DeLisa Hawkes

DeLisa D. Hawkes is a PhD candidate in the English Department.  Her research centers on representations of intraracial discrimination based on skin color in nineteenth-century African American literature.  Taking an interdisciplinary approach that relies on archival and literary sources, DeLisa examines the works of authors who experimented with forms of racial passing and colorism to critique the liminal condition of African Americans as “second-class citizens.” 
 
Prior to working in the advising office, DeLisa taught African American Literature and Culture (ENGL 234), Black Diaspora Literature and Culture (CMLT 235), Literatures of the Americas (CMLT 277), and Academic Writing (ENGL 101). She also taught courses at two nearby community colleges and tutored high school students in writing, reading, and study skills.
 
DeLisa earned her MA in English from North Carolina Central University and her BA in History - Teacher Education and English from North Carolina State University.  She also earned a minor in Health, Medicine and Human Values.  During her undergraduate studies, DeLisa held leadership roles in several organizations including Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the University Scholars Program.  She was also a student intern for the Social Security Administration in Raleigh, NC.
 
Texts that affect me most profoundly:  W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, Richard Wright's Native Son, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Anne Moody's Coming of Age in Mississippi, Margaret Walker's Jubilee, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.
 
 #1 Piece of advice for students: Take responsibility for your own education by being proactive.  Be mindful of deadlines. Ask your professors, mentors, and advisors about scholarship and internship opportunities. Many times these people are members of professional organizations that provide opportunities to undergraduates. Don’t wait for someone to tell you to apply for things. 
 
What I wish I knew as an undergrad: Take advantage of study abroad and alternative break opportunities now! You'll wish you had traveled at these relatively lower prices as a part of an academic program in the future. Study abroad and alternative breaks will provide you with opportunities to expand your perspective on topics that you study in the classroom, to network, and to become familiar with international career and education opportunities after graduation.