Norfolk State University Newsroom  


Student-Athlete Tapped For Prestigious Academic Fellowship

(NSU NEWSROOM--April 12, 2014)--Tiara Davis, a team captain for the NSU Women’s Track Team, not only tries to pole vault as high as she can on the field, but she also does the same in the classroom.

The 21-year-old, who is a junior history major, was recently selected to attend the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies Summer Humanities Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The institute is designed to enhance the competencies of students who plan to pursue master’s degrees or doctorates in humanities or humanistic social sciences, according to the program’s website. The eight-week program, which has a competitive application process, allows participants to attend special seminars about research writing and also work with mentors who will guide them as they complete individual research projects. The program will be held June 22 to Aug. 16.

Davis, who is an NSU Honors College student, said she looks forward to attending the program so she can learn more about critical thinking and also the chance to interact with students and faculty from other institutions.

“I think this will be a great experience and help to prepare me for graduate school,” Davis said. ”It will be good to meet and work with students from other universities.”

The program is named after the late Bunche, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was a former educator and undersecretary for the United Nations. Bunche helped lead the civil rights march in Montgomery, Ala., organized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965. He also frequently spoke out against racism and segregation.

Some of Davis’ professors described her as a leader and more than deserving of the opportunity to be accepted into the summer program.

Dr. Stephanie Richmond, assistant professor of history at NSU, said Davis is one of the first students within the history department to apply for the UCLA program.

“The Bunche Center fellowship is a very prestigious fellowship and we are proud of Ms. Davis,” Richmond said. “She is a very dedicated student and she is a real leader inside and outside of the classroom.”

Davis, who is also a MEAC Champion in the pole vault, said she plans to conduct research about African American history and the African Diaspora. She also said she hopes to learn more about women’s and Latin American history. Davis said her plans are to pursue a journalism or law career once she finishes graduate school.

“I’m excited. This will be the first time I have traveled to the West Coast and the program will help me to expand my educational knowledge.”

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