The Beyond Boundaries Program is proud to have a writer and poet among the class of 2023 program students. Elizabeth Joseph, who applied early decision to Washington University, knew she could see herself on campus from the very beginning. Her reaction to why she wanted to apply: “Ah. These are my People.” In her admissions essay, Elizabeth tackles the combination of the arts and public health, and particularly how they relate to the field of mental health. She wrote:

Whether it be playing the piano, making shirts for friends with cheap acrylic paint, or writing poetry into the late hours of night, art has been always been a source of grounding for me, as I know it could be for many others. The sciences and the arts may be perceived as antithetical, but both are methods of inquiry and exploration that provide a lens for us to analyze the world.

Not only has Elizabeth begun to pursue new interests in college, but she has also been awarded a Howard Nemerov writing scholarship for her writing abilities which began at a very young age. Elizabeth, a native of Lenexa, KS, started her book Twin Reflections (The Maze of Mirrors #1) in the 5th grade and completed it as a 15 year old in the 9th grade. She has clearly had a growing passion for writing and has been able to build on that strength here at Washington University. More recently, Elizabeth’s piece, ‘First Sky’, was featured in the very first issue of Remake, a journal of “first-year disruption” through the College Writing Program.

During her first year on campus, Elizabeth had some fun with a video project coordinated by the university. “My first days at Wash U” is a way for first year students to visually display what their first few weeks on campus look like. Students are asked to record one second of video each day, and Elizabeth’s video was chosen to be shared with the community. When asked about her favorite aspects of college life, Elizabeth said:

The most fun comes in the unplanned, unstructured moments, like when we had a surprise birthday party for a guy on the floor. It was cool because we had only been here for a month, but here we all were together celebrating this new friend.

Now that Elizabeth has been at home, she has continued to write and just enjoy time with her family. She has been using her artistic creativity to make handmade, paper quilled earrings, with some of the proceeds going to non-profits. Check out Elizabeth’s podcast episode to learn more about her.