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Howard wasn’t always a fan of comics. Despite her success in the industry, Howard admits she was far from a die-hard comics fan and didn’t truly take interest in it until she was an adult. During her days as a student at Howard University, she discovered Aaron McGruder’s “Boondocks” comic strip, which not only sparked her interest in the field, but served as the basis for her dissertation. When she noticed a severe lack of resources on the subject of black comic strip artists, she didn’t stage a public protest or spend time denouncing the industry’s obvious shortcomings. Instead, she created her own resource in “Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation.”

Howard is a LGBTQ advocate. As a lecturer, Howard’s held workshops on topics such as “LGBT Diversity and Sensitivity in the Classroom,” and her open-minded outlook and comfort in her own sexuality has had a positive impact on her students. She also credits Rider University for giving her the confidence to publicly present her views on issues that affect the gay community, citing the school as “the most accepting of LGBTQ students.”

She has quite a compelling back story about coming out. In an experience she recounts in “Intercultural (Mis)Communication: Why Would You ‘Out’ Me in Class?” Dr. Howard recalls not being quite ready to broadcast her sexual orientation to anyone beyond close friends. But to her shock and dismay, one of Howard’s classmates posed a question during a class lecture that intentionally identified her as a lesbian. As Howard stated in an interview with The Rider News, her classmate may have had a hidden agenda behind her actions. “Five months later she asked me on a date,” Howard said. “I went out with her for about six months. I still wonder why exactly she asked that question during the class. Was it because she wanted to get my attention?”

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