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From Us in Charcoal: Abby

Meet Abby Gross (she/her) — a marketing graphic designer since Spring 2022. Abby is currently a senior majoring in neuroscience with a minor in visual arts.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Abby grew up in a white suburban area. Her mother's family is Taiwanese and her father’s family is German. Growing up closer to her mother’s family, Abby feels more connected to her Asian heritage.

“Even though I’m half-white and half-Asian I really identify with the Asian side of my family, just because I was the kid who wasn’t only white. I was both,”

During her junior year of high school, Abby traveled to Taiwan for the first time. She visited her grandparents’ hometown and looks forward to going back soon. She remembers this as the first time she felt like she was “the white kid.”

“I remember being like, ‘oh my god, I’m the white kid here.’ It’s so weird, I’ve never been in that situation before, so it was kind of interesting to see which side of my mixed racial identity came out in different contexts.”

Abby came out as queer at the end of her senior year of high school, describing it as weird due to her hometown being predominantly white and straight. “I had my friends, but I didn’t really see representation. I didn’t feel like I had friends that I could relate to on certain things.” The best part of her college experience has been the people that she's met.

“Coming to BU, I met a lot of people who I felt comfortable around in terms of my sexuality and not being afraid to hide that part of myself,”

Abby’s journey at Charcoal started her junior year as a graphic designer for Charcoal Connect. She later rejoined this spring as part of the marketing team, finding it a lot more fun.

To Abby, the best part of her position is getting to know different people. As a neuroscience major, she doesn’t get to work creatively with people often. Outside of Charcoal, Abby is part of an intramural soccer team and a member of Sigma Delta Tau. She also loves going to concerts, listening to music, and making art.

Since coming to college, Abby has become more comfortable with her sexuality and gender presentation. Her style now is more expressive of who she is as a person, and she gets tattoos for fun as a way to remember cool moments.

Once she graduates, Abby plans to continue living in Boston working at a lab and ice cream parlor. However, she plans to find another job on the east coast and move away from Boston once summer ends. Abby also hopes to continue working with people in a creative setting in the future.

Make sure to come back and read more From Us in Charcoal.

Interviewed & Written by Angie Zeng

Imagery by Gauri Nema