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2008 Achievement Conference

Who We Are

Who We Are

The Africana Research Center (ARC) and the Alliance for Earth Sciences, Engineering, and Development in Africa (AESEDA) Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) recognizes and celebrates the scholarly development of undergraduate students who have written research papers on issues pertaining to some aspect of the Africana Diaspora. Faculty nominate students papers, and with students permission, these papers are reviewed by Penn State faculty and graduate students, using a refereed process. The papers presented were overwhelmingly prefered the best for presentation out of 26 papers submitted.

We would like to thank the following for providing the student papers:

Clemente Abrokwaa – Sr. Lecturer/AAAS, College of the Liberal Arts
Jack Selzer – Associate Dean Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, College of the Liberal Arts
Teresa Tassotti – Director, McNair Scholars Program, Graduate Educational Equity Program


Dr. Thaddeus Ityokumbul
Associate Professor of Mineral Processing/AESEDA in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

Dr. Petra Tschakert
Assistant Professor, Geography/AESEDA College Earth and Mineral Sciences

Dr. Keith B. Wilson
Director, ARC and Professor of Education in the College of Education

Dr. Gabeba Baderoon
ARC Post Doctoral Fellow & Research Assoc. AAAS & Womens Studies, College of the Liberal Arts

Dr. Neil Brown
Post-Doc Scholar AESEDA, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences


First Session Presenters

Alison Matthews

1st Place Winner: Alison Matthews

Alison is from Bellefonte, PA and graduated in December of 2007 with a degree in Women's Studies. She is planning to relocate to Boston and is applying to law school for the fall.

Research paper entitled "Women and Mining in Tanzania"

Benjamin Jacobs

2nd Place Winner: Benjamin Jacobs

Ben is from Huntingdon Valley, PA and is a sophomore in the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences, College of the Liberal Arts and is a Schreyer Honors Scholar. He is also a brother of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

Research paper entitled, "Fannie Lou Hammer at the 1964 Democratic National Convention"

Teashia Coleman

3rd Place Winner: Teashia Coleman

She is from Yonkers, NY and is majoring in Accounting with a minor in Legal Environment of Business, in the Smeal College of Business.

Research paper entitled, "Slavery and It's Legacies: A Critical Examination of the Psychological Effects of Slavery on African Americans"

Second Session Presenters

Jennifer Nelson

1st Place Winner: Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is from Fairfax, VA and is a senoir majoring in History with a minor in Human Developement and Family Studies. After graduation, Jennifer plans to attend graduate school for Educational Counseling or become a member of Teach for America.

Research paper entitled, "The Atlantic Slave Trade: An Analysis of the Middle Passage and Its Psychological Impact on Slaves" .

Katherine Wheatle

2nd Place Winner: Katherine Wheatle

Katherine is a senior from Patterson, NJ majoring in African and African American Studies with minors in Sociology and Health Policy Administration. She is also a McNair Scholar.

Research paper entitled, "Are There Significant Differences in Treatment and Outcomes of African American and White Youth in Treatment Foster Care?"

 Patrick Parker

3rd Place Winner: Patrick Parker

Patrick is from West Orage, NJ. His major is Supply Chain and Information Systems and he is a member of the National Scholars Honor Society and the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. Patrick is currently an INROADS intern at Bayer and last year, started his own business called Royalty Services - a student-owned cleaning enterprise.

Research paper entitled, "British Influence, South African Explotation - The Rhodes Scholarship"

The Research Exhibition

All conference participants had the opportunity to showcase their research as part of a research exhibition. This exhibition is designed to promote a broader understanding of the wide range of research being conducted at Penn State. It is especially important for students, as they will have the opportunity to display their work and receive constructive feedback from their peers and mentors.

Representing the ARC were four of our grant recipients Monique Faulk, Nathaniel Fredrick, Ashley Frost, and Felecia Saunders. In addition prizes were awarded to the first,second, and third-place winners. ARC Dissertaion Fellow Tracy Beckett was awarded First Place.