Saint Louis University

Student Testimonies

What students are saying about the African American Studies Program

 

 

 

Lorenzo Herman, Class of 2011

Major: Philosophy & Letters and African American Studies

 

Why did you choose to pursue a major in African American Studies?

I chose to major in African American Studies because i am a descendent of African slaves and i wanted to learn more about Black people outside of Black History Month.

Which classes were your favorites?

Black Women in Society, African American Literature, African American Religious Traditions, and Contemporary Black America.

Why should a student pursue a certificate?

A student should pursue African American studies to get a breadth of knowledge about Africans in America and to be prepared to work with the Black community in a variety of areas such as policy, health care, education, etc.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?

I plan to teach courses that are African American centered.

What are you plans for after graduation?

I plan to graduate Theology school.

 

Curissa Seawood, Class of 2011 - Major: Psychology and African American Studies



Favorite quote:

"Without struggle, there is no Progress." -Frederick Douglass 

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American studies?

I wanted to learn more about the history of my people and to understand it in a way that i never would have if I didn't take these courses here at SLU.

Which classes were your favorites?

I really enjoyed African American Religious Traditions, History of African American Cinema, Intro to African American Studies, Contemporary Black America, African American Psychology, and Black Women in Society .

Why should students pursue the certificate?

It is a great learning experience.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?

It will help me to understand history and it majes me want to do my best in everything I do since my ancestors fought so hard for me to do so.

 

Charles Turner, Class of 2011 - Majors: African American Studies & International Studies

Why did you choose to pursue a major in African American Studies?

I chose to pursue the major because of the influence of the African American Studies professors and alumni that recommended it to me. Once I explored some of the classes,in the program, I knew what had been missing from my collegiate experience and i found it in African American studies.

Which classes were your favorites?

My favorites were Contemporary Black America and  Human Sexuality in the Black Community.

Why should students pursue the certificate?

Obtaining a certificate in African American Studies is important because it allows all students to be educated on a needed part of American history that they most likely would not receive outside of the program.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to continue my education. First I will pursue a Master of Arts in Public Administration here at SLU. After completing this program, I plan to attend law school. I eventually plan to have a career in law that will also connect me to the non-profit sector of government and give me opportunities to help rebuild communities in need.

 

Seth Weixlmann, Class of 2011 - Major: History


Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?

After taking several years of history classes I discovered that my interest was primarily in African American history. I jumped at the chance to add an African American Studies certificate when I found out that I could further focus my studies around African American history with the numerous class offerings in the program.

What courses did you enjoy most or find most beneficial?

I found the final project for Contemporary Black America to be the most enjoyable part of the certificate program. Students were able to design a particular program that they would be able to institute into a specific facet of African American society. I chose to create a program for primarily African American schools in order to lower dropout rates.

Did you have any classroom experiences or internship(s) that was more meaningful or enjoyable because of the knowledge and information gained in your African American Studies courses?

I have been working at the Missouri History Museum for the past semester primarily creating a distance learning program based around the causes for the Civil War. The knowledge and information gained from my African American Studies courses helped me in preparation for this internship as well as for the quality of the program I created.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?

After graduation I will be attending graduate school and will use my studies of African American history in order to focus on masters programs.

 

Lauren Woods, Class of 2011 - Major: Sociology

 

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?

I chose to pursue a certificate in African American studies, because I believe it is so important to immerse myself into my history and culture. In addition, my first course in African American studies here at Saint Louis University sparked my interest and inspired me to learn more about the discipline and myself.

Which classes were your favorites?

Dr. Stefan Bradley's Intro to African American studies and his Race and Athletics in the 20th century classes were my favorite. I continuously found myself learning new things everyday. The innovative and interesting ways that he taught the class intrigued me to learn more and pursue a certificate in African American studies.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?

The information that I have learned in the African American studies courses will help me after graduation, by furthering my knowledge on not only African American culture and history, but other cultures as well. I often find myself quoting something I have learned from the courses in my day to day conversations

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation I plan on going to law school. As an African woman, I want to help the underprivileged and minorities understand the law and the importance of knowing their rights.

 

Erica Clark, Class of 2010 - Major: Communication

 

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?

