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Photo by Matt D’Annunzio

Erica Boulay ’11


Hometown: Wells, Maine

Who I was when I got to Reed: Idealistic, adventurous Plain Jane from Maine.

How Reed changed me: I am less intimidated by challenges and can transfer my creative energies in more meaningful ways. I had the opportunity to argue with extremely knowledgeable people. I’m grateful for my time abroad in Morocco, where I engaged with a wide spectrum of viewpoints. Most of all, Reed was a place of high expectations where I felt respected, trusted, and believed in.

Influential books:Caleb Williams by William Godwin and Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Favorite spot: The pool. Many of my best ideas have come to me underwater.

Random thoughts: Scholarships help to promote socioeconomic diversity at Reed. They help students attend Reed who might not be able to afford tuition. I’m grateful for the financial aid I received. As a phonathon caller, I feel especially thankful towards alumni who love Reed enough to help Reedies like me.

Cool stuff I did: Studied Arabic in Morocco and Spanish in Guatemala. Taught English in Kathmandu. Became a lifeguard. Wilderness First Responder. Worked at an immigration law office. Volunteered as a Hispanic Girl Scout leader. Ultimate Frisbee. Quest. Phonathon. Reedies for Reedies Scholarship Committee. Drove the night bus. Picting.

Obstacles overcome: I’ve learned how to seek out mentors and opportunities. Reed taught me how to digest criticism and move on. Working for a small nonprofit provided many opportunities to think creatively and make the most of limited resources.

Adviser: Gabriele Hayden

Thesis:Shaharazad’s Sisters: Performative Feminine Authorship at the U.S.-Mexican and E.U.-Moroccan Borders

What it’s about: The lasting effects of colonialism upon feminine identity at the U.S.-Mexican and E.U.-Moroccan borderlands as demonstrated in works of literature by female authors and/or protagonists. It compares a postcolonial novel to a borderland novel, and the unique conflicts over the right to authorship staged at the  geographical and theoretical frontiers between the global north and south.

What it’s really about: Liberation through literature!

What’s next: Camp counselor at a girls’ camp in Maine, and then to become an ESL educator and earn a degree in international education policy.