Kennedy Collins

Class of 2022

Kennedy Collins is a member of the Class of 2022 from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is pursuing a degree in African American Studies with a focus on Race and Public Policy and receiving a certificate in Spanish. As someone who likes to dip her toes in every possible interest before making a concrete decision, she certainly reflected this in choosing her major. Ultimately, she recognized the value of the AAS Department and declared it as her concentration. She appreciates the interdisciplinary nature of the Department, as she has been able to use what she has learned in various on-campus and work experiences. She also resonates with the Department as it reflects Black experiences that are not monolithic, but a collective of multifaceted, authentic experiences.

Kennedy has served in leadership for Christian Union Nova (TruThursday), Our Health Matters, and BAC Dance. She is a former Fellow for the Carl A. Fields Center as a well as a former Orientation Leader for Dialogue and Difference in Action.

Kennedy is exploring many passions for her future, but plans to go to graduate school after working for a year.


Senior Thesis

Uncovering our EdTech: How Risk Assessment Tools May Exacerbate Social Inequity

This thesis seeks to answer the question of how certain educational technology, specifically predictive analytics and risk assessment tools, may exacerbate social inequity. I argue that even if we may not have direct access to the bit-by-bit mechanics of the technology- even if it's marketed as easy and efficient for everyone, we can bring clues together that show how and why we should be cautious of predictive tools, like Early Alert Systems for example, exacerbating racial inequity. It begins with learning about the genealogy of risk and race in 19th century America, and how the term “risk” became a marker to label Black citizens as a threat to society. Next is a breakdown of how exactly this educational technology may exacerbate inequity; the ways in which “risk” as a stigmatizing term may have trickled down into present-day EdTech that uses similar language. Lastly, are the consequences and implications of certain predictive tools exacerbating social inequity.