Cinnamon Moore ’16 (African American studies and political science) made the most of her time at Coe by seizing a variety of existing opportunities and creating a new one of her own.
“I conducted my own research project and turned it into a documentary. It was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” she said.
Associate Professor of History Brie Swenson Arnold guided Cinnamon in her selection of opportunities.
“She sparked my interest in African American history that grew into a passion,” Cinnamon said.
Cinnamon met Brie in a sophomore history class. The professor later invited Cinnamon to join her summer research team to explore African American history in Cedar Rapids. The resulting project was published and featured at the National Public History Convention in Tennessee. During a May Term course, Cinnamon accompanied Brie “on a trip across the southern United States exploring sites of civil rights, Civil War and slavery commemoration,” visiting more than 10 states.
Referring to an internship at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Washington, D.C., Cinnamon said, “My research background and understanding of African American history and culture helped my application stand out among hundreds of other applicants, and the personalized recommendations from professors and [Coe President] Dr. [David] McInally showed how invested Coe’s faculty is in the achievements of their students.”
Cinnamon summarized her experience in the African American Studies Program: “[It] is truly unlike any other program because of its unique requirement that focuses on interdisciplinary study. I got to dabble in sociology, psychology, history and literature while investigating broader ideas of urbanism, gentrification, racism and so much more. It also provided me with freedom and control over my own education to do solo research and explore my own background.”
Cinnamon lives in Stafford, Virginia, where she works in the insurance industry. She related how skills gained at Coe prepared her for this position.
“The African American Studies Program helped me to be a well-rounded learner,” she said. “I was always challenged to not only read information, but to analyze, synthesize and relate content to broader ideas or within a historical context. Although, I do not apply my knowledge of African American studies at my job, I am able to use the skills I learned about interpreting information in a succinct and intelligent way every single time I open a file.”