Student Researchers

Aaliyah Joseph ’22

From a young age, Aaliyah loved listening to other people’s stories. She has particularly interested in gathering tools to better analyze racialized objects, subject, history, and social justice starting in the 1960s. She turns to history and visual studies to not only measure preservation styles and historical context but also investigate literature and craft critically creative interpretations of memory. Being born and raised in Portland, OR, but currently residing on the East Coast, she is inspired to capture Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in their authentic selves through supporting the radical questioning of dominant history. Community Archives use metadata from community historians, artists, and independents, are preserved and create powerful tools for empowerment and education. BIPOC folks have found particular advantages in the utilization of such archives. Her research is guided by the works of This research draws on the connection between the philosophies of Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Stephen Best, and Stuart Hall and findings of historian Andrew Flinn and varying artists. In order to emphasize the differing methods of information in the digital era, she aims to examine contemporary histories, engage with abject theory, connect people, affect, and story.

Janina Calle ’21

Janina Calle is a senior at Bryn Mawr College pursuing a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in migration. Her interest in International migration stems from having grown up in Trenton, NJ, an immigrant enclave, where she has learned about the different economic, political, and social factors that propel people to migrate. Inspired by her Ecuadorian upbringing and her parent’s migration story, Janina was motivated to pursue a semester abroad in Rabat, Morocco where she conducted an ethnographic study on “Transnational motherhood in Morocco.” In Rabat, she also studied migratory patterns in North Africa and Europe, in conjunction with taking Arabic language classes. During her summers, she interned with Juntos, an immigrant rights organization located in South Philadelphia and the ACLU-PA. Both organizations taught and allowed her to contribute to the community organizing and the legal efforts to protect human rights and civil liberties of immigrant communities in Philadelphia.

She is currently a student researcher with the Pensby Center for the “Preserving Perry House Oral History Project” where she has been able to listen and collect the oral histories of Black and latinx alums who have lived or experienced the Perry House, with the intentions of advancing the colleges’ archives collection. Janina will also be serving as the Career Peer Team Lead at the Career and Civic Engagement Center this upcoming academic year; she will assist students with career building-related inquires.

Janina hopes to continue her education in graduate school. In her free time, she enjoys reading revolutionary literature and discussing ways to dismantle systems of oppression with her friends.

Reece Carew-Lyons ’23

My name is Reece Carew-Lyons and I am a rising sophomore from Boston, Massachusetts. I plan on majoring in biochemistry with a minor in Spanish. I love to dance, sing and play with my dogs. Fun fact: I have a sister who’s four days older than me.

Rihana Oumer ’21

I am a senior Chemistry major from Cambridge, Massachusetts. I work as a Community Diversity Assistant, Student Consultant for Centering Critical Blackness, and supervisor at Erdman Dining Hall. As a resident of Enid Cook Center, I have always been interested to learn more about the history of Perry House and how Enid Cook Center came to be. In the past, I have looked to Black at Bryn Mawr and casual conversations with alum to gain knowledge on the experiences of Black students, staff, and faculty. With the oral history project, I hope we can document a more complete history of our community.


Joi Dallas

Joi is a Residential Life Coordiantor and advisor to the Enid Cook ’31 Center. She majored in Applied Psychology and Human Development at Boston College. Joi has been involved with the Preserving the Histories of Perry House project almost since its inception helping to write grant applications, training researchers, and connecting key campus stakeholders. When she’s not working she enjoys painting, going on hikes, and speculative fiction.

Vanessa Christman

In addition to being part of the Perry House Oral Histories team, Assistant Dean for Access and Community Development Vanessa Christman supports the telling of Bryn Mawr’s histories through the Pensby Center Fellowship and the Black at Bryn Mawr program. Vanessa also works as an advocate for college access and post-graduate opportunities, serving as Bryn Mawr’s Posse Liaison and Administrative Coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. She also serves as an adviser to Bryn Mawr’s First Generation/Low Income program. Vanessa holds an undergraduate degree from Franklin and Marshall College and an MFA from Brooklyn College (CUNY).

Prior to her work at Bryn Mawr, Vanessa’s career in education included several teaching positions— at a private girls’ school, a community college, and a public university. She also worked in theatre and film, where she first realized the power of storytelling in connecting people and creating social change.

Gabrielle Gary

Gabrielle Gary is the Associate Director of Affinity Programs at Bryn Mawr College in the Alumnae/i Relations and Development Office. In this role she manages the alumnae/i affinity community, which includes identity and interest based groups. In partnership with affinity leadership, she has enjoyed the opportunity to connect alumnae/i with student Alliance for Multicultural Organization leaders. In addition to her work with alumnae/i, Gabrielle also is a member of internal Alumnae/i Relations and Development Diversity Equity and Inclusion steering committee.

Outside of Bryn Mawr, Gabrielle is an active volunteer. She currently serves on the University of Pennsylvania’s Nonprofit Leadership Alumni Association and the Springside Alumnae Association boards. Connecting her love of history and Philadelphia, Gabrielle also served on the Christ Church Preservation Trust Board.

Gabrielle earned her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. A lifelong learner, Gabrielle also holds an associate’s degree in culinary arts and is a certified yoga instructor.

Allison Mills

Allison Mills is the College Archivist, working within Bryn Mawr’s Library and Information Technology Services as part of Special Collections. She is a member of LITS’s Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Team and has had the opportunity to be involved in multiple College History projects.

Allison holds degrees is both Library and Information Studies as well as Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia’s iSchool, where she completed the First Nations Curriculum Concentration. She is Ililiw (Chapleau Cree) and deeply invested in unpacking the colonial histories of archives, with a focus on examining the ways in which BIPOC are excluded from and included in archival records. In addition to publishing research on the way Indigenous peoples interact with and are represented in colonial archives, Allison is also an award-winning children’s author.