Arts & Sciences Students Honored during 37th Annual Women of Color Day

Women of Color award recipients

Women of Color Day at Penn honors and celebrates students, staff, and community members for their work. In his remarks at the 37th annual Women of Color at Penn (WOCAP) awards on March 15, Interim President J. Larry Jameson paid homage to the event’s history and growth, noting the importance of recognizing diversity and community involvement at Penn. Among the award recipients were Sade Taiwo, C’25, and Kyndall Nicholas, a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience.

The undergraduate award went to Taiwo, who is majoring in global health with minors in Latin American studies, urban studies, and international development. She currently runs an organization under the Netter Center for Community Partnerships that connects West Philadelphia families with free and low-cost public health resources. She has also served as community service chair for UMOJA, an umbrella organization for the Black student community, and is a founding member of Monolith, Penn’s Black arts collective.

“This award not only recognizes my efforts but encourages me to support this community work,” Taiwo, who was in South Africa at the time, said in written remarks.

Nicholas, a fourth-year neuroscience Ph.D. candidate and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellow, received the graduate student award. Nicholas researches the relationship between diet and post-traumatic brain injury. She holds leadership positions at Penn, including serving as the Neuroscience Graduate Group recruitment chair and as president of the Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society at Penn, an organization that supports the social, academic, and professional well-being of Black and brown graduate students. She is also a fellow at both the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Innovation and the Center for Undergraduate Research Fellowships.

“I know only a couple of us are getting this award, but nothing would be possible without systems of support,” Nicholas said. Nicholas thanked her mother, her “original role model,” who raised Nicholas while earning her own doctorate degree.

Another College student, Tryphena Zareif, C’25, also participated in the event, giving one of four personal testimonies. Zareif, who is majoring in health and societies, spoke of hiding from the sun so her skin wouldn’t darken and changing her name to fit in as a school child.

To learn more about the Women of Color event and honorees, read the Penn Today announcement.

 

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