Spelman’s New Dean of Students is Committed to Clearing Pathways for Black Women

Spelman has a new dean of students, and her name is Bonnie J. Taylor.

Taylor joined Spelman this summer as assistant vice president and dean of students. Since arriving, she has steeped herself in an intense education and study of the Spelman community while absorbing traditions and history, all during a pandemic.

“The first semester has been a wonderful experience. I enjoy seeing the awesome innovation students use to stay engaged and connected,” she said. “Spelman was already a special place. This pandemic has shown us where we are excellent and where we can grow.”

A native of Akron, Ohio, Taylor came to Spelman from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she worked as the associate dean and director of student integrity. Prior to that, she worked at Georgia State University and Tusculum University in Greeneville, Tennessee.

“I was drawn to Spelman for the opportunity to work with Black women at a pivotal time in their lives. Spelman changes lives and I want to clear paths for young Black women to change the world and our communities,” she said. “Our priority for the spring is to address the needs of all of our students, those on campus and those who are continuing their education remotely. We recognize the struggles our students are facing, and want to support them with resources in the spirit of Spelman community.”

Spelman Team Places Third in Inaugural HBCU Innovation Competition

A team made up of three first-year Spelman students competed and placed third in the inaugural AT&T HBCU Innovation Challenge.

The competition took place during the fifth annual AfroTech World conference in November.

For the challenge, 25 student teams from 17 historically Black colleges and universities used AT&T 5G bandwidth to create products that address disparities in healthcare, education and public safety.

Samantha Haughawout, Chavi Jackson and Aleisha Sawyer proposed a product that will leverage 5G to help rural hospitals determine the best course of action for a patient using artificial intelligence.

"We understood the unlimited possibilities of our creative process, but we also considered real issues within our world today,” the team wrote in their proposal. “That passion led us to create this sensor geared to communities that need it the most. It was refreshing for us to apply our ideas to the real world, especially while living in a pandemic.”
Campus Highlights
Sophomore Pens Self-Help Book to Affirm Young Black Women

Aiyana J. Thompson, C’2023, is countering negative ideas in a new book of affirmations she calls, “Black Girl, You Are.”

Thompson, an art history major from Chicago, said she has always been a creator. Writing a book, and developing a product line to accompany the publication, was an outgrowth of her creative expression. The book is her way of affirming the power of Black women and girls, she said.

The ‘self-help’ genre has been my favorite as of late and I believe that’s why I ended up writing the book, other than the fact that God literally dropped it in my spirit,” she said. “The death of Breonna Taylor was also a big push for me. This project was written out of both, my admiration of Black women, and my exhaustion as a Black woman.”

Alumnae Highlights
Alumna Seeks to Support Startups Founded by HBCU Students and Alums

Jade Lockard, C’2020, is leading an effort to support startup founders at historically Black colleges and universities across the nation.  

Lockard is the program manager of the HBCU Founder’s Program at Nex Cubed, a San-Francisco-based accelerator and early-stage investment firm.  

The program, which launched in the summer of 2020, aims to provide resources, mentorship and funding to HBCU students and recent alumni in the digital health, financial technology, education technology and property technology industries.

“The HBCU Founder's Program is a way to really start working with collegiate students,” Lockard said. “There’s a lot of innovation coming from HBCUs.”
Dec. 1 - Jan. 29, 2021

Jan 4, 2021
College Reopens

Feb. 1, 2021
First Day of Spring Semester Classes

Spelman Scenes
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