Religious Studies

DeAnna Daniels

My hometown when I was a student was

Chicago, IL

I graduated in


I studied

Religious Studies

I currently live in

Houston, TX

I am now

A Doctoral Student

Since graduating from Alma

I have been on the grind towards a PhD. Ultimately, I am a third-year doctoral student in the African-American Religion concentration in the Department of Religion at Rice University. I earned my B.A. in Religious Studies from Alma College in Alma, Michigan. In 2013, I earned a Master of Divinity and in 2014 a Master of Theology, from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. In 2015, I earned a Master of Arts in American Studies, with a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. While studying at Lehigh University, I received a Strohl Grant and Award for Research Excellence in Humanities and Social Sciences. My research interests which were first developed at Alma College include Black religion, the intersections of Hip-Hop, Womanism, and gender, Black speculative fiction, visual culture, and art. I am also interested in critical race theory and cultural studies.

My Alma education

Alma College provided me with a firm intellectual curiosity and confidence to continue on in my pursuit of a doctoral degree. Most importantly, my professors (Drs. Blanchard and Von Wallmenich amongst others) provided me with care, grace, and sustained engagement as I found my way through college trials and tribulations and as I made decisions for my future. Additionally, they believed in me, poured into me (with their time, kind words, and countless opportunities) and validated my work and its potential. I can honestly say, Alma uniquely prepared me for countless situations and helped me find my voice two things that has sustained me on my academic, professional, and personal journey.

My favorite place(s) on campus included

Saga, Joes, KI, “The Black House”

My favorite professors(s) included

Kathryn Blanchard, Laura Kuske von Wallmenich, Brian Stratton, and Dana Aspinall

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

I don’t think I have just one vivid memory. Rather I have a striking collage of moments. For instance, meeting Lucille Clifton, defending my honors thesis, becoming a Kappa Iota, serving as president on the MBSU, dances, The Poetry slam. That’s the thing about Alma, it can provide countless memories that sustain well after graduation.