The classes were very interesting and were an easy fit into my four year program at SLU. By incorporating African American studies into my curriculum I find that I reference those classes most in my marketing and communication classes which is a complete benefit to me and my future career.

Tamara Harris, Class of 2010 - Major: Social Work

 

Favorite quote:

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." ~James Baldwin

Why should a student pursue the certificate?

Whether, Black, White, or whatever race a person may be, I think it is important to educate one's self on another culture. With the African American Studies program, the classes are very interesting and I think they genuinely capture the student's attention. The professor's are also very personable and make the student feel comfortable in the classroom. They are also very easy to talk to and are passionate about seeing their students succeed.

Michael Jones, Class of 2010 - Major: African American Studies, Sociology, Theological Studies


Did you have any classroom experiences or internship(s) that was more meaningful or enjoyable because of the knowledge and information gained in your African American Studies courses?
Yes….while taking professor Bradley's youth movement's class, I was inspired to start Brother Initiative for Black males at SLU.

What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on eventually moving to Chicago and attending graduate school at UIC to pursue a master's degree in Policy Studies.

Whitney King, Class of 2010 - Major: Health Information Management

Did you have any classroom experiences or internship(s) that were more meaningful or enjoyable because of the knowledge and information gained in your African American Studies courses?

I always sought out ways to combine my health education and my certificate education. I was able to do this in a real world setting by taking advantage of the Field Study course. For a semester, I served as a student intern and volunteer for the local St. Louis community health center CHIPS (Community Health In-Partnership Services). CHIPS serves many uninsured African American people in the St. Louis area.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I plan to complete graduate school to earn my master of Health Administration by Spring 2011. I also plan to pursue doctoral studies. I aspire to teach one day.

Chris Martin, Class of 2009 - Major: Sociology & African American Studies

Why should a student pursue the certificate?

In the certificate program I found not only a wealth of knowledge about my heritage, but I also gained great relationships with classmates and professors. The African American Studies department has a welcoming environment that provided much needed support.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?

The knowledge I am taking with me from the courses I have taken will help me to bring an important and often neglected perspective to the subjects my professional career address.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be attending law school in the fall of 2009.

Shanae Chapman, Class of 2009 - Major: Communication

What courses did you enjoy most or find most beneficial?

Rev. Witherspoon's African American Religious Traditions course gave me a historical account of the origins of the African American Church, which I had not known before.  Dr. Scott's Contemporary Black America course was informative in providing information about race matters from the past that affect the present day, such as the legalized discrimination in housing, and home equity which is seen as a source for the economic gap between whites and blacks today.

Did you have any classroom experiences or internship(s) that was more meaningful or enjoyable because of the knowledge and information gained in your African American Studies courses?

Discussions about gender, class and race in my Communications courses were insightful because I took African American courses that covered those subjects from an African American Studies perspective, which made discussions interesting and enlightening to my classmates in other classes, who did not take African American Studies courses.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I plan to work as a web designer, and attend grad school, and volunteer with at risk children.

Kerry Wilson, Class of 2009 - Major: Communication & African American Studies

Famous Quote - "Dwell in Possibility." Emily Dickinson

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?

I wanted to pursue an African American studies major because I wanted to focus my Communication studies on African Americans.  By pursing the African American Studies major, it allowed me the opportunity to think critically about issues of media representation for an African American perspective.

Why should a student pursue the certificate?

Students should purse an African American Studies certificate or major in order to deepen their understanding of African American culture and issues of diversity.  Pursing a certificate or a major will also allow students to compliment their studies by allowing them to view their required coursework from a different perspective.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I have accepted the Diversity Fellowship in the Department of Communication at Saint Louis University where I will be pursing a Master's Degree.  While there, I am planning to study media representations of African Americans with a focus on African American women and families laying the groundwork for doctoral level study in Communication and African American Studies.

Emily Brennan, Class of 2009 - Major: English

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of you intuition.  What you'll discover will be wonderful.  What you'll discover will be yourself." - Alan Alda

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?

I chose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies because I love learning about cultures that are different from my own.  I had also heard great things about the program and I wanted to check out the classes for myself.

