Mélena Laudig

5th Year, Religion

I am a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Religion Department, interested in histories of African-American missionaries to African nations and the Caribbean in the nineteenth century. Prior to Princeton, I completed my B.A. in Religious Studies at Yale University in 2019. Growing up as a low-income student of color in the Texas Panhandle, I never imagined myself as the kind of person who could attend Princeton. Through my educational journey and many battles with imposter syndrome, I have recognized the power and importance of having a diverse community in order to not only survive but thrive at an institution like Princeton. As an undergraduate, I found community through Shades of Yale, an a capella group that performs music of the African American tradition and African diaspora, as well as the Mellon Mays-Edward A. Bouchet Program, which provided me with the support to conduct research for the first time.


"As a Diversity Fellow, my goal is to help my fellow graduate students feel at home during their time at Princeton. I look forward to building spaces where we can engage with one another vulnerably and authentically and to collaboratively fostering a community where we recognize that our perspectives, backgrounds and voices matter."

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