Dr. Michelle Watts has researched African American life and culture for over twenty years. She began her studies at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She received her doctoral degree in American literature from Rice University in Houston, Texas. She has taught at Rice University, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and she currently teaches in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. While at Miami, she was recognized as an Honored Professor for her ‘remarkable commitment to students.” She continues to work as a nonprofit consultant with a focus on girls’ leadership and workforce development. Most recently, Dr. Watts received the 1905 Alumnae Fellowship from Mount Holyoke College, which will support her research on black girls and civic engagement.