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Scholes Young ‘97 Returns to Campus

September 8, 2017

Lily Guillen / The Courier

It had been nearly 20 years since Melissa Scholes Young had been on campus, but on August 31, the alumni made the trip to Monmouth to talk with first-generation college students and read excerpts of her novel, Flood. Scholes Young is an author and professor at American University and a 1997 Monmouth College alum. During her time at Monmouth, she studied history and government and was involved in band and Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Students and faculty had the opportunity to talk with Scholes Young about her experience at Monmouth, particularly as a first generation college student. Through the discussion, she was able to relate with current students who struggle with the same issues that she went through during her time at Monmouth. Scholes Young expressed some of the hardships that she encountered through school and shared the various ways in which she overcame and grew from them. Along with this, she listened to the concerns of current first generation college students and offered her input and how she coped with some of the same issues.

Along with her struggles as a first generation student, she also spoke about the instances that being a first generation professor is even more difficult. She explained, “I don’t always know what I’m not supposed to do” and told of the ways in which “not knowing” has actually helped her, like when it came to finding an agent for her novel.
To conclude her visit on campus, Scholes Young gave a reading of her novel, Flood. The reading was open to students, faculty, and the Monmouth community. The author read several excerpts from Flood and offered some of her notes on each section. She then answered questions from the audience related to the novel itself, as well as her writing process and where she drew some of her inspiration for the book. As a native of Hannibal, Missouri, she talked about the ways that she related to the characters and to the storyline, which is also based in Hannibal.

Scholes Young’s visit proved meaningful to Monmouth College’s aspiring writers as well. Amy Ward, a junior, said after listening to the author’s book reading, “it was inspirational to hear from her, and it showed how valuable our education here is.”

Kaelin Sommer
News Editor

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