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Isabel McKenzie ’19

How have you worked with professors at Lake Forest College?

Under the guidance of Associate Professor of English Carla Arnell, I have improved my writing and research skills. Lake Forest College fosters an environment where students are able to build one-on-one relationships in a way that is unique to the small college experience.

What did it mean for your future to win the All-College Writing Contest?

Winning the All-College Writing Contest was so significant for me because the prize—publication in the College’s online journal—was a concrete step toward my plan of going into academia and publishing. 

How has being near Chicago impacted your experience at the College?

I was one of two Lake Forest students chosen to give Student Art Talks during the inaugural University Partner Day at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was a great experience, especially for my minors in art history and museum studies, to present talks about art pieces for students, faculty, and staff of colleges and universities in the Museum’s University Partner Program.

Have you had any research opportunities at the College?

I joined Associate Professor of English Josh Corey as part of his Digital Chicago research project for one summer to reconstruct the life of once-famous Chicago boxer Barney Ross. I worked with Ross’s biography in the Chicago History Museum’s research collection. Ross was a triple division champion—lightweight, light welterweight and welterweight—and lived, as his biographer Douglas Century writes “an uncannily mythic life.” It was beautiful, exciting, and jarring learning his story, and I was so excited and grateful to help Professor Corey resurrect it.