BU Today

Campus Life

Points of Departure: Megan Steffen

Living the idea of an eclectic education


Get the Flash Player to see this media.

Check the video above to hear from an unusual undergraduate, sharing a unique vision of four years at BU.

“I want to show you my favorite part,” says Megan Steffen, cradling a hefty bound thesis. She turns to the back of the book. “It’s the last page of a thesis about Chinese nationalism, and it ends with a picture of Rafael Nadal.”

“I wrote this thesis even though I’m an undergrad because I’m sort of like the last of the Mohicans,” says Steffen (UNI’09). “The last of the UNIs.” The University Professors Program is being disbanded as a freestanding unit, to be replaced next year by a broad-based honors program offering flexibility to major in various disciplines. UNI’s last class will graduate in 2011.

Steffen will receive a degree in visual rhetoric and Chinese studies at Commencement. If you are confused about what that means exactly, you’re not alone. “When people asked my dad, ‘Oh, what’s your daughter studying?’ I think for a couple of years he just said, ‘English,’” she says. “I just can’t wait to go home and spend most of every family gathering explaining what my major means about 17 times.”

Steffen will be in Taiwan later this year to continue her studies in Mandarin. Until then, it’s back to living with the parents — after the graduation parties are over.

Watch more Points of Departure: Hakim Walker and Francis Pina, Jason Lawrence, and Ryan Timpe and Nathan Bliss.

Follow Commencement coverage.

Additional editing by Chris Maggio and Anna Horowitz.

Alan Wong can be reached at alanwong@bu.edu.


4 Comments on Points of Departure: Megan Steffen

  • Anonymous on 05.14.2009 at 8:47 am

    This is what education and life is suppose to be all about. Explore and learn!

  • Alene on 05.14.2009 at 10:40 am


  • Anonymous on 05.14.2009 at 8:53 pm


  • Anonymous on 04.01.2010 at 9:59 am

    Studying Mandarin in Taiwan?

    Strategically wrong place.

    Quickly go north, young girl.

Post Your Comment

(never shown)