Flash Friday: Sophia Swengel

Junior history major dives into Kent State’s history as chair of the May 4 Task Force

Welcome to Flash Friday! In this series, we introduce you to fascinating student Flashes from all walks of life.

Sophia Swengel

Meet Sophia Swengel, a junior history major with a minor in creative writing from York, Pennsylvania.

Thinking about her academic future, Swengel knew she needed to find areas of study that nurtured all her interests. Although it took Swengel a couple of tries to figure out what the perfect combination would be for her, she eventually landed on her history major and creative writing minor at Kent State University.

“I'm very naturally creative and adore the written word,” Swengel said. “Declaring that minor was definitely one of the best decisions of my life. I'm also hungry to learn about the world and how we got here, hence the history component.”

Having earned several college credits during high school, Swengel was able to dive into her history sequence right away, taking Historical Research Methods as one of her first classes.

“I exited the class with a 19-page long research paper that I just won a scholarship for,” Swengel said. “I'm really honored that I could show my chops in that way and have a culminating document I can be proud of.”

During her time at Kent State, Swengel has been involved in many campus organizations. Swengel supports student media by writing opinion pieces for the Kent Stater and helping with TV2’s kentcore program.

Sophia Swengel

Swengel’s other involvements align perfectly with her history major, as she enriches herself in the history of the events surrounding May 4, 1970, by working at the May 4 Visitors Center and being the chair of the May 4 Task Force.

The May 4 Task Force was formed to raise awareness among students, faculty and the general public about the events surrounding May 4, 1970, and its aftermath. The task force is dedicated to planning events that honor and foster the legacy of the four students who died — Allison Krause, William Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer and Jeffrey Miller — and the nine students injured that day.

When she isn’t helping the May 4 Task Force or writing for student media, Swengel enjoys sitting down and listening to music to help take her mind off things.

“Music has always been a big part of my life, and probably my biggest motivator is the power it has to communicate such big things in such a surgeon-like way,” Swengel said. "Funnily enough, a lot of the music I like is the same type of stuff kids were listening to here to pump themselves up for protests or asking their crushes out.”

Along with being an avid listener of music, Swengel also enjoys making music too.

“I also write songs, and I had my first live performance at the Standing Rock Gallery downtown a few weeks back,” Swengel said. “It was immensely gratifying.”  

Are you a student interested in being featured in Flash Friday, or know a student who would make a great candidate? Send suggestions with name and contact information to kentstatetoday@kent.edu.

POSTED: Thursday, May 2, 2024 10:46 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2024 03:07 PM
Tanner Poe, Flash Communications
Courtesy of Sophia Swengel