In this interview recorded during the 2018 All-class Black Alumni Reunion, Karona Monica Mason, Brown University class of 1982, discusses her experiences as a student on the Brown University campus. Mason begins by describing her childhood and early education in Washington, D.C. She emphasizes always having Black role models, including her mother and father who worked for the federal government and Howard University respectively.
Mason goes on to explain why she chose to attend Brown, citing that she felt comfortable on the campus and that her acquaintances insisted the institution supported Black students. This leads her to elucidate that she is not sure whether Black students in 2018 have the same positive experiences she did, particularly in terms of support, and that she wanted to take the time at the Black Alumni Reunion to assess the campus and evaluate how she could make a greater impact on current students’ experiences.
When asked about some of her best memories of Brown, Mason notes her membership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, the Organization United African People, and the Third World Center. She again mentions how diverse and inclusive the campus, students, and faculty were at the time, but briefly mentions some of the difficulties she had as a pre-med student. She also generally touches upon the topic of sexual assault on campus.
In speaking of life after Brown, Mason describes her year at Harvard University and comments on how different it was from Brown. She goes on to highlight her current work in podiatry and as the Associate Dean of Clinical Experiences at Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. She closes her interview by suggesting that Brown needs to “widen their net” to bring more socioeconomically diverse students to campus and that the administration needs new ideas about how to enrich students’ lives.
Pembroke Hall Seminar Room, Brown University