Hillyer Students Present at UHart’s Undergraduate Research and Creativity Colloquium
Hillyer College Honors students enrolled in Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Literature Markeysha Davis's Humanities Honor Seminar, Black Womanist Perspectives: My Eyes Speak Histor, studied the ways that Black women had supported movements for social changes throughout U.S. history. Three Hillyer Honors students, psychology major Gianna Marie Balsamo ’25, politics and government major Alyssa Locke ’24, and biology major Laurel Clarke ’24, were given the opportunity to present their class projects at UHart’s Undergraduate Research and Creativity Colloquium in April.
Laurel presented her research on Black feminist author Michele Wallace and Wallace’s mother, the artist and activist Faith Ringgold. Alyssa and Gianna’s project titled, “Black Women in Politics," included a comparative paper on Vice President Kamala Harris, and Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to serve in Congress and the first woman and African American woman to seek a Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States. They said the purpose of their research was to see what Harris and Chisolm had in common, and what they had done differently throughout their lives that lead them to politics.
Davis says her hope is that the students would leave the course learning more about themselves and connecting with someone or something they learned about in the class.
"I feel like I relate to Shirley Chisholm with her wanting to always do more and give back to her community," says Gianna. “And I feel like I relate to Kamala Harris because if someone were to talk over me or mansplain, I would definitely be like her and say, ‘I am speaking.’ “
“One thing that I learned from doing this project is that you can't live in fear when you see a form of societal injustice,” says Alyssa, who recommends Hillyer students consider taking the Honors seminar course. “Try out the Honors program because the courses and the faculty will open your eyes to a wide range of new topics."
Alyssa Locke ’24, Hillyer College Honors student
Try out the Honors program because the courses and the faculty will open your eyes to a wide range of new topics.