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CIE Researcher of Distinction, May 2014

Aishah ScottAishah Scott, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History

Each month, the Center for Inclusive Education showcases the outstanding research being conducted by one of our talented scholars in our Research Cafe series. In addition, we recognize this scholar as a Researcher of Distinction and share the details of their journey to becoming an accomplished scholar. This month's Researcher of Distinction is Aishah Scott, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History. Aishah presented her talk, "Tackling the Taboo in the Black Church" on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Aishah's Path Into Research

Aisha was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She had a unique high school experience by attending Bard High School Early College, where she was able to complete her high school diploma required courses in two years and spent the remaining years in collegiate courses. After high school, Aishah studied Political Science at Stony Brook University graduating cum laude, meriting membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key International Honor Society. In her spare time, Aishah is devoted to community service and involvement, participating in several public service organizations committed to making the world better in different ways.

How did you become interested in research?

I actually took a course called AIDS, Race, and Gender in the Black Community as an undergraduate and it really exposed the health disparities in minority communities. Ever since I have had an ever-growing passion for the subject matter.


Aishah's Current Research

Describe the work you will be presenting for your Research Café.

The work that I will present at the Research Café will be a chapter of my dissertation on the AIDS epidemic in the African American Community. My larger dissertation project focuses on presenting the underlying factors that leave the African American community vulnerable to epidemic levels of disease as compared to their counterparts through the lens of HIV/AIDS. The goal is for the readers to walk away with an understanding that the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African American community is a symptom of a larger problem. Closing the gap in healthcare disparities with minority groups is at the root of addressing the umbrella factors that leave the African American community vulnerable to disease. This chapter entitled “Tackling the Taboo in the Black Church” discusses the history of the Black Church in the African American community, its role in creating the structure of the African American family, as well as its response and responsibilities regarding the AIDS epidemic. Through various oral histories and primary documents I explore the ripple effect of the attitudes and social norms perpetuated in the Black Church.  

What are your future goals?

While I ultimately want to teach as professor at a university, I also want to work in advocacy regarding health disparities in minority communities. These two goals are not mutually exclusive. I believe that working in advocacy in my area of research for a while will enhance my abilities as professor.

What do you enjoy most about research?

What I enjoy most about my research is that I know through unveiling more complexities in the history of health care disparities in American minority communities, we are that much closer to closing the gap. The first step of any momentous change in history was first realizing that a change was needed.