What courses did you enjoy most or find most beneficial?

I enjoyed all of the classes, but there were a few that particularly stood out.  I loved Rev. Witherspoon's African American Religious Traditions class because it illustrated the importance that African and African American culture has on religion in the black community today.  I also enjoyed the class because I had never taken a religion class that focused on African American culture.  Another course that I would recommend is Contemporary Black America class.  I enjoyed the class because it was conducted in a lecture-discussion format which allowed me to have a lot of interesting conversations with my peers.

Why should a student pursue the certificate?

A student should pursue a certificate or major because the program enriches the minds of both the students and their professors.  The programs is unique because the material covered in courses both challenge and excite students.  Also, the African American Studies program is like a family-you meet people who have different opinions than you...you learn from them and they learn from you.  The professors really care about their students and the classes challenge students to think in different ways.

What are you plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I will be going to New Hampshire as a City Year Corps Member.  I will mentor and work with children from low-income areas, engage in hands-on activities, complete office work and assist in community development work.  After the 10 month program is over, I plan on going to graduate school for my Masters in Philanthropy or Non-profit Management and eventually getting a doctorate in english.  After school, I'd love to work in a non-profit organization in a big city.

Laura Newman, Class of 2009 - Major: Communication

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?

As a student pursuing an American Studies minor I thought that an African American Studies certificate would not only help me better understand the history of the United States and our diverse make up, but give me insight into the hidden histories of American culture.

Which classes were your favorites?

African American Diaspora with Dr. Stephen Casmier.

What courses did you enjoy most or find most beneficial?

African American Religious Traditions with Rev. Witherspoon

What are you plans for after graduation?

I plan to travel around and do seasonal work, hopefully at a ski resort in the French Alps, until I find a real job at a museum or non profit.

Ashley Grey, Class of 2009 - Major - African American Studies

Activities while at SLU: SLU Cheerleader, BSA Communication Chair

What  courses did you enjoy most of find most beneficial?

Afican Americans in the Mass Media & Black Women in Society.

Why should a student pursue the certificate?

It gives you an in-depth, historic look at African-Americans, not what's in your average textbook.

What are you plans for after graduation?

WORK, WORK, WORK!  Graduate school, then open my own business.  My lifetime plan is to help other African American students afford college.

Gozie Ndolo, Class of 2009 - Major:  Physical Therapy

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?
I chose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies because I was fortunate enough to have an intro class in high school and a wonderful teacher who inspired me to learn more about this discipline and myself.  He didn't just read a required text he encouraged us to problem solve and challenge a lot of false things that were left out of our history books from other classes.  My teacher stirred up curiosity inside me and I wanted to explore more in depth a somewhat forgotten untold story.

What classes were your favorites or what courses did you enjoy most of find most beneficial?
I enjoyed History of Africa since 1880 and I found it very beneficial.  I knew nothing of the time period after slavery and it helped me understand Africa in its current state and why countries have some of their struggles today.

Why should a student pursue the certificate?
I feel that a student should pursue a certificate because you learn and have fun at the same time.  There definitely is work to get done but you have fun doing it while learning things that most people don't get the chance to.   It also helps to learn about your culture or the culture of those around you since we live in such a diverse country.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?
This information will help me be more culture sensitive.  I didn't just learn about African Americans, I learned about may other ethnicities and it help me appreciate other cultures.  I know I will have patients of all walks of life and being able to respect them means I should be able to have some knowledge of who the are;  if not, one thing learned to prevent ignorance is to just ask.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I am a six year Doctorate in Physical Therapy program so I will be at SLU.  My anticipated DPT graduation date is May, 2011.

Casey Charise Smith, Class of 2009 - Major: Psychology and African American Studies 

h

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?
I pursued a certificate in African-American Studies because I realized that there is still so much to learn about the many dynamics within the black community and its association and connection to the major society.  By understanding myself, my heritage, my advantages and disadvantages, I can become a better person and a better member of my community.

What classes were your favorites OR What courses did you enjoy most or find most beneficial?
I really enjoyed all my African-American Studies classes.  I really enjoyed Black Women in Society, African-American Religious Traditions, Race & Athletics, and American Slavery.

