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Student Stories

Asia Reese Designated First Summa Scholar in SIS Program

February 2019

Asia ReeseAsia N. Reese, C’2021, describes her participation in Spelman’s Independent Scholars Oral History Project in one way -- therapeutic. Founded by Gloria Wade Gayles, Ph.D., SIS Oral History gives voice and visibility to African-American women elders of the South.

For her work, Reese was designated the first Summa Scholar for outstanding academic achievement for her portfolio, “Lifting the Veil: Uncovering Stories of Our Ancestors.” Reese bonded with Nancy Sims, an artist, volunteer and ventriloquist, through the project. SIS students interviewed Sims’ mother, Nell Sims, twice for the project.

“Thanks to the experience, I walked away with a deeper appreciation for the African-American woman's experience, particularly those from the South,” said Reese. “It was therapeutic to hear their stories and consider the things that allowed me to exist today.”