Illinois State University’s African American Studies (AAS) program announced its inaugural award winners at a recent ceremony.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Co-director of AAS Brea Banks bestowed $500 scholarships to students Kimya Oliphant and Elizabeth Bello. Both are currently enrolled in the African American Studies minor, have completed nine or more credit hours, and are in good standing. Oliphant is a junior criminal justice sciences major. Bello is a junior health promotion and education major.

Assistant Professor of Criminal Sciences Charles Bell was awarded the inaugural African American Studies Summer Research Initiative. The $1,500 grant aims to encourage faculty research related to African Americans that explore some aspect of life, politics, history, and cultural/artistic expression. Bell’s research examines perceptions of school discipline.

Offered as a minor for the past 15 years, African American Studies (AAS) made the move to a program last year.

The awards are co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the African American Studies Program.