History and African American studies faculty receive UC-HBCU Pathways Grant

History and African American studies faculty receive UC-HBCU Pathways Grant

 Office of the Dean November 19, 2019

Jessica Millward, associate professor of history, and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, associate professor of African American studies, have received a three-year, $271,902, UC-HBCU Pathways Grant to partner with Morgan State University, a public and historically Black research university in Baltimore, Maryland. During the summers of 2020, 2021 and 2022, Millward and Willoughby-Herard will host four HBCU students on the UCI campus for a six-week research and graduate admissions pathway program centered on the Black digital humanities. As part of their training, students will gain skills in digital humanities and historical methods specifically focused on African American content, including work on the digital repository, “The Activist Studio West.”  Students will also produce their own archive by documenting the life of a living activist of their choosing.

“It is our responsibility to teach upcoming generations how to document moments and artifacts that may be lost to the historical record,” said Millward. “As individuals trained in UC Ph.D. programs, we understand the responsibility and moments of joy that come with mentoring the next generation of African American intellectuals. We are delighted to accept this award as it not only promises to diversify the academic pipeline but it also represents a culmination of decades of experience and best practices that have influenced our own lives in the academy. I always tell my students that studying African American history is not easy but it is transformational.”

Willoughby-Herard notes, “The best part of my work as a political science professor is being able to accompany, teach, and encourage younger Black people who are thinking critically and using their research and writing to address their own real-world questions and concerns. The long journey of earning a Ph.D., publishing academic research, and becoming a tenured professor, for me, is worth it because it comes with the incredible gift of being able to bring our next generation through the passage of learning how to effectively and systematically reject white supremacy with their own writing and research. Once focused, strengthened, and prepared with understanding about their own intellectual inheritance, our students can focus intently on learning from the situations that Black people are so often told are merely individual failings or outlying incidents instead of rooted in history.”

Willoughby-Herard continues, “This is a tremendous opportunity to bring African American graduate students concerned with the politics of activist history to UCI. We are delighted to partner with our many UCI & UC system stakeholders and Dr. Jewell Debnam at Morgan State University.”

Administered by the UC Office of the President, the UC-HBCU Initiative encourages UC faculty to actively engage in collaboration and cooperation with faculty and students at historically Black colleges and universities to attract and retain graduate scholars who reflect the communities of the world.

Photo caption: From left to right, Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Jessica Millward, and LaShonda R. Carter, a doctoral student in the UCI Culture and Theory Program who will assist with the administration of the grant.

Photo credit: Steven Zylius/UCI