My name is Taylor L. Smith and I am a 2020 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where I majored in African & African-American Studies and earned the Latin honors of magna cum laude. During undergrad, I was a fellow in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, which offered me the opportunity to complete an independent research project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As a Mellon fellow, I curated a project that combined my dedication and passion for Black cultural production, visual culture, and new digital media platforms. Thus, professionally, I view my work as an addition to Black Studies, as well as Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Film and Media Studies.
Since completing college, I have dedicated my time to building upon my research experience while working towards my long-term goal of being a college professor of Black Studies. In an effort to further my skills as a scholar, I have worked as a contract researcher for the African Heritage Society in St. Louis and currently works as a research assistant for The Oakland Community School Project. I spent the last semester working as a faculty teaching assistant for a course cross-listed in the African & African-American Studies and American Cultural Studies departments.
As I prepare a strong application for doctoral programs in African Studies and similar programs, the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Mellon Scholars Workshop has been an invaluable experience. I am forever grateful for the work of Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens, Jasmine Smith, and the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Program in African American History.