Tonya St. Julien

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Personal Background: My name is Tonya St. Julien. I was born in Queens, New York and raised by Haitian immigrant parents in Queens Village, New York. In 2009, I was awarded the Posse scholarship, a full-tuition merit and leadership based scholarship, to attend Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. In the summer of 2011, I was able to travel to Senegal with the assistance of the Helen Barr Rudin Study Abroad Grant and Summer Volunteer Opportunity Grant. I volunteered at an orphanage in Senegal and lived with a French and Wolof speaking Senegalese host family. I spent 2 years as an intern for Kids Give: Sierra Leone, a Lawrence University affiliated non-profit organization that offers scholarships to underprivileged school children in Sierra Leone and promotes education in that country.

Academic Background: I graduated cum laude from Lawrence University with a major in Anthropology and minors in French and Ethnic Studies. I received the McNair graduate Fellowship to pursue a combined African and African Diaspora Studies MA/Ph.D. in History at Florida International University.

Graduate Program Goals: My topical areas of interests are concepts of race, ethnicity, European colonialism, post-colonialism, slavery, imperialism, African religions, and gender politics. Through the Combined African and African Diaspora Studies MA/Ph.D. in History program at Florida International University, I would like to further explore the worldwide consumption of skin lightening products and the role the global pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry plays in this practice among women in sub-Saharan Africa, the United States, and the Caribbean.