Why should a student pursue the certificate?
I think students should pursue a certificate or a major because there is so much to learn from these courses!!!  I knew what area I wanted to go in, which was psychology, but my additional major in African-American Studies allowed me to realize where I wanted to focus my future goals and research.  I believe that pursuing a greater understanding in African-American studies will allow one to understand that there are many ways they can help the growth and prosperity of the black community and society as a whole.

What are your plans for after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to enter into a PhD program Fall of 2009. 

 

Candice Williams, Class of 2007 - Psychology

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?
I enjoyed taking African American classes because of the relevance of the coursework and discussion to my life. After taking several classes, getting a certificate just made sense.

Which classes were your favorites?
My favorite classes were African American Psychology and Psychology of Oppression because they fused African Americans cultural characteristics with concepts of psychology, which is my major.

Why should a student pursue the certificate?
Students who want to learn more about African American culture should pursue the certificate.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?
I often find my self sharing what I learn in class with my family and friends.

What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation, I will start work with a mental health facility as a community support worker and next October I will pursue my Masters in Counseling.

LaMarcus Bolton, Class of 2007 - Psychology

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?
I pursued a certificate in African-American studies because of the class atmosphere and relative course topics. The course environment oftentimes consists of an African-American teacher and a class full of African-American students who discuss issues related to the African-American community. In most classes on Saint Louis University’s campus, African-Americans are exposed to the traditional European worldview. However, African-American studies courses allow for both Caucasian- and African-Americans to experience more Afro-centric perspectives, which are imperative to know in today’s diverse society.

Which classes were your favorites?
My two favorite classes were African-American Psychology, taught by Dr. Eddie Clark, and African-American Religious Traditions, instructed by Rev. Anthony Witherspoon. These courses brought light to two topics within the African-American community that are often ignored in traditional psychology or theology courses.

Why should a student pursue the certificate?
No matter what career or life goal one has, they will be exposed to a multitude of cultures and races. While African-American culture is obviously not the only, it does make up a large portion of the non-Caucasian groups. Thus, studying African-Americans can only prove beneficial for a person’s development, as it allows for one to have a greater sense of understanding with the culture.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?
Since I am pursuing a graduate education in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, the knowledge gained in my African-American studies courses will serve as a springboard for future research with African-Americans in the workplace. Within the emerging field of I/O Psychology, African-American-specific literature is very scarce, so the ideas and knowledge gained from my African-American studies courses may bring a new perspective and interesting research ideas to the field.

Angela Lewis, Class of 2004 - Communication
Women's Billiken Basketball

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate?
I chose to get a certificate in African American Studies because I have always had an interest in studying African Americans but never before had classes been offered.

Which classes were your favorites?
The classes I found most interesting were Black Women in Society and African American Psychology. Being a Black woman, I truly began to better understand myself and my place in the world after taking Black Women in Society. Black Psychology gave me a different perspective on psychology issues and help me understand life as an African American.

Why should a student pursue the certificate?
All students regardless of race should pursue a certificate in African American Studies because they will gain the ability to critically analyze information they receive while gaining knowledge about African Americans.

Matthew Gessesse, Class of 2004 - Political Science

Why did you pursue the certificate?
I decided to pursue a certificate in African American Studies because of my plan of exploring my identity. I later found that it is significant not only in knowing myself, but also knowing what history has included and what it has not.

Any favorite classes?
I found that the Philosophy and Race course to be most challenging. It helped me most in examining my principles and allowing me to be self critical.

Why should a student pursue the certificate?
A student should pursue a certificate because it would assist them in their identity development, which is so critical to college success and success in life for that matter.

How will the certificate program help you after college?
The information I gained in the program will assist me in my quest and questioning of knowledge. The importance of critical thinking cannot be downplayed. Practically speaking, the information allows me to understand social systems, physical institutions, and the human condition to a level where I may become a competent and secure citizen. Following graduation, I plan to attend law school where I will study critical race theory, international human rights law, and international trade law.

