Dariya Steele '23

Anthropology Major

Sometimes taking your time can lead to a direction you never considered taking. That was the case for Dariya Steele ’23. She entered UNH undeclared and tried on a few majors before settling on anthropology.

“It took me awhile to find my place,” Steele says. “I took one anthropology class for a Discovery requirement, and I loved the professor and the topic, so I decided to explore it more.”

That exploration led to her major and a future goal of a graduate degree in anthropology. It also led to an internship at the Seacoast African American Cultural Center in Portsmouth, N.H.

“Through my time at the Center, I learned so much about Black history and American history, specifically in the Seacoast area. I was able to make so many connections and meet some activists who played a major part in making change here in New Hampshire,” Steele says. “As a person of color who grew up in New Hampshire, it was an experience that meant very much to me and something I will take with me as I go through further education and my career.” 

This semester, she’s building upon that experience with another internship, this time at the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, also located in Portsmouth.

Steele credits Casey Golomski and Svetlana Peshkova, both associate professors of anthropology and women’s and gender studies, with impacting her time at UNH.

“In both I found someone to support me and my education. Not only do they both have extensive research, but they also truly care about what they teach, and for the students they teach,” Steele says. “The classes I’ve taken with them have been extremely interesting and beneficial to me as an anthropologist and as a person.” 

Steele is a member of Alpha Phi Omega and the Black Student Union. She was also a 2021 orientation leader and a 2022 New Student Programs coordinator. Of her COLA education she says, “I feel having a liberal arts education has prepared me greatly. It helped me grow practical skills and gave me a strong sense of social responsibility, and the ability to apply knowledge I learn in real-world experiences.”