Bennett College

Signatory: Rosalind Fuse-Hall, President

Joined: November 2015

Contact: Valerie A. Johnson, Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies

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Bennett College supports the Willa B. Player Endowed Professorship, named for the first black woman to head a four-year college in the United States. Player was President of Bennett College during the tumultuous years of the Civil Rights Movement, and under her leadership Bennett students played a key role in North Carolina desegregation efforts. This endowed professorship ensures that scholarship directed toward women’s leadership remains a key element of Bennett campus and intellectual life.

Bennett College provides support for a research fellowship for undergraduate students enrolled at the College, through which they conduct research on a topic of their choice with the guidance of a faculty advisor. Since its inception, the Research Fellows Program has had six fellows. The program was created to emphasize the importance of undergraduate research and to increase research opportunities for women and girls of color.

In November 2015, undergraduate fellow Jaiza Wesley presented her preliminary research findings at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium at High Point University.  And fellow B. Malique Jones presented the research poster “Effects of Sodium Azide on Plants: Development of a System to Measure Active Uptake of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Product Ingredients“ at the 18th Annual North Carolina Environmental Justice Network Summit.

Bennett College is also committed to helping advance junior faculty in their research journey. To that end, three Bennett faculty members presented their ongoing research at the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University’s Faculty Research Seminar throughout the 2015-2016 academic year.

“Connecting with community and learning to translate research into information of use to members of the community outside the academy is an important part of our program and one of my key responsibilities as Bennett’s faculty liaison to the Collaborative.”

Valerie Ann Johnson, Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies and Director, Africana Women’s Studies