Domonique Edwards is a scholar, a high-achiever, a researcher and a performer, and UNCG is the place where all those pieces were able to come together.
Edwards is of Jamaican and Guyanese descent and was born in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of 4, Edwards took her first dance class, and she hasn’t stopped performing since.
It was her art that ultimately led her to UNCG, and she’ll graduate with degrees in dance and psychology in May.
She initially planned to attend UNC Chapel Hill to study sports science, but when she learned that one of the members of her dance team enrolled at UNCG as a dance major, her plans changed.
“I didn’t realize you could major in dance,” she said. “I was really excited.”
So, she set out to double major in dance and kinesiology. But by the time her sophomore year came around, Edwards had a realization.
“I couldn’t see myself as a physical therapist anymore.”
Edwards changed her kinesiology major to psychology, an interest fueled by some of the medical science classes she took in high school.
Although she changed her major late in her academic career, Edwards didn’t let her change of plans stop or delay her.
“I wanted to make sure that I graduated in four years,” she said.
She also added disciplinary honors to her list of accomplishments. Edwards is researching teacher-child relationships in low-income African-American children participating in Head Start. She is working under the direction of Dr. Julia Mendez.
“Being a black student in academia, I think that your experience is very different from your white counterparts’,” she explained.
Although Edwards excelled in high school, she noticed that a number of her African-American peers did not.
“It didn’t sit well with me the ways in which most black children experience education. I wanted to change that,” she said.
Edwards’ research has already earned her recognition both at UNCG and in the psychology discipline. She had the opportunity to present her research at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) annual conference this year.
Edwards is deeply involved in Dr. Omar Ali’s Community Play, which uses improvisation performance to break down barriers. She’s also the community outreach coordinator for the Lloyd International Honors College, and she’s been co-directing the Community Play All-Stars Project in Warnersville, a working-class black community within Greensboro.
“This program is geared toward using the developmental power of performance to help this community,” she said.
After graduation, Edwards will continue to use performance as a tool for development. She’ll also continue her research in the fall as a graduate student in UNCG’s Human Development and Family Studies Program.
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Story by Jeanie Groh, University Relations
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Relations