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Student Spotlight - Evelyn Nkooyooyo


Evelyn Nkooyooyo

Grinnell College, French and political science

GSEF Fellow, Cohort 1
Research Placement: University of Wisconsin-Madison

In her free time, Evelyn is most likely organizing her room, making a to-do list, watching a Netflix documentary, or doing all three!


Evelyn attends Grinnell College and studies French and Political Science. Evelyn was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio the home of "Graet" ice cream and Skyline Chili! In her free time, Evelyn is most likely organizing her room, making a to-do list, watching a Netflix documentary, or doing all three!

Grinnell graduation

Graduation day at Grinnell College!

What kind of research are you working on this summer? Who are you working with?

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the mentorship of Dr. François Tochon in Curriculum & Instruction (CI) and Dr. Weijia Li in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA), I am studying the sociopolitical factors affecting national language policy development in Angola.

What have you learned so far?

With research as my main responsibility this summer, I realized that what matters most to my future success in graduate school is a supportive and active environment. With supportive faculty mentors, fellow classmates, friends, and family members close by, I will have many people with whom I can share my accomplishments, questions, frustrations, and ideas. And studying in an environment where I can step away from my research and be able to taste, participate in, or see something new every day or practice a familiar hobby such as hot yoga or ballet, will help me to keep a clear and open mind. Completing my master's degree in a city with these characteristics will not only help me to remain grounded and true to myself, but will also challenge me to step outside of my comfort zone and mature into the adult I wish to be.

What do you want your faculty mentor and/or university to remember about you?

It is my hope that Dr. Tochon and Dr. Li remember my passion for languages. It was truly an honor to work with two people who find language intriguing and who through their work give language meaning and purpose in a variety of contexts. And to Mary Duenas and Aaron Bird Bear, I still dislike bugs, but came to like Madison! I cannot thank you both enough for a truly enriching experience in Madison this summer, until next time!

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