Kiana Wright

Opinions editor

I’ve taken numerous classes since being here at Keene State College, but there are only a few that really changed my way of thinking. Since I am a Journalism major, I have a lot of room in my schedule to try out classes of different disciplines. I think it’s very important to try all kinds of classes, not only to see if any sparks an interest in what you might want to do as a career, but also it could teach you about subjects that many are blindsided about.

One class that I really had an interest in was Food, Health and Environment class taught by Robin Matathias. I took it my sophomore year because someone recommended it to me. I went into it not knowing much about what I’m eating, where it comes from, or how it impacts the environment. But after taking the class, I realized that there is a huge connection between what we eat, how it affects our bodies, and how it affects everything around us. By taking this class, a student will learn all the cover-ups that big food companies use, the disturbing treatment of animals and even of people from around the world. It is insanely eye opening. It covers human slavery, deadly pollution-suffocated towns, and ways that big companies, that we had grown up to love, bend the laws.

I added the Introduction to Holocaust and Genocide class by Dr. James Waller to my schedule this semester just to try it out, but my mind was actually boggled when I started learning. I learned about the cover-ups that schools teach us about the Native Americans, the deadly genocides that continue to occur around the world and how to prevent something so inhuman — because the future does not promise peace. Everyone should take this class or another in this study because KSC is one of the only schools that offer it and it’s nearly impossible to gain nothing from the class.

Another class I took was my Photojournalism class. This class really impacted why I am so deeply intrigued with my major. In this class, we learned about the camera and how it can capture so much in one picture. As my final project, I went to 100 Nights and the Keene Community Kitchen and talked to the founder of the organizations about how she started them. She was actually a KSC alumna, and the building of the organizations was her senior project. I had her and several people, homeless and in need of support, write with their own hands what they’re going through and how they got to where they are now. After taking the photos of these people and putting it with their writing, the project was way more than a grade. It was emotional to see real life struggles that can happen to anyone. This is something that I can show people to make them realize that homelessness and poverty, especially in the Keene area, is still substantial.

These are just a couple of the classes that really had an impact on my way of looking at the world. I recommend these classes to students of any major. There are a ton of other classes that students say were fulfilling; Laura Romaniello, graphic design student said, “The class I’m super into is my Farming With Nature In Mind class… I learned a lot about soil and farming methods and how many of our methods actually are unhealthy for the soil, and over time we won’t have any life sustaining soil to grow crops in, which is a huge issue.”

Ashley Arnold, Architecture major and journalism minor, said an important class for her was “3D design with Professor Nikolai. It made me realize I wanted to be an architecture major. I like how the class was a perfect balance of creativity and mental skills that come with physics and math.”

Vincent Moore said, “War and Culture in Early America with Professor Gregory Knouff. [I] learned more about Native American nations (that are still around today) and the founding and early territorial expansion of the United States than I ever did in twelve years of public school.”

Matt Cena said he recommends Astronomy, Health & Nutrition, Foundations Of Design.

Abigail Shenk recommends Brain and Behavior with Karen Jennings.

Justine Varney said “Intro to Holocaust and gGenocide studies and Intro to Criminal Justice studies are both awesome.”

Danielle Vallee said, “Food Health and the Environment! I learned so much about where my food actually comes from.”

Jocelynn Grabowski said, “Essentials in health with Professor Prospert taught me a lot about my body and what happens to the food I put in my body. Changed my eating habits because of this class.”

Abby Kate Shepherd said the class that really impacted her was, “My independent study with Dr. Mark Long and Health & Society with Dr. Henning.”

Sammi Leigh French said she was very interested in, “Intro to HGS, The Holocaust, History of Jewish Music (Upper level ISP, everyone!), and the German classes.”

Take a class that you don’t know much about — you might be surprised what you could find out!

Kiana Wright can be contacted at