Young Alumnus Achievement Award
Honors an alumnus' significant contributions to church, vocation, and community.
Carmen McCain '99
Carmen McCain majored in English with a writing concentration at Messiah College. She worked as a tutor in the Writing Center, editor for the Minnemingo Review and copywriter for the Clarion. She also studied for a semester at Oxford University. Entering Messiah as a shy missionary kid, Carmen credits Messiah College English faculty with bringing out the best in her and developing her confidence as a writer and a scholar.
Upon graduation, Carmen was selected to participate in the Bucknell Younger Poets Seminar for the summer. She later moved to New York City to work as an editor at a small educational publisher. In 2001, she obtained a highly prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study in Nigeria. After the Fulbright ended, Carmen worked on projects to educate Nigerian teens about HIV/AIDS.
In 2003, Carmen enrolled in the doctoral program in African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she is also a teaching assistant and a prolific writer and presenter. Carmen also won a Harvey Fellowship, a highly-competitive grant supporting Christian graduate students.
She helps edit the department journal, is active in Africa Without Borders, and leads an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group. She worships at Fountain of Life Church, in Madison, and manages to find time to serve in children’s ministry, hospitality ministry and on a committee exploring the church’s response to HIV/AIDS issues.
As a Christian preparing to work in predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria, Carmen hopes to use her language training and interest in literature and film to nurture increased dialogue and understanding among people of varying cultures and faiths.