REACH

Research. Engagement. Action. Community. Humanities.

An opportunity for qualified students who have a sincere interest in pursuing graduate work for the express purpose of pursuing a career in academia. 

UNCP REACH Logo

In December 2019, UNC Pembroke received a three-year $950,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish R.E.A.C.H—a program designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in faculty positions in institutions of higher education across the United States. R.E.A.C.H. aims to create a groundswell of future scholars among American Indian, African-American, Hispanic-American and other underrepresented minorities interested in advanced study in the humanities--although any qualified student is eligible. 

Each Mellon Fellow will be paired with an individual faculty mentor to develop a research project. Mentors will also help Mellon Fellows target research repositories and appropriate conferences within their respective disciplines. Funds will be provided for research, travel, graduate school entrance exams, and an application to a graduate degree program in the humanities. Room and board will also be provided for the Summer Research Exploration Program that will be held on campus.

2023 - 2024 REACH Cohort

REACH cohort 2023-2024

2023-2024 R.E.A.C.H. Fellows

Genesis Gregory
Genesis Gregory

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

I watch ancient or animal documentaries before I go to bed.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

My ancestors would be the people I would most like to have dinner with if I could, both living and dead, so that I could learn about their challenges, treasure their memories, discover how similar we are, and inform them on the progress of our family.

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

The event that I would’ve liked to experience was Live Aid Concert in 1985 so I could see Queen, Tina Turner, David Bowie, and many others in 1 day.

If you had one wish what would it be?

Able to speak over 100 languages so I could conversate and help others in different situations.

What is your theme song?

Pretty Girl Era: LU KALA

Tiffany Smaw
Tiffany Smaw

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Learning how to do coding and programming

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Dev Hynes/Blood Orange

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

New Orleans Jazz Era

If you had one wish what would it be?

To have an unlimited amount of wishes forever

What is your theme song?

Cafune - Tek it

Unmai M Arokiasamy
Unmai M Arokiasamy

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

I like to solve logical deductions for fun

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

I would've like to experience Turtle Island pre-contact

If you had one wish what would it be?

An end to the American empire :)

What is your theme song?

The entire of the album DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar

Jenna Humble
Jenna Humble

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Crossing off assignments or meetings in my planner! There is something really satisfying about it.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

I think I would like to have dinner with Edgar Allen Poe. I'm not exactly a fan of his work, I just think a conversation with him would be so interesting.

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

I think the 1920's would be really fun, as long as I can also be a rich white heteronormative man.

If you had one wish what would it be?

Since there are no limitations, I think I have to wish for more wishes.

What is your theme song?

You First by Paramore.

Christopher Green
Christopher Green

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Every once in a while, I recite all of the U.S. Presidents in order.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Karl Marx

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

The Civil Rights Movement

If you had one wish what would it be?

More unity in society.

What is your theme song?

Holiday by Green Day

Kayla Wingfield
Kayla Wingfield

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

I love to smell the old books I read. It has such a good smell to me!

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

To be honest, Jesus. He sounded like a pretty chill person.

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

The Harlem Renaissance

If you had one wish what would it be?

To have an infinite amount of wishes!

What is your theme song?

Demi Lovato - I Love Me

Angelina Henhawk
Angelina Henhawk

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Writing research papers on feminists for my own enjoyment

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Deb Haaland

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

The Occupation of Alcatraz

If you had one wish what would it be?

Land repatriation to Indigenous people #LandBack

What is your theme song?

Crystal-Stevie Nicks

Aaliyah Valdez
Aaliyah Valdez

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

I have many nerdy guilty pleasures; one would be the fact that I cosplay and go to anime/cosplay conventions. Another is the fact that I collect fashion dolls, like Barbies and Bratz.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Micheal Jackson

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

A Korn concert in 1999 or 2000

If you had one wish what would it be?

To be a billionaire

What is your theme song?

Barbie World (with Aqua) [From Barbie The Album] by Nicki Minja, Ice Spice and Aqua

Brennan walker
Brennan Walker

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Anime and playing roblox.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Nat Turner

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

I would like to go back and experience the hip-hop scene of the last 80s and early 90s.

If you had one wish what would it be?

If I had one wish it would be to experience food from every culture.

