychosocial experiments have shown that social forces such as peers, parents, teachers and financial resources shape the academic experiences and life paths of young people. “The right message at the right time can change how someone feels about themself and transform the type of education and life that they might envision and pursue,” he says.
A classical singer and writer, Solomon-Glover ’79 spent the past five years writing and workshopping the libretto for a one-act opera about the life of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977). "This Little Light of Mine" will premiere at the Santa Fe Opera on October 28, 2022, for three nights only.
A self-taught filmmaker, Angelo Madsen Minax ’12 MFA says he “sort of tripped into filmmaking through activism.” Six years after earning his bachelor’s in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Minax was keeping busy — editing videos full-time for Beyondmedia Education, a social justice organization that provides media tools to underserved youth; working odd jobs at coffee shops; and playing in a couple of bands. While on tour with a bluegrass band, “we made a feature documentary about 21 transgender musicians in the U.S.