Isaiah Jones Finding Inspiration as a Fellow at Emory University
I have almost completed my first week here at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. I am a recipient of the UNCF/Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. This esteemed fellowship is known for preparing the undergraduate student to achieve their Ph.D. and become a tenured professor.
I am attending the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Summer Institute for all Fellows from across the nation. There are 32 of us this year. I count it a rare opportunity and a priviledge to be in the company of such intelligent individuals who have a similar goal in mind: to obtain a Ph.D. I can truly say that the participants of this program are transformative and profound in their perspectives and total outlook on society.
I have been thoroughly enjoying myself, in the work and in the recreation at Emory. This campus has an atmosphere of self reliance and accountability. Not to mention, it is a large campus. My living accommodations is in a sorority house with all of the Undergraduate Fellows.
The work itself is challenging and requires research, analytical skills, time and patience. I am working on a prospectus that will lead into my study of a two-year thesis on the topic of “Speakers of a Second Language: Addressing the Stereotypes that Plague Multilingual Individuals in a Culturally Rich Society.” This topic is subject to modification.
My most empowering moment at this campus so far would be a session that I attended. The Rudolph Byrd Lecture Series is dedicated to the life and continued work of Dr. Rudolph P. Bryd. Dr. Byrd is a renowned professor of American Studies. He joined the Emory University faculty in 1991. Dr. Byrd earned his PhD at Yale. The speaker for the lecture was a “super-star” in the realm of Gender Studies, Dr. Beverly Guy- Sheftall, director of Women’s Research & Resource Center and the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College. She spoke on the topic of “Coretta Scott King: The Radical Teacher Activist.” I will leave only one powerful quote from Dr. Guy-Sheftall’s lecture:
“There is no way to make peace while preparing for war.” — Coretta Scott King
I am thankful to those who helped me achieve this opportunity. I will take full advantage of my resources here at Emory University. And I will continue to enjoy myself.