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Fatoumata Waggeh

BA '13 - African Political Development, Colonial History, and Law

Bronx native Fatoumata pursued a concentration in African Political Development and Colonial History and Law to explore Africa’s roots in colonialism and neocolonialism and to examine how the law can be used to provide justice to historically marginalized communities. Courses she took with Professor Rosalind Fredericks and Professor Marie Cruz Soto shaped her concentration. She says that she realized her interest in postcolonial theory after taking Professor Soto’s course Feminism, Empire and Post-colonality and the US Empire and the Americas. Professor Fredericks, she says, “truly gave me a new perspective about African underdevelopment and colonial history.”

A Gallatin Americas Scholar, Fatoumata was also the recipient of the Gallatin Dean’s Award for Summer Research, which allowed her to travel to West African and explore the works of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. She received funding from the Gallatin Student Resource Fund, and for NYU: Reaching Out, a program which pairs NYU undergraduate women with NYC high school girls for mentorship. “We see our college educations as part of a continuum—not just for ourselves, but to empower our communities,” says Fatoumata, whose family is from Gambia and who was born and raised in the Bronx. “All of these programs illustrate how Gallatin is a school committed to learning outside of the classroom and the holistic development of its students,” she says.