Senior Profile: Tara Salvati

What is your major and minor? What other academic programs were you a part of?

Double Major in English and Writing and Publishing

What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?

I worked in the theater’s costume shop for three years and as the Social Media Engagement Peer with OSE for my senior year. I also worked with Dr. Paul Muhlhauser as a student researcher in the summer of 2020.

What organizations were you a part of at McDaniel? What positions did you hold?

I’ve been a member of Green Terror Programs since my second week on the Hill. I’ve served as the Showcase Chair, General Events Chair, and this year I served as President of Green Terror Programs. I’ve also been involved with Student Alumni Council for four years, as well as serving on the Contrast Editorial board my freshman and senior year. I also currently serve as the co-President of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society. I’m also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), The National Society for Leadership and Success (The NSLS), and the McDaniel Honors Program.

Have you enjoyed your time at McDaniel? If so, what did you enjoy the most?

I loved my time here at McDaniel. I’ve grown so much as a student and a person during my time here. I loved all of the opportunities that came my way, whether it was meeting new people, making friends, studying abroad, or taking classes that I really enjoyed and connected with.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

Dr. Kate Dobson. I took memoir writing with Dr. Dobson my freshman year and ever since she has continued to encourage me and help me grow as a writer, editor, and person. She helped me often my junior year when I decided to take up the Writing and Publishing Major, we had to pick out specific courses I had to take in order to graduate with both of my majors. She is currently my Writing and Publishing capstone advisor that I’m taking by myself since I am the only graduating senior in the major.

Dr. Paul Muhlhauser also. His class taught me a lot about rhetoric and design, which helped me get a job with OSE. I also worked with him over the summer of 2020 to do research on rhetorical equity and best practice for rhetoric and composition journals.

Amanda Gelber has also encouraged me to come into my own as a leader. Ever since she got here she was student-focused and was willing to help us with whatever we needed. She’s hard-working, kind, and always ready to help you work out whatever issues may come up.

Describe your favorite memory at McDaniel.

I think it’s hard to pin down just one, because so many of my favorite moments are the ones that are small and shared with friends. One of them was junior year and it was the first time we did what my roommates and I dubbed ‘fam breakfast,’ where we make eggs, bacon, and pancakes and just sat around our kitchen table and enjoyed sharing a meal together. The tradition has continued this year, but has mostly turned into dinners where we make table nachos, or burgers.

What are some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

There were times when I felt very disconnected from my friends during my time here. Whether it was because of the pandemic and us getting sent home, not having a lot of options to see friends because of COVID restrictions this year, or because I spent a semester abroad in Budapest, there were times when I felt very alone. Taking time out of my day to continue those relationships and try to stay connected was key, but it was also really hard to do with everyone’s busy schedules.

I also think completing my English capstone in 7 weeks was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I felt like it was non-stop thoughts about reading, and researching for my capstone. I think because I was excited about my topic and Dr. Kachur was encouraging and was a great resource allowed me to motivate myself to write five pages a week and turn out the best paper I could.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be moving to Boston and will be pursuing my MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College!

What would you tell yourself as a first-year student at McDaniel?

I’d tell myself to put myself out there more. I was very timid my first year here, and I would tell my first-year self to make stronger connections to people sooner.

Where do you see the world in 10 years?

I hope to see the world as a more tolerant, equitable place for all. There’s a lot of work that has to be done, but if we continue to take steps in the right direction, then we’ll be all the better for it.

How do you reflect on your senior year during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic?

I’m very thankful to have had a senior year that I spent on campus with my friends. It wasn’t ideal, and at times it was extremely challenging and stressful, but I’m grateful to my friends, professors, and advisors for doing their best and for making this year filled with memories I’ll cherish for a long time.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the McDaniel community?

There’s no better way to meet people and make connections than by getting out there. Check OSE’s Instagram for events and opportunities to get involved. Find people who you like and who you connect with and foster those relationships because, for me, those are the ones that I still have and hold dear.