Khaaliq Crowder ’21, who completed his degree last fall, enjoyed the many opportunities he had as a Charger to explore his interests, immerse himself in the field of communication, and connect with his fellow Chargers. After completing several internships and having his work published by a variety of media outlets, he has earned a position with Snapchat.
March 29, 2021
When he was in high school, Khaaliq Crowder ’21 looked up to music executives such as Clive Davis and L.A. Reid, and he aspired to follow in their footsteps. When he saw that the University of New Haven’s music industry program was included in a Billboard Magazine college guide, he was interested in enrolling in the program.
After initially attending Newbury College as a communication major, he realized that field was a better fit. He went on to transfer to the University of New Haven, attracted to the University’s location and campus culture.
“Attending the University of New Haven allowed me to reinvent myself,” he said. “I felt like I could get the full college experience, as the University had just about everything, including hundreds of organizations and clubs.”
An active member of the University community, Crowder was involved in the Black Student Union, the University’s NAACP chapter, and the Caribbean Student Association. As a communication major with a concentration in journalism, he served as a staff writer for The Charger Bulletin, a photographer for the Charger Yearbook, and as a DJ for WNHU-2, the online student stream of the University’s award-winning radio station, WNHU. He looked up to professors such as radio veteran Bruce Barber, general manager of WNHU, and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Susan Campbell, adviser for The Charger Bulletin.
“These activities impacted my experience at the University because I was able to carve out my group of lifelong friends, colleagues, and acquaintances,” he said. “I learned more about my culture and others, and I built my resume. I learned how to get out of my comfort zone and work with people from diverse backgrounds.”
‘Going to the University of New Haven was healing for me’
Crowder, who served as a fellow for the T. Howard Foundation, also took advantage of a wide variety of opportunities outside the classroom. He completed several internships, including at Vibe Magazine, the nonprofit organization Radio Free Brooklyn, and with a SiriusXM morning program. His writing has been featured by NBC News THINK, the entertainment and lifestyle website HelloGiggles, and YES! Magazine.
Now a full-time contracted community curator for Snapchat, Crowder reviews hundreds of submitted snaps and provides editorial feedback. He endeavors to give back to the Black community, and he hopes to, eventually, create a scholarship program for Black LGBTQ+ students at the University.
“Going to the University of New Haven was healing for me,” he said. “I came from an environment where people didn’t believe in me or my dreams because I was neurodiverse. To have the opposite of that at the University was so touching, warming, and encouraging. I would sum it up as life-changing, healing, and rewarding.
“My advice to current students is to fully immerse yourself in student life,” he continued. “You will indeed find your community and your niche interests through joining various organizations. Get as much experience as you can in your desired field on or off campus, along with networking.”