Once a week, The Hoya recognizes one or two staffers who have done a particularly awesome job — now you can get to know about them, too. This week, Mallika Sen earned Staffer of the Week for writing a respectful obituary to the accomplished, trailblazing former dean of the SFS, Carol Lancaster (SFS ’64). Here’s our interview with Mallika:
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Major: Regional and Comparative Studies (the latter half), with concentrations in Western and Eastern Europe
Position on The Hoya: Executive Editor
Is there anything special you’d like to say about the piece on Dean Lancaster?
I’ve admired Dean Lancaster since GAAP Weekend; it was impossible not to enjoy yourself every time she spoke. I’ve told this story to anyone who’ll listen this past week, but probably the second article I ever wrote for this paper was about high-profile professors, and I shot her an email as a Hail Mary, not really expecting anything. She responded 12 minutes later, telling me to call her and I was so grateful. I just hope that the obituary did her even a modicum of justice.
What attracted you to The Hoya?
I got really excited when I saw that they used Helvetica Neue as one of their fonts. I’ve been making newspapers since I was 7 (#microsoftpublisher) and I did the blasted thing in high school, so it was a natural progression (although the attraction was not mutual, considering I didn’t make it freshman fall). I like telling stories, and I like knowing everything.
If you ran the university for a day, what would be your first decision?
I would immediately forbid the disfigurement of the linden tree at Václav Havel’s Place with garish decorations for random holidays. My second decision would be the institution of ever-changing fences, à la Hogwarts’ staircases, because I don’t think getting around campus is interesting enough at the moment. Where’s the challenge?
If your life was made into a movie, what would the title be and why?
“Accentric,” because I cannot pronounce anything “properly” or in a geographically identifiable fashion.
What’s a song you can’t stop listening to right now?
I found the “Prayer in C” remix through a Spotify ad (a worse meet-cute than Tinder), and it’s not even the most brilliant song, but the contrast between the music and the lyrics makes for some prime nonchalant angry bitterness, which makes me happy.
Congratulations, Mallika! If you, the reader, has some spare time, please read Mallika’s lovely obituary (or Katherine Richardson’s piece on the memorial) for Dean Lancaster, who was truly an encapsulation of everything Georgetown University stands for.