Celeste Winston ’14: Researching Urban Racial Dynamics

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Research, says Celeste Winston ’14, is a freeing form of scholarship. “Undergraduate research has given me the ability to explore my interests with the assistance of Dartmouth faculty and with the inspiration of some of my fellow Dartmouth students.”

In the video below, Winston and Wright talk about undergraduate research in general and Winston’s senior thesis project.


Having come to Dartmouth from Washington, D.C., the geography major set her thesis sights on Atlanta—a city, she says, that is “profoundly shaped by race, particularly whether one is a recent black immigrant or a black American.”

Winston met with representatives of Atlanta’s chapter of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) in August 2013. “My research was shaped by BAJI’s goals of forging alliances between black immigrants and black Americans,” she says. “I hope my research findings ultimately help BAJI advance its mission.”

In coming days, Dartmouth Now will profile undergraduate students engaged in research, scholarship, and creativity:

Her thesis adviser is Richard Wright, professor of geography and the Orvil E. Dryfoos Professor of Public Affairs. “Professor Wright, one of my most influential professors at Dartmouth, has helped me think critically about how social phenomena are created and recreated through landscapes that often go unnoticed. He challenges me and has helped me to explore academic concepts in new ways.”

For his part, says Wright, “I enjoy working with undergraduate scholars, seeing their projects mature and helping them shape their ideas, refine the theory they bring to bear, and think through methodological challenges. Some of our best undergraduates choose to write honors theses, so working with them is almost always very rewarding. These students are highly creative and often come up with superb research ideas. Celeste is one such scholar.”

In the fall, Winston, who is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, will enroll at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she will work toward a PhD in geography.

Celeste Winston and Richard Wright

Geography major Celeste Winston ’14 has worked closely with her adviser, Professor Richard Wright, in developing a thesis on social geography in Atlanta. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)