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First undergraduate social justice fellows announced

Semaj Capers with the Lowery Street bridge behind him.
Semaj Capers
Jabarie Simpson stands near the John Biggers mural
Jabarie Simpson 

Two Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) students have been selected for the inaugural Undergraduate Social Justice Fellowships program and are conducting research this semester with a faculty mentor.

The students are:

  • Semaj Capers, a junior psychology major from Greensboro. Project title: “Fair and racial equity, critical consciousness, and educational outcomes among Black students in high school. Faculty mentor: Dr. Charity Griffin (Psychological Sciences).
  • Jabarie Simpson, a junior English major from Savannah, Georgia. Project is titled: “A quest unending: A transnational examination of social justice.” Faculty mentor: Dr. William Boone (English).

The fellowships provide students with short-term, high-impact research and projects, said Dr. Naomi Hall-Byers, professor of Psychological Sciences and interim director of Office of Undergraduate Research.

“Since WSSU was founded on principles of social justice and equity, it only made sense that we create these distinguished fellowships to support faculty and student collaborations to address community and social justice issues,” Hall-Byers said.

The students each will receive a $2,000 stipend. Additionally, fellows can apply to receive up to $1,000 in a research or project budget and may apply for travel funds pending availability.

The program is one of three new fellowships that are offered through the Office of the Provost and the Office of Student Research. Additional fellowships are: the Graduate Social Justice Fellowship and the Interdisciplinary Fellowship. The office also offers the Provost Summer Fellowship.

For additional information, please visit the fellowship programs website or email  

MORE: The Faces of Undergraduate Research at WSSU 

About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.

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