Aprill Emig: UROP

UROP Photo: Aprill Emig
UROP Photo: Aprill Emig

Aprill Emig


Majors: Philosophy and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
UROP: From URL to IRL: How TERFs Expose the Singularity of the Internet and Real Life.
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Jeanine Weekes Schroer, Department of Philosophy

What do you think is unique about your majors?

Both of my majors push me to think critically about the world and my place in it. My majors also complement each other in unique ways. Women's studies is more focused on the practical aspects of oppression, power and control and how to change these dynamics. Philosophy, on the other hand, is more theoretical and requires complex analysis of issues that aren't as black and white as they may seem. 

How do your majors fit into your life goals?

I've always wanted to be a writer in some capacity, and these two majors have given me the tools to conduct the necessary research. I primarily focus on nonfiction writing, especially in a journalistic capacity, and being able to think critically and see all sides of an issue is integral to writing a good story.

What piece of advice would you give to a student considering your major?

Don't be afraid to have diverging opinions from your professors. In fact, I would encourage it. Learning how to share your thoughts in a persuasive, logical way will serve you not just in the classroom but beyond. It is a huge confidence builder.. 

Tell us about something you're involved in here (a sport, a club, a cause) and how it has changed you.

I'm the managing editor at the Statesman and my time with the paper has taught me a lot about my own work ethic. I've always wanted to be a writer, but I didn't necessarily know what that meant in a professional sense. At first I hated journalism, but learning how to crank out multiple stories on deadline, while being accurate and fair, made me fall in love with the process. There's always a new challenge and it's a constant puzzle. 

How has the Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP) that you participated in enhanced or complemented the education you received in your major at UMD?

My UROP is a perfect blend of both of my majors. I focus on transgender issues, which I learned a lot about in women's studies, but I get to look at it in a critical way which is where philosophy comes in. And I grapple with issues of identity, which from a theoretical standpoint is fascinating in philosophy, but there are also political ramifications that come about which is where women's studies comes in.

What were the most valuable aspects of your UROP experience?

I absolutely love the research aspect of conducting a UROP. By that I mean learning how to efficiently navigate databases and books, finding the most pertinent information and ignoring what is superfluous. I also love being afforded the opportunity to pursue research that I wouldn't have had time to do otherwise.