TAMEEKIA IMANI COOPER
MELLON MAYS FELLOW
Tameekia Imani Cooper (preferably called Imani) was born in Queens, New York. She moved to New Rochelle, New York as a child where she currently lives. As a young girl two things deeply moved Imani, books and track & field. At age seven Imani joined a youth track club. She trained and competed in track & field for thirteen years. Her accomplishments included placing 6th in pentathlon at the New York State Meet and 4th in the 100m shuttle hurdle relay at the US Nike Nationals in 2007. Even though Imani won a track & field scholarship to Dominican College, she began to reconsider her passion for track. She was nostalgic for the days when she had had time to settle for hours into reading a book. Her love for literature, which had never declined, inspired her to walk through the doors of the English department to declare a literature concentration. Still, Imani continued until early sophomore year to split her time equally between running track & field and the pages of Woolf's The Voyage out. She then made a life changing decision to renounce her scholarship in order to rediscover herself through pursuing her passion for words.
Now Imani continues her education at The City College of New York, striving toward a different kind of finish line. Instead of maintaining her athletic fitness, she aims to push the barriers of her mind and explore the world through literature. Imani's research interests focus on late 18th– and early 19th–century Romantic literature as well as African American literature. She is working to broaden her knowledge of Romantic literature and investigate romanticism as a global movement. Imani's ultimate goal is to teach at the university level and to continue her self-discovery through literature.