Boldly Baldwin word mark


Promoting Excellence and Reinforcing Success in Student Transitions

Tierra Smith '12

PERSIST is a cohort program created to nurture student success and to foster inclusive excellence. The program will launch in fall 2012 with a cohort of African-American first-year scholars. The PERSIST program will strengthen the potential of this talented group of students and provide them with support designed to maximize their impact on the Mary Baldwin College campus and the
broader community.


In addition to the students already selected as members of the first PERSIST group, all African-American first-years are invited to participate in the program. Students who fully engage in PERSIST activities during the first semester will be invited to formally join the program by enrolling in the second semester course Legacy & Tradition [INT 177]. Students who successfully complete INT 177 will be eligible to apply to become members of the Ida B. Wells Living Learning Community
as sophomores, solidifying their PERSIST participation.



During the first year, PERSIST scholars (also known as PERSISTas) will meet in Harambee activities, where they will develop a plan for reaching their educational goals. They will learn to identify their skills, values, and experiences, and understand how their unique presence adds value to the MBC experience. These new students will make a commitment to diversity programming by
serving as student ambassadors for Inclusive Excellence.

Year Two: SERVE


Acceptance into the Ida B. Wells (IBW) Living Learning Community will expose second-year PERSIST scholars to the world of service through leadership. As a part of the IBW residential community, students will explore what it means to be a global citizen. IBW residents will practice leadership through work as Ubuntu Mentors and PERSIST staff members, and they will facilitate the work of the African-American Student Recruitment Council. Members will enroll in Community Service [PHIL 140] and will be expected to complete 15 hours of
community service to enhance the college environment.

Year Three: LEAD

Lead - Crissie Monet Watkins '05

During their junior year, PERSIST scholars will continue to meet monthly and to establish themselves as highly involved campus and classroom leaders. They will work with the African-American Alumni Network to plan and execute the Sankofa Leadership Conference, an annual event designed to consider the past and to imagine
the future for African-American students at MBC.

Year Four: LIVE


The senior year co-curriculum for PERSIST scholars will focus on preparing students for life after MBC. Students will receive individualized career and professional coaching and learn how to navigate the job and graduate school application process. Participants will also be trained in personal financial management
and living independently.

Special Opportunities

Ubuntu Mentoring


Ubuntu is a concept that exemplifies an African proverb based on the idea that "it is through others that one attains selfhood." This unique Mary Baldwin College mentoring program pairs first-year students with student leaders who offer academic, emotional, and social support and positive

SistaFriends Alumnae Mentoring

SistaFriends is a mentoring program that facilitates meaningful connections between students and MBC alumnae. Mentors spend time with students when classes are not in session, on an online network, and at campus events. SistaFriends supports and sustains the work and traditions of the Office of
African-American and Multicultural Affairs.

Academic Enrichment

PERSIST scholars will have the opportunity to work with a faculty or staff member on a long-term project. Students will make connections to the many rich learning environments and opportunities that
extend beyond the classroom.

We are thrilled to welcome our first PERSIST cohort
Imani Adams
Sharice Aziz
Rasheeda Bradley
Tiana Branch
Jazmine L. Brooks
Atiyah Cash
Katarina Childress
Ciara Dacosta-Reyes
Alyssa Huffman
Leilani Jackson
Shannon King
Aliyah McIntosh
Tralen Neal
Koren Grace Okpodu
Myrah Smith
Catherine Turner

Student Staff
Ubuntu Mentoring Chair: Akeylah Dacosta Reyes
Academic Support (English): Michelle Jones
Academic Support (math/science): Jazmine Davis
Social Chair: Tiara Bowling
Mentors: Tiara Bowling, Jazmine Davis, Evenlyn Foster, Krystal
Jones, Charity Martin, Christina Reid, Brittany Shaw

Andrea Cornett-Scott

About the Director
Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott, associate vice president for inclusive excellence, has served MBC in her current role and as director/dean of African-American and Multicultural Affairs for 16 years. She has demonstrated expertise in student retention, development, and engagement. She is committed to helping students become their best selves inside and outside of the class room. Rev. Cornett- Scott is a member of the Department of Philosophy and Religion.
Contact: or 540-887-7270