Brandon Roby, Class of 2003 - Human Resources Management

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?
SLU has a lot to offer, and at the same time, it is very easy for someone to get lost in such a vast sea of assimilation. The African American Studies program is an oasis in that respect, as it is one of the very few bright spots to keep African Americans grounded, and it helps to create a network of individuals who have common interests, interests that usually go unfounded by the normal everyday events of Saint. Louis University.

What courses did you enjoy most or find most beneficial?
The history of black music is a VERY beneficial class, because black music today, in particular rap and some other hip hop type songs, are giving black people as a whole a bad name. The intro courses are also very beneficial, because they help to give a student a wide range of information, and it can help them to figure out what it is that they want to focus on while they are in school.

Why should a student pursue a certificate?
The courses are just flat out interesting. You learn things in these classes that you won't find in high school history books, or even normal college history classes. The black culture has a lot to offer, and has had a HUGE impact on American Life as we know it. Just about anything you can think of has had some "splash of black" thrown into it: dancing, singing, clothing, car style, hair style, and even the way people want to look as far as body builds. If you can take advantage of any of these growing trends, then at least a person should know where these trends come from.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?
These courses help black students especially, because today's youth is forgetting who they are. They are so caught up in trying to be this, and trying to be that, that they have forgotten exactly what it is that they are trying to be. People don't even know why they do things anymore, other than the fact that everyone else is doing it. Courses like this teach you things about life and not just what you need to get a diploma. I think it will help me to understand black people, and now, I have ammunition when I sit down to talk to folks about what it is that they are doing.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I'm currently working for a life insurance company, and it is going pretty good for the most part. I may continue in this, or I may try something else in the future. A couple years down the road, I am going back to school to get my masters, but I think I am going to wait until I am ready to go corporate. I get job offers in the mail on a weekly basis, so it is hard to say what I will be doing, but I just keep my eyes open, my pockets full, and my heart happy, and keep on keeping on.

Marva Robinson, Class of 2002 - Psychology

Why did you choose to pursue a certificate in African American Studies?
I started my first semester at SLU and was amazed at the lack of coverage on African Americans. I realized that professors can teach whatever material they feel is necessary. Who I am, where I come from, and the contributions that my ancestors made to this country are relevant and important to me, I knew that it would be my responsibility to seek out the full truths of my education. Thankfully, I have learned that and so much more being apart of the African American Studies Program.

What courses did you enjoy most or find most beneficial?
I instantly think of African American Religious Traditions, which taught me theology from the black experience. However, I also enjoyed Black Psychology, because as a psychology major I was often taught half of the story. But undoubtedly my favorite class was Black Women in Society. It was the first and only class that took an academic focus on a class of invisible persons in America. I was able to discover pride in my loud voice, joy in my sassy attitude, and a new sung melody in sisterhood. I truly would recommend this class to every student I meet, not just African American women.

Why should a student pursue a certificate?
America is not made of one race, or two for that matter. However, if a perspective graduate is expecting to be successful in this world, they must be equipped with the knowledge and understanding of African Americans. Although some students may have made it thus far in their life without coming into contact with minorities, that sheltered life can not continue forever. Besides putting success as a factor, students should want the certificate for the satisfaction of personal and human growth, in order to learn another side of history, theology, literature, and psychology that is often left out of mainstream academia. In essence they should pursue the certificate to become a better person.

How will the information you gained in the courses help you after graduation?
It has helped me to be able to carry intelligent conversation about the Black Diaspora. It has helped me to educate a few professors that often teach false information, with the misconception that students have never taken the time to learn about Black history for themselves. The certificate has equipped me with tool of knowledge; knowledge about the Black Diaspora, the fight of the black woman, the religion of slaves, and so much more. Socially the certificate gave me the experience I needed in order to work with African American clients. I'm currently a psychology major and a large majority of the patients we treat are black. I took Dr. Clark's Black Psychology course and to this day I still refer to my texts and research study for guidance.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I'm currently enrolled at Nova Southeastern University completing my first year as a doctorate student in clinical psychology. I'm the social chairperson for a student organization called Ethnic Minority Association for Graduate Students, and currently seeking ways of founding a Black Student Alliance.

© 1818 - 2015  SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY   |   Disclaimer   |  Mobile Site
St. Louis   |   Madrid