Education Grad Wins Humanities Contest With Rap Video
When André Lynch M’16 was working on his bachelor’s degree, he was originally pursuing a career in law enforcement. He thought that it would both put him on the path toward a better life than the one he had grown up with and allow him to serve as a positive role model for disadvantaged youths.
“I wanted to inspire people of color to go to college and to give them the voice that I didn’t have when I was growing up,” he said. “It wasn’t until I was taking classes at St. Lawrence, though, that a light bulb just went off: ‘I can do this instead through education.’”
André overcame his own adversities, first graduating from SUNY Canton with a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement Leadership and, this year, earning his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from St. Lawrence.
It was during his final semester at St. Lawrence that he also learned about a contest called “Shout Out to the Humanities.” Sponsored by 4Humanities.org, the contest was meant to encourage students to create inspiring statements through videos, art works or short stories.
André already had a message that he wanted to share, and he saw this contest as an ideal venue to distribute it.
“I wanted to make a real hype-rap video, like Drake, that conveys the message I really believe in – the power of the liberal arts,” he said. “My message doesn’t shy away from defining stereotypes, and it says it’s okay for a man of color to study the liberal arts.”
His video, “Facts of Humanities,” won first place in the 4Humanities.org Graduate Student category. In it, André “drops some knowledge” on his viewers that the humanities and liberal arts are the stronger path toward critical thought and lifelong learning.
André credits both his own strong belief in a liberal arts education as well as two St. Lawrence professors, who motivated him to produce the video.
“Bill Collins (assistant professor of education and program coordinator) and Ed Boyd (adjunct instructor of education) are amazing, inspiring people who completely changed my life trajectory,” he said. “Their advice on career objectives helped me formulate what I want do life.”
André’s own determination is already paying off: He has already been accepted into a doctoral program at Grand Canyon University, where he will study organizational management in higher education.