Tashiana Lipscomb ’19 had never even heard of UW–Madison before she was introduced to the PEOPLE program in middle school. Now a graduate of Wisconsin’s flagship university, Lipscomb came to the UW with one goal: to show people how much she cares. Through her training as a PEOPLE program scholar and by taking a number of educational policy courses, Lipscomb found mentors, programming, and a community that would help her do just that. Eventually she chose to pursue two majors: educational studies and sociology.
“Ed policy really proved to be work I was looking for,” she says. “I kept finding black women who were professors in those classes, so it really felt like home.”
Through the program, Lipscomb truly made the most out of her time in Madison. “PEOPLE really exposed me to what it means to pursue UW–Madison. It’s also the very reason that I was on campus,” she says. PEOPLE, which stands for Pre-college Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence, begins priming students for a four-year education as early as middle school with ACT support, summer collegiate experiences, and internship opportunities. In high school, Lipscomb was assigned an education internship, which she says was the first time she was exposed to the field of education as a profession.
During her four years at UW–Madison, Lipscomb served as the Wisconsin Black Student Union president, a McNair scholar, a community-based intern for the Morgridge Center, and much more. In addition to her various activities, she conducted research that examined tweets posted in response to a police officer being terminated for assaulting a black teenage girl at school. Her research interests include unpacking the role of disciplinary action used against black female students and the role of the school-to-prison pipeline. In the fall, Lipscomb will begin her journey to her PhD in sociology of education at New York University.
“I don’t want my research to just benefit me and just serve me, but for it to be mutually beneficial because I know it always will benefit me,” she says. “It’s always important that the people I work with are getting what they deserve from it.”
Now that her time at UW–Madison has come to an end, Lipscomb said she is most proud of all the meaningful relationships she has made on campus. “I feel like there are enough people who see me as someone who cares about the people I work with, and I think that was my main goal,” she says.