-- Ryan King, Dual Master’s Graduate in Library Science and History, To Study Graphic Medicine—the Exploration of Health Care Through Comics—at Freie Universität Berlin --
Queens, NY, June 1—Ryan King, who will graduate from Queens College on Thursday, June 3, with dual master’s degrees in library science and history with a certificate in Archives and Preservation of Cultural Materials, has won a prestigious Fulbright grant for a year’s study at Freie Universität Berlin in Germany. He will conduct research with members of the university’s PathoGraphics project and write a work of graphic medicine, a genre that uses comics to explore health care issues.
The author of several comic books, King attended graduate school while employed as a library assistant at Columbia University. His membership in 1199SEIU—a local of the Service Employees International Union—qualified him for tuition benefits to study library science and related fields at Queens College; as an employee at Columbia, he was also able to take classes at its School of Professional Studies. This wide-ranging background equipped King for his Fulbright proposal, a graphic medicine project on obsessive hoarding, a disorder he has grappled with since a young age. King holds a BA in English from UC Davis, where he was a Regents Scholar. A first-generation college student, he started his academic career at Solano Community College in Fairfield, California, earning AAs in English and Liberal Arts.
“Ryan is a stellar student, among the top five percent I’ve worked with since I began teaching at Queens in 2003,” says Julia Sneeringer, a Queens College professor specializing in modern Germany and pop culture. “In my MA courses on Nazi Germany, as well as Film and History, I was impressed by how Ryan thought holistically, combining social and political history with his own interests in art and culture. That German angle fed into Ryan’s Fulbright proposal to study with the PathoGraphics group at the Freie Universität Berlin, his project being to use the graphic novel form to explore hoarding as a pathology rippling across families. If ever there was a good fit between project, person, and place, this is it.”
“Ryan has launched his post-graduate career with a fascinating project, demonstrating what is possible for students in our MLS/MA program,” says Queens College President Frank H. Wu. “As a first-generation college student educated primarily at public institutions, he epitomizes the value of those institutions, which enable individuals to advance and make significant contributions to their disciplines.”
After completing his Fulbright studies, King hopes to work at an academic library or archive specializing in comic book and graphic novel collections, and continue writing comic books himself.
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