Africana Studies concentrators have the chance to extend their learning outside the classroom by participating in research, internships, and study abroad. 

Carter G. Woodson Award

Gina Morales

Gina Morales-Taveras ’18, a history major with double concentrations in Africana Studies and Latin American, Latinx and Caribbean Studies presents at the 2018 Academic Conference.  Her paper titled “Puerto Rican Humanity: An Analysis of Response to Disaster” won the 2018 Carter G. Woodson Award.

Carter G. Woodson was an African-American historian and scholar who was instrumental in initiating Black Studies programs. Graduating seniors who wish to be considered for the annual Carter G. Woodson Award in recognition of excellence must submit the following:

  1. A transcript of your Africana Studies courses.
  2. A personal statement (500-1000 words) explaining how Africana Studies has shaped your intellectual or artistic growth and how that is reflected in your best representative work. The selected work should showcase your engagement with the concentration/major.
  3. Either an essay/scholarly paper OR an original project in the arts.

The scholarly work should have African, African American, Afro-Caribbean and/or Afro-Latinx subjects as its focus, though the work may come from any scholarly field or related programming (e.g. summer research, work completed while abroad/away, etc.). Papers must be at least 7 pages in length, typed, double-spaced, and in a 12-point professional font with 1" margins. Papers should abide by recognized style guidelines such as those of MLA, APA, or Chicago, especially for any citations.

The original project in the arts should also be related to themes in the African, African American, Afro-Caribbean, and/or Afro-Latinx experience.  This project may be a musical composition, a theatrical presentation, a project in the visual arts, or creative writing.

All senior Africana Studies concentrators will be notified of the deadline when entries must be submitted to Susan Cunningham, associate director of concentrations, in Smith 329/331. An announcement of the winner will be made by the Provost's Office in April.

Diana Lee
2020 Recipient

Diana L. Lee '20, a psychology major with a concentration in Africana Studies and a minor in visual arts, was awarded the 2020 Carter G. Woodson Award for her portfolio and research project titled "The Importance of a Name." Her project looked at the origins and role of oral history in society and how it contributes to the historical record of the Black experience in the United States as well as the greater American narrative.

Course and Research Projects

Karie Magloire

Karie Magloire ’20, a history major and Africana Studies concentrator, stands in the center of a photo from her photo series titled “Scars of My Childhood.” For this final project for a visual arts course, Magloire drew upon coursework in history and Africana studies to reflect on gender, race, power, and representations of beauty.

Advanced research opportunities are available to students, where they work closely with a faculty member and present their research at the end of the year at the Holy Cross Academic Conference. Recent student research projects reveal the breadth of student work in the humanities, social sciences, arts, and STEM. Titles have included:

  • “The Changing South Africa?”
  •  “Gandhian Non-violence and the Leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr.”
  • “Roots Before Branches: An Investigative Look at Diaspora Tourism”
  • “Still Separate, Still Unequal: Socioeconomic Integration as a Remedy to Racial Segregation in American Public Schools”
  • “Wildlife Population Trends in a Pastoral Area of Northern Tanzania”

Study Abroad

This photo, titled “Water Scarcity,” was taken by Vasco Chavez-Molina '18, an anthropology and Environmental Studies double major with a concentration in Africana Studies, while studying abroad in Tanzania. It earned him second place in the 2017 study abroad photo contest. “When interviewing local Datoga villagers in Yaeda Valley about climate change, most of them stated that droughts are lasting longer while the rainy season is becoming shorter. This underground well, about 30 feet deep, provides water for their cattle during the dry season,” he says.

This photo, titled “Water Scarcity,” by Vasco Chavez-Molina ’18, an anthropology and Environmental Studies double major with a concentration in Africana Studies, was taken while he was studying abroad in Tanzania. It earned him second place in the 2017 study abroad photo contest. Interviewees in the Yaeda Valley in Northern Tanzania reported that droughts have been longer and rainy seasons have been shorter. The image is of an underground well, about 30 feet deep, that provides water for their cattle during the dry season. 


Students have studied at universities and programs all over the world including Australia, Kenya, Peru, the United Kingdom, and Tanzania. 

For additional information, visit the study abroad site.

Study Away

Studying at an Historically Black College or University (HBCU)

Students have the option of applying for a semester's study at an historically black college or university (HBCU), such as Howard University, Morehouse College, or Spelman College.

Washington and New York Semester Programs

Students may apply to the Washington Semester Program or New York Semester Program.

Tutorials, Academic Internships, and Cross-Registration

As part of a planned course of study, students may arrange tutorials and academic internships at Holy Cross and enroll in courses at Worcester consortium colleges.

Student Organizations  

Africana Studies concentrators are frequently involved in the following student groups. 

  • Black Student Union, a multicultural group dedicated to promoting black student presence and pride on campus.
  • Caribbean African Student Assembly (CASA) shares African and Caribbean Culture with the Holy Cross community, and through special events and performances, brings the culture to life.
  • Multicultural Peer Educators (MPEs), specially trained Holy Cross student volunteers who assist in programming, work with staff and residence assistants, and informally engage other students on topics of diversity.                
  • Fusion Hip-Hop Dance Team, a hip-hop dance group that combines influences from all styles of dance, and welcomes all dancers and dance enthusiasts to participate.
  • Rhythm Nation Steppaz, the only step team on campus, which hosts tryouts yearly for students interested in performing at various campus-related events and offers workshops for others interested in learning.