Tasheana Dukuly joined the Middlesex faculty in 2013. A graduate of Bates College, where she double-majored in English and African American studies and was on the varsity swimming and water polo teams, Ms. Dukuly served as an AmeriCorps local organizer in the Youth Empowerment Corps program prior to Middlesex.
1. You've been at Middlesex for two years now. What do you like best about the community?
My favorite part about the MX community is that everyone is so supportive of one another. We are all busy, faculty and students alike, but we find the time to watch games, attend events, or help one another out when needed.
2. You have two roles at Middlesex: English teacher and coordinator of multicultural student outreach. What do you enjoy about each role?
Teaching “Elements of Fiction” to ninth grade students is one of the highlights of my day. The students in my classes have such interesting perspectives on the literature we read, great energy, and they’re hilarious—I never leave a class without laughing and learning something new.
My role as Coordinator of multicultural student outreach has been wonderful so far. Cultural studies and social justice issues have always guided my interests and who I am as a person. Along with English literature, I majored in African American studies as an undergraduate student, and after I graduated from college, I was an AmeriCorps volunteer/community organizer at a teen center for high-risk youth. I feel really fortunate that I have the space to work with student groups, have discussions, and plan events that revolve around these ideas and issues.
3. You just moved on campus this year. How's dorm life treating you?
Dorm life is wonderful. It’s a lot of fun to get to know the girls really well, and the commute is favorable.
4. You were a swimmer and a water polo player in college. Do you miss it? Do you ever get back in the pool?
Swimming was a huge part of my life in high school and most of college, and I value the experience, but I don’t necessarily miss the sport too much. In the past few years, running has become quite an important hobby for me, and I’ve competed in many 5km races as well as a half-marathon.
5. You are currently pursuing a Master's degree through Middlebury's Bread Loaf School of English (true?). What coursework has been the most interesting so far?
Middlebury’s Bread Loaf school of English has been an amazing experience so far. I spend my summers surrounded by other English teachers from around the country who are so passionate about both literature and teaching. I had the opportunity to take courses with the brilliant Jamaican novelist Patricia Powell and one of the most influential Native American writers, Simon J. Ortiz. Powell’s course was extremely meaningful for me because while it focused on contemporary American short stories, we also had the opportunity to write our own. I love being able to immerse myself in a program where I spend six weeks every summer reading, writing, and studying literature.