James Washington, Jr., MALS '24

James Washington, Jr., MALS Thesis Award winner and Investiture Marshal

What do you consider your hometown?

Hanover NH 

Where did you earn your undergraduate degree? 

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

What is your program at Dartmouth? 

Master of Liberal Arts, in creative writing (poetry) 

Why did you choose Dartmouth to pursue your degree?

As a married and full-time Dartmouth employee with three children, I was a writer without enough free time or end-of-day energy to write. The MALS part-time study options helped me establish needed balance, and the college's employee education benefits helped make my graduate study financially feasible. 

What is your area of research and what inspired your research? 

My thesis project is a sixty-page poetry manuscript. My poetry inspiration came from when I first read the poem "Incident" by Countee Cullen. The narrative, concisely written, speaks to matters of race relations with authenticity and truth that resonates unending. 

What future path do you hope to take? 

My poetry writing pathway is defined. Someday, I would like to resume teaching English at a secondary school. 

What did you like best about your time at Dartmouth? 

Within the MALS context, I enjoyed the shared experience of and commitment to all-in learning. I liked that bright faculty and graduate students were willing to risk vulnerability for the betterment of all to gain new knowledge. 

What does it mean to you to receive the award? 

I have achieved academically and personally across several decades to a level reflective of family and mentor investment in me.