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  • From the Director

    April 3, 2018

    Dear Friends:

    It finally happened! We have moved to Addlestone Library which means that the long-awaited renovations to the historic Avery building have finally begun. Whew! This has been a long time coming, but we are excited that our beloved building is on the road to renovation.

    As many of you already know, Curtis J. Franks and Deborah Wright have retired from the college and Avery will truly never be the same without them. Their tireless work and dedication to Avery’s mission and constituents have greatly contributed to the center’s successes during my tenure and for many years prior to my arrival. To honor their legacy, we have established the Curtis J. Franks and Deborah Wright Internship fund which will allow us to provide annual stipends to students who work at Avery and are interested in librarianship and museum curation. If you are interested in contributing to this important initiative, please contact our Halley Erickson, our Senior Development Officer at cellah@cofc.edu, for assistance.

    Big News!

    Daron Calhoun has been hired as the Facilities, Outreach, and Public Programs Coordinator! Please congratulate him when you see him!

    Spring/Summer 2018

    Let me assure that while we will be closed for business, the staff and I will be very busy with several exciting projects including:

    • • Development of a new Avery Research Center website
    • • Research and curation for an upcoming RSJI exhibition titled, No Sanctuary in this Place: Black Life in the Holy City and Beyond
    • • Planning the 2018–19 Avery Research Center public programs schedule
    • • Ideation for a revised Avery Research Center video
    • • Partnership with Howard University’s Cobb Research Lab and Departments of Genetics and Human Genetics and Biology and Biological Anthropology entitled, “Identifying Environmental and Evolutionary Resilience Affects Amongst the Gullah Peoples,” led by Dr. Fatimah Jackson, Principal Investigator, and Ms. Jennifer Caldwell, MPH (a brief description of the project can be found below)

    In closing, if you happen to be on campus, please stop by Addlestone Library and look us up! Daron Calhoun and I are located in Room 127 on the first floor of the library.




    Identifying Environmental and Evolutionary Resilience Affects Amongst the Gullah Peoples

    By: Jennifer Caldwell, MPH

    Dr. Fatimah Jackson, Principal Investigator

    Howard University Cobb Research Lab
    Department of Genetics and Human Genetics,
    Department of Biology and Biological Anthropology

    Howard University’s W. Montague Cobb Research Lab, the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston, and the Gullah Society are collaborating to tell the story of Gullah ancestry through their genomic profile.  This analysis will be done by obtaining presumed African ancestral DNA from (36 skeletal remains at) the Anson Street burial ground, and comparing ancestral markers to contemporary Charleston, SC peoples.  Our ultimate goal, aside from capturing a genomic profile, is to use this profile to understand migration patterns, quantify disease risk (i.e.;  CVD and Hypertension), and educate the community through outreach.  Through this analysis, we hope to gather the true story of the Gullah people, their culture, and their relevance to the expansion of America.  Their contributions are still relevant today, and these results can be used as tools that influence policy and preservation of Gullah peoples.