The IMPACT Symposium was established 50 years ago to bring leaders and intellectuals from around the world to Vanderbilt University to encourage discussion on current issues affecting our world. The approximately 200 speakers have included such luminaries as the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and Stokely Carmichael, Barry Goldwater and George Wallace, Edward Kennedy and George McGovern, Allen Ginsberg and William F. Buckley, as well as such leaders as Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, Zbigniew Brzesinski and Margaret Thatcher. Akailah selected items from the first decade of the program, wrote biographical summaries of the presenters and placed each year’s topic in an historical context. She worked with library staff to create an online resource to share these materials.
Akailah Jenkins is a senior in the College of Arts and Science majoring in Sociology and American Studies with a minor in English. She is a recipient of the 2014-2015 Spouses Education Scholarship from the Congressional Black Caucus, a 2014 GPA Award recipient of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a Dean’s List Award recipient. She has been accepted as an early decision applicant with the Teach for American 2015 Corps and will be working in Baltimore, Maryland, after graduation. While at Vanderbilt University, Ms. Jenkins has worked as a research assistant with HALF (Helping At-Risk Students Learn Fractions) from 2011 to 2014, involving data collection at Nashville elementary and middle schools. She has also served as a research assistant for Betty’s Brain Study, which examines the effectiveness of guided skill practice in open-ended learning environments on student comprehension. Ms. Jenkins is the president of the Vanderbilt NAACP Chapter.
Akailah presented on her project at the November 2014 library All Staff meeting.