Autumn Quesnell is third year student at Knox College (Galesburg, IL), majoring in Integrated International Studies, with minors in Anthropology and Political Science. She is a student leader who seeks to understand the sources of connection and conflict in distant lands, and how migration affects a population's economic, social, political bonds. Autumn has built an educational agenda focused on exploring these intersections, particularly of gender and nationality. She has conducted independent research in Morocco on gendered social and economic disparities and migration. Even in high school, she immersed herself in local history through the Minnesota History Center. For her, retelling the stories of migration offers an opportunity for healing. On campus, her passion for learning, for understanding the world and connecting to others is inspiring. At Knox College, Autumn seeks to connect with and capture the stories of recent immigrants who now contribute to the history of West Central Illinois. Autumn's perspective and passion for those whose lives are in flux allows her to create connections across national and cultural borders.
Civic engagement has been at the core of my academic and personal pursuits since early adolescence. As both my studies and extracurricular passions have evolved over time, I have developed a strong interest in understanding the intersections of larger global structures and cultural identities, culminating in a more finite desire to study migration and multicultural identity. I am a firm believer in the tremendous value in learning outside the classroom, and in the fall term of my junior year I was fortunate to do exactly this and study migration in Morocco. During my time abroad I conducted independent research on the impact of gendered social and economic disparities on migration. Having seen the confusion and fear of those who have been displaced has helped me seek a more inclusive world here at home. On campus, my efforts have focused on creating a culture of inclusiveness and understanding among my peers. Looking forward, I aim to promote dialogue on the experiences and impacts of immigrant communities within the context of my own college town in Western Illinois through the preservation of local histories.