Wes Alcenat is a Visiting Scholar at MIT’s School of the Humanities Arts and Social Sciences (SHASS). He is a PhD candidate in history at Columbia University in New York City. His research interest is in comparative U.S and Caribbean history with a strong focus on the shared histories of the African Diaspora and nations in the Atlantic basin. His academic interests have intersected with public history and equity in higher education to highlight histories of marginalized groups inside the university and provide critical policy recommendations. His professional experience includes working as graduate mentor to undergraduates in the American Studies Program, and the GSAS-Leadership Alliance Summer Research Program at Columbia University.
Wes holds a BA in political science and history from Macalester College, where he was a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow. He has participated in the biennial conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) and helped organized a graduate student workshop at Columbia. He has periodically served as a co-moderator for Prof. Eric Foner’s Edx Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on the Civil War and Reconstruction. Wes is a past recipient of the Richard Hofstadter Fellowship from Columbia University. He has held fellowships from the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC)-Mellon Mays Graduate Initiative Grants, and most recently the Gilder Lehrman Institute Fellowship in American History. He is currently a visiting PhD student at the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History (WIGH) at Harvard University.