Alana Gomez

Student NameAlana Gomez
Faculty Mentor NameSteven Noll, PhD
CollegeCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences
MajorHistory and English
MinorN/A
Research InterestsAfrican American history, community development, civil rights
Academic AwardsPalm Beach Post/Cox Scholar Fall 2018
CLAS Dean’s List Fall 2018
CLAS Dean’s List Spring 2019
CLAS Dean’s List Fall 2019
Ruth McQuown Scholar Fall 2019
CLAS Dean’s List Spring 2020
Best Hispanic Heritage Month Director September 2019
Assembly for Action Certificate of Distinction October 2019
University Scholars Program 2020
OrganizationsExecutive Director of Campus Diplomats, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Hobbies and InterestsRoller skating, reading, flag-football, writing, being outdoors, music

Research Project

Stephen C. O’Connell and Black students at UF?

My research will focus on the influence of Stephen O’Connell, president of UF from 1967-1973, and how his policies and actions affected and shaped the black student population at UF. As the first president to administer UF post-Civil Rights movement, O’Connell dealt with a huge shift in race relations, and his reaction to school disturbances created lasting effects. One significant event I will touch on is “Black Thursday,” where 66 students in April of 1971 were arrested for petitioning for the better treatment of black students and faculty. When O’Connell declined to provide these students amnesty, two black faculty members and 123 black students left UF. I think this research speaks to current attitudes toward UF’s racial representation, which received an F ranking from the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center study in 2018. Though seen as a problem of the past, racial equity is still a popular issue that’s shadow continues to hover over the University of Florida.