Dr. Allison Upshaw and Dr. Craig Soaries, distinguished educators at Stillman College, have been honored with the 2024-2025 Henry C. McBay Faculty Research Fellowship from the UNCF. This fellowship supports doctorate-level faculty, enabling them to pursue research pivotal to their fields and professional development.

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Dr. Craig Soaries, the Director of the Harte Honors College and an Associate Professor, alongside Dr. Allison Upshaw, an Associate Professor of Music, will embark on significant research endeavors. Their selection reflects their commitment to academic excellence and continuous professional growth.

Official Stillman, Instagram
Official Stillman, Instagram

Dr. Upshaw's project, "Student reFraming: Narratives of African American Female Landownership in Alabama’s Black Belt," aims to utilize historical records in a research-based, artistic initiative targeted at K-20 students. This collaborative effort involves students, educators, and community members, enhancing their ability to conduct historical research using public records such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, deeds, cemetery records, court documents, census data, tax records, and genealogical information. These documents will serve as a foundation for exploring the history and culture of African American female landowners in Alabama's Black Belt. Students will create character sketches and digital shorts from the research data to share with the broader community.

Dr. Soaries will focus his fellowship on "Discovering and Developing the Stillman Harte Honors College as an Exemplary Honors College Experience." His research will examine the historical and contemporary significance of Honors Colleges at UNCF institutions. By comparing Stillman’s Honors College with other UNCF-affiliated colleges and universities, Dr. Soaries aims to highlight the role, importance, and effectiveness of Honors Colleges in promoting academic excellence, leadership development, and societal advancement among students.

The Henry C. McBay Faculty Research Fellowship commemorates Dr. Henry Ransom Cecil McBay, a prominent chemist and educator who taught for over four decades in the Atlanta University System, including at Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Atlanta University. Dr. McBay was instrumental in founding the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), leaving a lasting legacy through his dedication to STEM education and his significant contributions to chemistry.

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