If Gabrielle “Gabby” Greaves ’18 could tell future Wildcats one thing, it would be to connect with organizations that matter to them.
“Get involved. It really opens up a lot of doors,” says Greaves, who grew up in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, in a family that saw education and involvement as top priorities.
At UNH, her involvement includes being the co-discussion coordinator at the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and a member and former secretary of the Black Student Union. Participating in activities and clubs paved the way to some unexpected experiences — including appearing on network television, introducing Bernie Sanders during his presidential campaign and moderating the 2016 Black New England Conference.
“I’m thankful to those who saw potential in me and opened doors to those opportunities,” she says.
Within the past year, Greaves appeared on both CNN and the CBC and is now working on a book of poetry due to be published early next year.
Greaves, who is majoring in English and women's studies with a minor in Italian, is also taking part in Semester in the City this fall through a new partnership between UNH’s Office of Academic Affairs and the College for Social Innovation. This new program allows UNH students to earn a full semester of academic credit towards their UNH degree while interning for a nonprofit, mission-driven business or government agency in the city of Boston. This semester, Greaves is the intern to the executive artistic director at The Theater Offensive, an LGBTQ+ organization in Boston, Massachusetts. Last summer, Greaves participated in UNH’s Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise summer internship program, where she interned at the Post-Landfill Action Network, working on waste reduction programs on college campuses nationwide.
This fall’s Black New England Conference marked Greaves' first time moderating an event at that level, hosting the panel Comedic Conjuring: Social Media, Stand-Up and Reality TV featuring singer-songwriter Samuel James, DonJuan Clark of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and comedy veteran Louis Ramey.
Greaves laughs, describing the nervous moments leading up to the event, “but then I met the panelists and saw their excitement about participating,” she says, adding that experience is not something she will soon forget.
“We discussed whether reality stars, for example, have a responsibility to address the issues that affect their fans,” she recalls. “There were different perspectives from each panelist, ranging from absolutely not to it being an obligation to discuss these issues.”
Greaves says joining organizations on campus has opened doors to these and other opportunities. “The highlight of my UNH experience so far has been meeting people in these clubs and programs,” she says.
And for her next step after UNH?
Greaves hopes to pursue her doctorate. “I would like to become a professor and an author as well,” she says.