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College of Arts and Sciences

Research Initiatives

Current Initiatives

We are currently developing research initiatives that would involve faculty, students, and members of the community. Current initiatives focus on COVID-19 and issues surrounding racial injustice.

Undergraduate Research and Literary Journal

Athena is housed in the TRiO-Opportunity Scholars Program and the Institute for African American Research at the University of South Carolina-Columbia. Athena is a peer-reviewed undergraduate research and literary journal founded in 2017 and was originally produced to house high quality scholarly work by first-generation low-income college students in the TRiO-OSP Programs at the University of South Carolina.

The journal still prioritizes the works produced by first generation college students but is now also open to submissions by all undergraduate students across colleges throughout the United States and territories. All submission will receive the same level of consideration.

We are now calling for submissions of essays, short stories, poetry, or photo narratives by undergraduate students that focus on the effects of COVID-19 on their college life experiences.

Papers can be submitted to Dr. Cornet at by November 15, 2020 at 5pm. Publication is expected in the spring/summer of 2021.

Essays, short stories, poetry, and photo narratives should be no less than 3500 words, and no more than 5000 words. All works should follow MLA formatting style. 

Previous Research Initiatives

The IAAR Research Fellowships are competitive awards that support projects in any area of African, African American, or African Diaspora research and primarily focus on encouraging research and creative activities to generate projects that will enter the mainstream, raise public awareness, and have the potential to secure additional funding for extended study. These grants emphasize interdisciplinary research, seek to encourage development of traditional grant applications, and work to promote scholarly interchange

2017-2018 Research Fellowship Recipients

Tiffany Jones, PhD Candidate
Department of Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences

From Virgin to Virtuous: Exploring the Socialization and Authentication Practices of Spoken Word Poetry

Kaleea Lewis, PhD Candidate
Department Health, Promotion, Education, and Behavior
Arnold School of Public Health

Racism, African American College Students' Mental Health, and the Efficacy of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: A Case Study

Gary Sellick, PhD Candidate
Department of History
College of Arts and Sciences

Black Skin, Red Coats: The Carolina Corps and Racial Identity in the British Caribbean

Dr. Florencia Cornet
TRiO Department
Opportunity Scholars Program
Dutch Caribbean Performativities: A Critical Analysis of Gender, Literature, Visual Arts, and Popular Culture from the Curacaoan Diaspora

Dr. Laura Smith
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
College of Information and Communications

Minority Millennials and News Engagement

Dr. Najmah Thomas
Department of Social Sciences
USC Beaufort

Preservation, Perseverance and Prosperity: How the Gullah/Geechee Community can Leverage a Living Monument


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.