Calling senior Meenu Krishnan, a history and political science double major, accomplished would be an understatement.
She has done research on the behind-the-scenes workers of Bollywood films in India, helped to register voters before the 2012 election and interned with The New Republic. Over her time at the university, she served as Editor-in-chief of the Old Gold & Black, Creative Director for 3 to 4 Ounces and President of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society. She also volunteered with El Buen Pastor her sophomore year and worked as a Spanish translator for a legal aid company downtown.
“She is multi-talented to a profound degree,” Tom Phillips, director of the Wake Forest Scholars program, said. “She is a great research analyst, a lover of politics, a fine writer, a capable speaker and a talented photographer. She graduates in the top 2 percent of her class, with honors. She has a mature independence but she also seeks inclusion in all forms.”
Meenu fell in love with history at a young age, when her father would teach her about things like the Roman Empire and the ancient Greeks.
“When I got to college, I realized history teaches you so many skills that you can apply to anything — writing, figuring out how to develop an argument, research. It really is a discipline that is connected to everything else. I have a lot of interest in the arts, in politics, in journalism and history gives me a way to connect all of that.” Her passion for the past translated into a history major and then a history honors thesis, something which Meenu credits as one of her two most rewarding experiences of her college career.
Her thesis examined the politics of a wave of Cuban exiles to the United States, who arrived in Miami in 1980.
“Meenu is passionate about the past and the ways it helps shape the present,” Michele Gillespie, professor of history at the university, said. “She is innately curious and willing and able to dig deeply into the scholarship and documentary record to get answers. She has a deep sense of social justice and believes in and uses the power of the pen to make change.”
The other rewarding experience? For Meenu, it’s her time at the Old Gold & Black, where she served as Editor-in-chief of the paper, and as News editor and Opinion editor. “I’ve learned as much at the newspaper as I have in the classroom,” she said. “I’m really going to miss the Wednesday nights in theOGB office. Once you’re gone, you start to miss it. There are so many good memories connected to those late nights. It’s been simultaneously the most hellish and most rewarding experience I’ve had at Wake.”
After graduation, Meenu plans to attend either Oxford or Cambridge to pursue her MPhil in Politics and International Affairs.
“Meenu will be successful at whatever she sets out to do and I imagine she will try on a number of hats over the course of her professional life,” Gillespie said.
“I truly look forward to her future. I know her wonderful sense of humor, keen sense of the absurd, innate compassion and all her academic gifts will see her through the world with true aplomb.”