The Africana advantage
Our individualized mentorship program allows students to conduct independent research with faculty. Some of this research is funded through the McNair Scholars Program and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry program (CSTEP). Our high-achieving students have presented their research at conferences sponsored by the New York State African Studies Association, the International Society of African Philosophy and Studies and the American Sociological Association. Their research has also been published in academic journals, under the supervision of our faculty.
Summer research internships:
In conjunction with the McNair Scholars Program, we mentor eligible students interested in pursuing a PhD. The McNair Scholars Program, created by the U.S. Congress in 1986, works to increase the numbers of low-income, first-generation and/or under-represented minority students attending graduate school and earning doctorates. Qualifying students receive stipends for summer research and semester funding which allows them to work with faculty to gain critical research, academic and professional experiences to apply toward admission to doctoral programs.
Our students may explore interests and career opportunities through a variety of internships on or off campus, locally or around the country. Projects are guided by a faculty member or an associated faculty member of the department. Students arrange internships with an institution – a government or social services agency, school, community agency, research institute or other agency or program – and work under the supervision of a member of that agency. Working with the agency supervisor, they create a statement of expectations that includes a number of contact hours and serves as part of the course record. The student and faculty member agree on a project, which could be a written paper or journal bibliography, that focuses on the interdisciplinary dimension of the internship and serves as a basis for assessment.
A new initiative focuses on the integration of technologies into our curriculum. Our goal is to effectively position our students in the workforce that increasingly demands them to utilize constantly expanding Internet-based resources. It is imperative that Africana Studies students acquire relevant information and skills so they can construct databases, navigate and search the Web, build websites and operate comfortably in a digital world.
We offer two types of internships for qualifying students with Web development skills: electronic publishing journal internships and database development internships.
Train students in the art and science of independent academic publication so they understand the modalities of electronic, scholarly publications. Our interns will work on a project for West Africa Review, Ijele: Art eJournal of the African World or International Journal for African Philosophy and Studies. A prototype can be reviewed at West Africa Review.
Students will develop technical skills as they train in the craft of electronic publishing and participate in the exciting new world of electronic scholarly publication.
Requirements are a basic facility with the tools of electronic publication including e-mail, word processing, HTML, stylesheets, perl and/or emacs; a good academic record; and understanding of the basic philosophy of journal publications.
This is not an editorial assistant position. Duties include handling submissions, obtaining peer review, copy editing, finalizing the conversion of documents, managing the journal numbers, soliciting papers, etc. The successful intern will perform all duties required of editors of electronic journals.
All duties are performed under the supervision and guidance of the project director and journal management editor, Nkiru Nzegwu, professor and chair of Africana Studies, who will direct interns, evaluate their performance and be responsible for teaching them the critical skills they need to know. Interns will also conduct self-evaluations and keep a daily journal of their activities and what they learned. A short position paper on what was gained from the experience will be required at the end of the program.
These internships run for two consecutive years, though exceptions can be made.
Contact Professor Nzegwu for additional information.
Database development internships
Train students to develop and work with database-driven websites so they understand the principles for conducting targeted Internet searches, develop a comprehensive view of Africa-related materials on the Web, acquire the techniques for quick website evaluation, learn cataloging skills, become proficient in using Microsoft Access and MSQL and learn critical HTML tags and codes.
Students will conduct extensive, thorough searches of the Internet to identify three categories of sites about Africa: 1) major websites, b) medium-range websites and c) websites which contain significant material on Africa. Students will then compile a list of all URLs from these sites, review the contents and, using Microsoft Access software, catalog the sites alphabetically, along geographical lines and by subject.
Students will be supervised by the project director, Nkiru Nzegwu, professor and chair of Africana Studies, who will direct and evaluate performance and work with them to develop the required critical skills. Interns will also conduct self-evaluations and keep a daily journal of their activities and what they learned. A short position paper on what was gain from the experience will be required at the end of the program.
These internships run for one semester and can be renewed.
Contact Professor Nzegwu for additional information.