Melissa Parkhurst, an associate professor in the School of Music, delivered the faculty keynote address at the WSU Pullman convocation. She reflected on the past year and a half and collected her thoughts.
“These freshmen and sophomores have lived through challenges, uncertainty and now, in many cases, are traveling long distances from home where they’re not sure what to expect or what they’ll find,” Parkhurst said. “I thought about that and how we should welcome them and help them realize that while they may at times feel all alone, there are so many ways WSU is here to support them.”
At WSU, Parkhurst has brought cultural literacy and awareness to thousands of students across the university. Her courses provide ethnically diverse musical experiences, with performances and lectures from guest artists and hands-on workshops.
Central to her work is the concept of “personhood”—that the people about whom she writes and teaches are complex human beings.