What is your theme song?

It Was a Good Day- Ice Cube

Brenda Chavez Soriano
Brenda Chavez Soriano

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Color coding all types of important documents and notes for class

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

La diva de la banda, Jenni Rivera

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

The beautiful Aztec city Tenochtitlán

If you had one wish what would it be?

I wish I could save the axolotl so they wouldn't be in danger of disappearing.

What is your theme song?

El Hijo del Pueblo by Vicente Fernandez

Elizabeth Chavis
Elizabeth Chavis

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Being meticulous with my daily planner.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

C.S. Lewis

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

Though I understand that this question asks about a historical period, I would rather answer a question pertaining to a culture I would love to truly experience or integrate into if ethics and cultural appropriation were not a concern which would be modern Irish culture, specifically in Dublin, Ireland.

If you had one wish what would it be?

Unlimited Future Wishes.

What is your theme song?

I suppose anything Piano.

Mason Schwenneker
Mason Schwenneker

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Pokémon (Video Game)

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Ulysses S. Grant

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

The Creation of America

If you had one wish what would it be?

To become the go to expert in my field.

What is your theme song?

Lose Yourself - Eminem

De'Maurion Shelley
De'Maurion Shelley

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Learning facts about the U.S. presidents

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Barack Obama

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

Ancient Greece at its peak

If you had one wish what would it be?

To visit every place depicted in the Assassin's Creed game franchise

What is your theme song?

I am not sure, but one day it will be "Hail to the Chief"

Ahelayus Oxouzidis
Ahelayus Oxouzidis

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

I like to read

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Eric Schweig

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

Pre-contact

If you had one wish what would it be?

Native Autonomy

What is your theme song?

Stone Cold Lover (Mato Wayuhi)

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?
Kiki Cohen

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Environmental Sociology

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

My late grandfather

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

The 80s-90s

If you had one wish what would it be?

A billion dollars

What is your theme song?

Glorious by Macklemore

Teresa Fernandez
Teresa Fernandez

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

Musical theater! I love any and everything Broadway

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Probably my great grandma. I’ve heard so much about her and would like to see how we both interact.

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

Either the Victorian or Regency Era in England. They intrigue me a lot.

If you had one wish what would it be?

To buy my mom and grandma a house. It would be filled with flower gardens all over.

What is your theme song?

Dog Day’s Are Over by Florence + the Machine

Heather Lowry
Heather Lowry

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

I tend to turn anything into a math equation. For example. If I'm traveling I'll say, this trip takes 1 hr so if i listen to 12 songs about 5 min long I'll be there.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

The Italian Renissance

If you had one wish what would it be?

Everyone to be exposed to the resources they so desperately need. Whether therapy, food, healthcare, etc.

What is your theme song?

You Don't Own Me by Lesley Gore

Diana Evans
Diana Evans

What is your nerdy guilty pleasure?

My nerdy guilty pleasure is procrastination. I get overwhelmed, and sometimes I procrastinate doing important tasks.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

I wish I could have dinner with my grandpa: John William Blackwood). He died when I was in middle school. He was the chief of police of Carrboro for many years. He has inspired me to go into the criminal justice field. It is hard sometimes because I know he isn't here to see me graduate, but I know he would be so proud of me.

Which historical period/event would you have liked to experience?

I would like to experience the 1970s, because of the fashion. In the 1970s you could freely express yourself through your clothing, and hairstyles.

If you had one wish what would it be?

I want to be successful in my life and create a better future for myself. I wish that in the end, everything will work out, and I won't have to worry as much.

What is your theme song?

I Was Here - Beyoncé would be my theme song because I relate to what she is singing about. Especially, when she sings, "I will leave my mark so everyone will know I was here, I lived, I loved, I was here."


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                - 30 Brave Minutes Podcast episode featuring REACH Fellow Kaila Thompson -

Research Changes Lives: How UNCP Provides a Pathway to Graduate School for Students from Underrepresented Minority Groups

https://www.aacu.org/aacu-news/campus-model/research-changes-lives-how-uncp-provides-pathway-graduate-school-students

- REACH Fellow Spotlight -

REACH Spotlight - Peace Ajirotutu

Meet the New Director: