Born and raised in the Bronx, Nikeeyia Howell first fell in love with analyzing literature in her advanced placement literature course at DeWitt Clinton High School. While many living in her neighborhood have never obtained a college degree, Nikeeyia recognized the importance of a college education as a means of mobility and self enrichment, so she enrolled at The City College of New York in 2009.
Currently she is pursuing a major in English Literature and a minor in studio art. Although art and academic writing are sometimes thought to inhabit two separate spheres, Nikeeyia would disagree. She sees both as an integral part in her creative and research process. While her academic research focuses on American Literature, primarily issues of agency and themes of otherness among the posthumous works of Mark Twain, Nikeeyia explores these same issues and many more from a conceptual standpoint in her art work. Exploring such themes on both a visual and textual plane has created an interesting and multifaceted way of disseminating her thoughts, and it sparks discourse among unlikely audiences. Originally a means to escape the stresses of home life during her childhood, drawing and writing have turned into lifelong passions for Nikeeyia. In her work as an illustrator as well as a section editor for City College's publication The Campus, Nikeeyia brings together these two passions. Looking towards the future, Nikeeyia hopes to pursue a PhD in English and to expand her research on Mark Twain and other American writers.