Cast your mind back to any time you have ever had to do any kind of school work or make an official presentation. It might have been an essay, an important speech or even a thesis. You probably recall the intense studying, all those late nights at the library, the seemingly endless cycle of writing and re-writing followed by that awful thing called writers block and, of course, the mad dash to hit your deadline. This is probably the last thing that came to your mind.
Donovan Livingston, part of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s 2016 class, delivered the convocation speech at his graduation ceremony in a way that certainly counts as outside the box. His speech came in form of the stirring spoken word piece “Lift Off”, a commentary on education, inspiration and youth engagement in America. The clip of his speech went viral and landed him considerable international exposure, including a CNN feature. Livingston is now a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Pretty impressive, right? Well, another Harvard graduate has been making waves for a similarly innovative decision. This time, it was a creative thesis submitted by 20 year old undergraduate Obasi Shaw. Inspired by Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper, Shaw has become the first ever student to submit a thesis to the prestigious university in form of a rap album. Georgia native Shaw handed in this ground-breaking thesis in fulfillment of his English degree.