Where They’re Headed: Isabel Floyd ’20

The philosophy major is traveling to Shanghai to further her passion for education and helping others develop their communication skills.

Though Isabel Floyd ’20 has concluded her academic journey at Haverford, with a major in philosophy and a minor in computer science, she is now looking forward to starting a new one at NYU Shanghai. As a writing and speaking fellow at China’s first Sino-U.S. research university, Floyd will provide academic support and enrichment to students, offer tutoring, design workshops, and pursue her own research.

Floyd’s philosophy studies at Haverford, she said, have “pushed me to question what an orientation toward personal growth actually entails, and have led me to conclude that in order to create yourself it’s necessary to lose yourself often. My hope is that, in a new place, with new people and different cultural norms, I will be able to embrace change and fluidity and, in losing myself often, find myself frequently.”

Throughout her time at Haverford, Floyd found herself in a myriad of settings which have prepared her for her time in Shanghai. In particular, her time working at the Haverford Writing Center, where she honed her own writing skills, allowed her to practice teaching and mentoring fellow students. She also served as a TA in both a philosophy class on campus, and in a high school English class in Leuven, Belgium, during her semester abroad. Floyd believes that both experiences have equipped her with the skills she will need to effectively engage her students in China.

Floyd credits Director of the Writing Center and Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing Kristin Lindgren with opening the door to this opportunity to work and teach in China. Not only was Lindgren the one who initially notified her of the opportunity at NYU Shanghai, but she also served as her mentor during her time working in the Writing Center.

“Every time I meet with Kristin, it’s like a breath of fresh air,” she explained. “She is always curious about what I have to say, generous when I struggle to express myself, and insightful with her feedback, questions and criticisms. She is the model of the writing tutor that I hope to be.” Their relationship was a key factor in helping Floyd discover her chosen career path.

Floyd is eager to pay forward that mentorship now that she is in China. While at Haverford, she noted that her time at the Writing Center was often a highlight of her day. “I find it deeply rewarding when a student leaves an appointment with a renewed sense of confidence and excitement about her ideas,” she described.

A travel lover, Floyd is additionally excited to immerse herself in the culture of Shanghai, to explore the city with her fellow fellows, and try as much new food as she can.

As she departs Haverford, Floyd will continue doing what she enjoys, serving communities of those looking to improve their writing and communication skills. Through their growth, she too can achieve her own development, both as a writer and a teacher.

Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.