Christmaelle Vernet Receives 2023 SBS LeBovidge Undergraduate Research Award
Congratulations to Christmaelle Vernet, a sophomore and double major in journalism and legal studies, on receiving the 2023 College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) LeBovidge Undergraduate Research Award. Established by Carol and Alan LeBovidge, the award provides merit-based support to an undergraduate student working as a research assistant with an SBS faculty member.
The award will fund Vernet's research on two massacres of Black Americans during World War I: the 1917 East St. Louis Massacre in Illinois and the 1919 Elaine Massacre in Arkansas. Her research will explore the role of the Black press in exposing the truth and its efforts to free the Black men falsely charged with insurrection, as well as the role of the white local press in fabricating a cover-up and disinformation campaign that spread to newspapers across the country.
"I am extremely honored to receive the LeBovidge Undergraduate Research Award, and I am excited to combine all my passions through this research," says Vernet. "This opportunity will help me with my academic and career goals by allowing me to research and report on subjects that interest me and that I believe deserve more attention."
Vernet also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Rebirth Project, a student-run digital publication dedicated to highlighting the voices of marginalized students at UMass Amherst, including students of different ethnic backgrounds, sexuality, gender identities, social classes, and interests. She is also a columnist for the Daily Collegian and a part of the Haitian American Student Association e-board.
During the fall semester, Vernet will co-author a piece with Professor Kathy Roberts Forde on the two tragic massacres for the Washington Post's "Made by History" section. Working together, their research will inform Forde's current book project on racial massacres and the press.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Department of Journalism website.