Aleah Brown, Norton-Textra Endowed Scholarship

Majors: English and political science

Minor: Blount Scholars Program

Hometown: Dothan, Alabama

Favorite Experience at UA: I am really grateful that I participated in the Black Scholars Program. Its aim is to provide equitable access to information for Black freshmen and transfer students regarding opportunities available on campus and abroad. Many of the opportunities I received stemmed from lessons I learned in the program as a freshman. It seemed like every time we met, Dr. Denham, our director at the time, instructed us to repeat that “will not work at the mall this summer.” It may sound funny, but in those moments, as a student with a job back home at her local movie theater, I knew exactly what he meant. That year, after spending the first half of my summer working, I was able to study abroad in England with a program called UA@Oxford, and last summer I had the privilege to intern with both a local law firm and the Office of Public Affairs of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts because of the emphasis the Black Scholars Program placed on networking and doing more with our summers. Additionally, as a result of my federal internship, I was able to help write an article that honored the first Black woman to integrate the Capstone: Autherine Lucy Foster. After doing the research and seeing the article published, it really felt like my involvements came full circle. Now, I serve as a Black Faculty and Staff Association Ambassador and get to do a ton of fun things like help give Dr. Hilary Green’s Hallowed Grounds Tour for Black History month and help better educate myself and my peers regarding the history of those who quite literally paved the way for us to attend school here and the steps the university has taken to condemn its storied past and honor its overlooked heroes. While passion is a huge part, I credit these opportunities and several more from my participation in the Black Scholars Program as a freshman.

Favorite Class: Though it is impossible for me to pick a favorite course, I have to say that I really enjoyed EN 477, Dystopian Literature, with Dr. Cardon last Fall. The content was definitely as cool as the course title sounds. Our class read everything from classics such as 1984 to Afrofuturist novels such as n.k. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. I used to be an avid reader for leisure, but since I came to college, I have had to read so much for my majors and minor that I think I started getting a bit burnt out on reading just for fun. After this course, I fell in love with reading again, and I was even introduced to a few new genres that I did not realize I enjoyed. When you incrementally read the first book of a three-time Hugo award-winning trilogy, homework does not feel like something you have to do but rather something you get to do.

Future Plans: I will begin pursuing a law degree this fall. I have not decided where quite yet, but I am thankful to have had the opportunity to apply and be accepted into several schools. I hope to work in civil rights law in the South, and I have a particular interest in combatting wrongful convictions.