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Black History Month: A Celebration of History, Culture, and Unity

University of Arizona students modeling shirts celebrating Black History Month

Meet Aaliyah, Morgan, and Roy

Aaliyah Thompson-Mazzeo

Class of 2025
: Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
Minors: Mathematics and Dance
Hometown: Irvine, California

Find Aaliyah: On the Arizona Pomline, tutoring math, serving as Director of Social and Outreach for Engineering Student Council and Programs Chair for the National Society for Black Engineers.


Morgan Rhett

Class of 2023
Major: Urban and Regional Development
Minor: Real Estate Development
Hometown: Plantation, Florida

Find Morgan: Running for the women’s track team, journaling, planning her first book, and living her personal mantra: “nothing changes if nothing changes.”


Roy Thompson

Class of 2025
: Pre Business
Minors: Sports Management and Spanish
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Find Roy: Working for the athletics director at McKale Memorial Center, coordinating Kappa events, and competing in multiple intramural sports.


What’s shaped you, made you the person you are?

Aaliyah: I've always been super passionate about dance. And you know, every athlete has had their own injury that in some way or another that made them realize: “Hey, I really need to take care of myself in order to do this.” I'm interested in prosthetics to help make sports and dance more accessible to people.

Morgan: I just always wanted to run. I can't even name a time when I wasn't just running. I started when I was maybe 7 or 8 and it's been nonstop since. While it's been a very rough journey, I wouldn't take it back for anything in the world. I'm always going to give 110%. Honestly, maybe it's 120 sometimes. I mean, that's just who I am.

Roy: Kappa Alpha Psi is part of the Divine Nine, which are black fraternities and sororities. Kappa Alpha Psi or Kappa has always been in my life. All the male role models in my life were a part of the fraternity. When it comes to black fraternity, you know, it's not only just the undergrad thing –  my father is still heavily involved.


How do you stay centered and motivated?

Aaliyah: I love all my siblings, and having that support from them keeps me going. So, while I'm out here chasing my dreams, I know I can always come to them, and they know they can always come to me.

Morgan: I write all my goals out. I'm old school and actually enjoy writing them out. Like, if I stay the same, I will keep doing the same thing. I can't expect different results, so I just ask myself what I can do better.

Roy: Coming from a city where it's always moving, fast paced, it's good for me to take a deep breath and just enjoy life. Definitely go hard into the books, of course, and then when opportunities arise, hang out with friends and stuff like that. I love it.


What does Black History Month mean to you?

Aaliyah: it's always a month of learning and celebrating the culture. Black History Month has always been something super amazing to experience because every single year I feel there's something new to learn or someone new to learn about in history.

Morgan: Black History Month means power, unity – coming together as one. We can do so much more together than we can do alone and hopefully make the world a better place.

Roy: This is a time for the contributions of the Black community to be recognized. Even though our numbers are small, we have a large impact on campus. To many, Black history month is a month, but for me, it's year round. Black history is everywhere.



Want to learn more about Black History Month celebrations and building community on campus? Check out the College of Humanities to find events going on throughout February and African American Student Affairs (AASA) for community and support all year long.




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