Unraveling The Science Of Success
Dr. Cynthia Winston’s earliest memories of Howard University harken back to when she, as a young girl, spent time with her father, Dr. Michael Winston, at his office in the school’s history department.
“When I was at Howard with my father, I knew then, as a very young child, that something meaningful was happening there, and I wanted to be part of that,” she says.
This month, Winston joins the Howard faculty as an assistant professor of psychology. The appointment marks the latest of homecomings for the young scholar who attended Howard as an undergraduate and worked there as an administrator and adjunct professor after graduate school. Her parents met at Howard while they were undergraduates and her great-great-grandfather graduated from the Washington-based historically Black university.
“It was just a matter of timing as to when I was going to go back,” she says. “Howard is in my blood.”
In the tradition most notably established by Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, particularly during his Atlanta University years as a young scholar, Winston returns to Howard with a research agenda aimed directly at using scholarship to help uplift the Black community. She is setting out to uncover and document the psychology of Black student success and Black professional achievement in the sciences. “I want to find ways to increase the success of African Americans in science,” Winston says.
After receiving her doctorate from the University of Michigan at the tender age of 26, Winston worked for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Howard University in jobs that exposed her to congressional policy-making, academic program development, and the inner workings of the National Science Foundation. This winter she completes a visiting professorship at Brown University as she begins teaching duties at Howard.
“I used my time at Brown to crystallize ideas about the research I want to pursue,” she says, noting that one of her goals at Howard is to establish a “multimedia research and teaching laboratory to facilitate learning and research on African American success in science.”
— By Ronald Roach
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