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The Research Her

The Research Her is a weekly science communication podcast for us that provides reliable and relatable topics from how hair products affect health to the effects of Instagram on mental health. It encourages improvement of the disproportionate amount of research focused on minorities. Host Elissia Franklin is a black woman in chemistry who shares the woes and rewards in her field while learning of research in many areas.

May 31, 2019

Dr. Amber Sessoms is a nationally certified school psychologist for one of Pennsylvania's largest school districts.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in African-American Studies from Millersville University. She continued her studies at Millersville University and earned a Master of Science degree in Psychology.  

Dr. Sessoms was a 2017 recipient of the Community Courage in Action Award and her district’s Educator of the Year award in part for her work on creating student-led dialogue and culturally-competent education to make visible the ways in which everyday microaggressions reinforce difference.

Dr. Sessoms remains driven by her passion to give voice to our underrepresented and marginalized populations, while also instilling in them a desire for lifelong learning and critical self-reflection.  These desires helped shape her doctoral research, entitled: "The Merging of the Personal and the Collective: Reimagining Black Natural Hair Care Digital Spaces as Sites of Critical Public Pedagogy." 

Her work centers Black women who wear their hair natural and engage with Black Natural Hair Care Blogs.  Dr. Sessoms’ findings speak to: (a) the sanctity of Black affinity spaces, (b) the fetishizing of Black women’s bodies, (c) deconstructing the angry Black woman stereotype, (d) the narrow representation of Black women in media, (e) the commodification of natural hair, (f) Black women’s sense of agency, and (g) social media sites as a sharing community and sisterhood.

This episode you will thoroughly enjoy. Give it a listen.

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