Current Graduating Class of African American Studies
Brianna Brown will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies, after having participated and served in the Emory NAACP, Ngambika, the Minority Pre-Med Society, Project Shine, and the MORE Mentorship Program. Brianna will graduate as a co-author on a manuscript that has been submitted for publication, a co-author on a manuscript in progress, and a well-trained medical assistant, as she completed over 600 hours of clinical internship with a gynecology practice during her time at Emory. Brianna was selected as an IMSD (Initiative for Maximizing Student Development) Scholar, which granted her research funding and the opportunity to present at two of the leading national research conferences for undergraduates: ABRCMS and SACNAS. Brianna plans to spend her post-baccalaureate time participating in cancer biology research before applying to medical school.
Mariah Dozé will graduate with a B.A. in sociology and African American studies, as a Robert W. Woodruff Dean's Achievement (DAS) Scholar (Emory Scholar), a Sidley Prelaw Scholar, an Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) National Leadership Honor Society member, and a Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society member, just to name a few of her achievements. Mariah worked to advance underserved populations through initiatives like the DUC-ling Worker Scholarship Fund, and co-founded the Emory chapter of IGNITE, an organization that seeks to close the gender gap in politics, to support women interested in becoming public servants. Mariah studied abroad in Ghana, where she gained insight into the Ghanaian penal system. She was selected to participate in the 2018 Emory Journeys of Reconciliation trip to South Africa, engaging in conversations surrounding reconciliation, justice, and race. Mariah’s research on the intersection between rhetorical studies and social justice was awarded publication in the peer-reviewed, scholarly journal Young Scholars in Writing, subsequently naming her as a featured researcher by Emory's Undergraduate Research Programs (URP). Mariah served as a racial and social justice intern, the managing print editor (VP) of Black Star Magazine, a senator in the University Senate, and as a member of the Center for Ethics and Servant Leadership (EASL) forum. After graduation, Mariah plans on attending law school to conduct U.S. prison system reform and to be an advocate for economic justice.
Arianna Murray will graduate as a double-major in African-American Studies and Psychology. During her time at Emory, Arianna was able to find and build community for other marginalized students on campus. As one of Emory's Questbridge Scholars, she found an incredible group of fellow high-achieving, low-income students. After participating in the chapter's mentorship program, she was able to mentor incoming Emory freshmen through Questbridge's revised mentorship program. As a senior, Arianna now co-directs the program, with a new focus on professional development. In addition, Arianna has worked extensively with Emory's Office of LGBT Life, serving as a discussion group facilitator, connecting LGBT students across campus, and engaging them in conversations about LGBT identity. This year, Arianna worked as one of the Emory Black Student Union's interns, planning events and other recurring programming initiatives for members of Emory's black community. Arianna Murray had the privilege of receiving the Department of African American Studies' Rudolph P. Byrd scholarship, which recognizes a student that demonstrates leadership in activities addressing the African American community at Emory. At Emory's Martin Luther King Week, Arianna introduced the event's keynote speaker, Ms. Nikole Hannah-Jones, an award-winning journalist who covers racial injustice for The New York Times.
Diyaaldeen “Deen” Whitaker is a graduating senior at Emory University. He has a strong passion for community activism and social justice which led him to serve as the past president of the NAACP chapter at Emory University. He has also interned for the Commission on Racial and Social Justice, Emory Black Student Union, and was a committee member for the Spirit and Tradition committee at Emory University under Dean Michael Elliot. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in which he served as Dean of Membership for the Mu Alpha chapter seated at Emory University. Since high school, Deen has had an interest in education reform and has tried to combat the achievement gap by implementing initiatives such as a college awareness week and also serving as a “Delaware Goes to College” teaching fellow during his summers in college. Diyaaldeen is also a 1915 scholar and an Emory Horace Tate Scholar in which he dedicated a year of research to advance educational opportunities for minority students in K-12th grade. After graduation, Deen will be working as a Management Trainee for McMaster-Carr in Cleveland, Ohio.
McKayla Williams is a graduating senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies. During her time at Emory, McKayla participated and served in several campus organizations including: AHANA A Cappella, Black Mental Health Ambassadors, the Grady Trauma Project, and became a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. In addition to participating and obtaining leadership positions in more than one of these organizations, McKayla also devoted a substantial portion of her time to merging her passions in scientific research and African American studies. McKayla worked as a research assistant for Dr. Dianne Stewart working on her book, Black Women Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage and is eagerly awaiting its release scheduled for fall 2020. McKayla also worked in Dr. Whitney Wharton’s clinical research lab for a year and a half studying preventative interventions for African Americans at-risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. While in Dr. Wharton’s lab, McKayla began her own study to look at the effects of life-long discrimination on cognitive function in an attempt to explain the increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease for Black people. McKayla will graduate as a co-author on a manuscript in progress and a well-trained research assistant. In addition, McKayla was selected as an URP (Undergraduate Research Program) Independent Research Grant in her fourth year, which granted her research funding for her study. McKayla plans to apply to graduate school.