News, Faculty Highlights, and Student Achievements

Cover Jubilees

Africana Studies celebrates Professor Dexter Gabriel

May 16, 2024






Tae'niajha PullenUConn student, Tae’Niajha, has been named 2024-2025 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact!

May 16, 2024





Professor David Embrick

May 16, 2024

We are pleased to announce that UConn Hartford – City of Hartford Partnerships for the Common Good – (Nadine Brennan, Kim Schwarz, David Embrick, Cynthia Donnelly, Janice Castle) have been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Provost Awards for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship (PAECES) in the Institutional Transformation Award category.  This award is given to individuals, units and organizations that advance public engagement at UConn at the institutional level. Our congratulations on this accomplishment!

Martha J. CutterProfessor Martha Cutter received the 2024 MELUS Award!

April 17, 2024

She received the award for Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Studies or the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Society’s highest accolades, honors esteemed colleagues and scholars in multiethnic studies.




Cohen Scholarship recipients holding $12,000 check

Congratulations to Africana Studies Major, Tae’Niajha Pullen, recipient of the Cohen Student Leadership Scholarship

March 8, 2024

The University’s Cohen Student Leadership Scholarship recognizes students who have demonstrated a significant and active commitment to eliminating bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination and to fostering tolerance and understanding among the campus community as a direct part of their active membership in their registered student organizations.

Lizamishel Boateng on the left, Tae'niajha in the middle, Foluke Akinkunmi on the right. Group photo at the Yale School of Management Women's Leadership Conference

Empowering Minds: Africana Studies Students Attend Yale SOM Women’s Leadership Conference, Fempire!

March 5, 2024

March 2, 2024, we proudly sent two Africana Studies majors and one minor to the annual Yale SOM Women’s Leadership Conference: Fempire! Our students immersed themselves in the inspiring stories of incredible women speakers and connected with diverse individuals, gaining valuable insights into navigating life and careers.


Girl student writing numbers on the whiteboard

Assistant Professor Marketa Burnett was highlighted for her work on Fostering Black Girl Magic in Students

February 22, 2024

Assistant Professor Marketa Burnett was featured on UConn Today: HDFS Researcher Offers 3 Ways for Educators to Foster Black Girl Magic in Students. Assistant professor Marketa Burnett was also interviewed about black girls belonging in schools. Listen Here!


Congratulations to Professor Evelyn M. Simien: 2024 Distinguished Purdue Alumni Scholar

February 16, 2024

Professor Evelyn M. Simien has been selected as a Purdue University 2024 Distinguished Purdue Alumni Scholar. The award is intended to recognize the doctoral alumni of Purdue who have made significant scholarly contributions within their chosen field and in doing so have contributed extensively to the advancement of women in academia.


UConn Today: CLAS Connections: Fiona Vernal and Amanda Cannada.

Feb 12, 2024

Five heartfelt minutes with Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies Fiona Vernal and Africana Studies Program Assistant Amanda Cannada.


Professor Fiona Vernal participated in an invitation-only panel, “Celebrating the Impact of African American Connecticut”

Feb 1, 2024

Professor Fiona Vernal was an invited panelist at the New Haven Museum on Feb 1, 2024 for the 10th anniversary of the publication of African American Connecticut Explored, a landmark collection on the histories and contributions of African Americans to Connecticut and United States’ history. Dr Vernal reflected on her recent research and scholarship on the intersection of African American and Caribbean history in Hartford.






Congratulations to Professor Evelyn M. Simien: Nominated as the Senior Scholar from UConn for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program.

Feb 1, 2024

Professor Evelyn M. Simien was nominated by UConn President Maric as the senior scholar for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program. Award notification is slated for April 2024. Fellowships of $200,000 are awarded annually to 30 exceptional scholars, authors, journalists, and public intellectuals. The criteria prioritize the originality and promise of the research, its potential impact on the field, and the scholar’s plans for communicating the findings to a broad audience. The funding is for a period of one or two years with the anticipated result of a book or major study. 


Recent Article Published by Professor Evelyn M. Simien, Professor Thomas J. Hayes, and Doctoral Student Carolyn Conway

Feb 1, 2024

Simien, Evelyn M., Thomas J. Hayes, and Carolyn Conway. 2024. “The Democratic Majority and the 2016 American Presidential Election: Feminist Political Behavior Across Multiple Axes of Identity.” Political Research Quarterly 77(March): 371-385.




Dr. Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar has made Publishers Weekly’s list of the Top Nonfiction Books of 2023!

Jan 19, 2024

Dr. Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar has made Publishers Weekly’s list of the Top Nonfiction Books of 2023! His latest book is titled: “America’s Black Capital: How African Americans Remade Atlanta in the Shadow of the Confederacy.”




Discover the insights and passions of  UConn History and Africana Studies professor, Deidre Cooper Owens.

January 16, 2024

In this engaging interview, she delves into her groundbreaking research on the history of medicine, slavery, and women’s history, sharing glimpses of her sabbatical projects, including a unique biography of Harriet Tubman.

Listen to the full interview!


The Secret Life of Dexter Gabriel

January 16, 2024

Explore the captivating journey of UConn Africana Studies and History professor Dexter Gabriel, who, under the pen name P. Djèlí Clark, found literary success in the world of science fiction. From receiving his Ph.D. to the thrill of publishing, witness the secret life of Dexter Gabriel unfold in the realm of fantasy and storytelling.


Fiona Vernal’s EPOCH Program is Now officially in Partnership with Connecticut Humanities

Connecticut Humanities has awarded a $200,000 Partnership Grant to Fiona Vernal for her program “An Integrated Framework for Engaged, Public, Oral, and Community Histories” (or EPOCH), which focuses on the expansion of public history, encouraging collaboration between UConn undergraduates, faculty, archivists, and community organizations to tell captivating stories that have taken place both across the globe and in Connecticut.