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Graduate student named national Diversity Scholar


Reanae McNeal

Photo credit: Shannon Drawe

DENTON – Reanae McNeal, a Texas Woman’s University doctoral candidate in women’s studies, will be able to advance her research and explore diversity skills at a national cultural conference thanks to her selection as a Diversity Scholar for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As a Diversity Scholar, McNeal will receive a scholarship to attend the PastForward 2015 National Preservation Conference in Washington, D.C. this November.

McNeal, who’s from Davenport, Iowa, will use this opportunity to gather research for her dissertation and projects that she’s started as a TWU Experiential Learning Scholar. Her projects include the exploration and preservation of interrelated histories and experiences of African-Americans and Native-Americans. As a Diversity Scholar and a doctoral student in women’s studies, her participation in the conference will advance McNeal’s activist-scholarly endeavors and assist her in completing her dissertation.

“My selection as a Diversity Scholar has inspired me and encouraged the importance of my research and work in preserving the legacies of activism that African- and Native-American women have done to help transform our world,” McNeal said. “In this respect, I am very invigorated in this activist-scholarly work that I am doing that reveals valuable knowledges, histories, stories and the human rights issues that African- and Native-American women face.”

Only 30 Diversity Scholars were selected in the nation this year from diverse, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. According to the National Trusts for Historic Preservation, more than 2,100 individuals have participated in this program and “have helped enrich the overall preservation movement by contributing a wide range of perspectives at the conference and in the field,” over the past 50 years. To learn more about the Diversity Scholarship Program visit

McNeal received both her master of arts degrees in women’s studies and English from TWU, and her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with a concentration in African-American studies from Western Illinois University. McNeal also was awarded a prestigious national fellowship from the National Council of Teachers of English earlier this year. Read more about McNeal at

Written by Holly Nelson

Designer II

page updated 5/9/2016 4:57 PM