The Tracing Race at ISU Initiative: "The Black ISC Student Experience to 1950" in Focus

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Now in its third year, the Tracing Race at ISU initiative is an ongoing effort to encourage, support, and facilitate digital scholarship projects that engage with the history of race, inequality, racism and student, faculty, and staff activism at Iowa State University. This panel will explore the Tracing Race Initiative and the findings of the project "The Black ISC Student Experience to 1950," which foregrounds the inspiring stories of over 100 African American students who attended Iowa State College (ISC). These students represent 41 majors and received degrees at all levels of instruction, from Bachelor of Science to Doctor of Philosophy, along with various certificates and graduate credit in summer school courses. Graduates included future engineers, teachers, home economists, extension agents, and professors, among many others. A future record-setting aviator roomed with soon-to-be university presidents and a future Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. How do we know about these students? Where did they live while at ISC? What did they have to say about being Black students attending a historically white college in a state whose population was majority white? Members of the project team will share their research process and results.


How to Cite: Betcher, G. , Ridnour, E. , Wolfe, M. & Beck, J. (2023) “The Tracing Race at ISU Initiative: "The Black ISC Student Experience to 1950" in Focus”, Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity. 24(1).