Fatoumata Waggeh is a Gallatin senior from the Bronx whose concentration is African Political Development and Colonial History and Law. She is exploring how underdevelopment in Africa is rooted in historical processes and broad structures such as colonialism and neocolonialism and examining how the law can be used to provide justice to historically marginalized communities. Waggeh says she chose Gallatin because “it was where I envisioned myself growing into a young woman of intellect.”
Courses taught by Professor Rosalind Fredericks and Professor Marie Cruz Soto “have truly shaped my concentration," she says, adding," I realized my interest in postcolonial theory after sophomore year when I took Professor Soto's Feminism, Empire and Postcolonality and The US Empire and the Americas." And Professor Fredericks, she adds, “has truly given me a new perspective about African underdevelopment and colonial history.”
A Gallatin Americas Scholar, Waggeh 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 Student Resource Fund at Gallatin, which grants awards of up to $4,000 for programs designed to foster community among students. Waggeh received the funding for NYU: Reaching Out, a program in which female NYU studenst mentor female high school students from the inner city. “We see our college educations as part of a continuum—not just for ourselves, but to empower our communities,” said Waggeh, 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.