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Christina S. Haynes received her B.S. from Louisiana State University in History and English. She received a M.A. in African American and African Studies and Ph.D. from Ohio State University in Education and Human Ecology.

Broadly, Dr. Haynes’s primary area of study is race, gender, and their intersections in higher education. More specifically, she is interested in the experiences of Black women in predominantly White universities and colleges and how they navigate these often-biased spaces to achieve academic success.  Dr. Haynes argues that Black women are celebrated because they are successful while attending higher education; however, institutions do not think about the emotional cost these women pay while attending predominately-White institutions. Dr. Haynes’s research focuses on how academically-successful Black college women develop spatial practices that offer counter-narratives to these negative perceptions.  

Her response to the tendency of literature on African Americans in higher education to focus on low or underperforming undergraduate students. The work was framed by an integration of geographic theories and informed by Black Feminist geography and intersectionality, in particular, “spatial practices” were defined as students’ experiences in classrooms and dorm rooms, their development of relationships with faculty members and staff, and their interactions with fellow students. Additional projects build upon my interest in race, higher education and the success of African American women especially. My second major project focuses on high achieving African American women and how they negotiate White spaces. More specifically, I examine Michelle Obama’s “place” in American society and how her media presence is read in ways that inform the degree to which intersections of race, gender, and sexuality are reproduced, challenged, and reconstructed. Christina Haynes is currently an associate research professor at Penn State University in the African American Studies department.

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