Welcome back to 255! To begin, we would like to send our best wishes and support to our students who are working tirelessly to finish out the semester. Best of luck to all of you. You got this!

This week on the 255 we are reviving a classic segment of ours. That’s right, an all new segment of #StudentSpotlight is coming your way! The ongoing series of #StudentSpotlight highlights the amazing work, research, and excellency of our own MMC students. In this post, we are featuring the work of graduating Senior, T’keyah Grant, an exceptional student and leader both in and out of the classroom. In addition to learning more about T’keyah’s involvement and studies at MMC, we are highlighting her most recent research featured at MMC’s own Honor’s Day. So sit back, relax, grab your beverage of choice, and get ready for thrilling #StudentSpotlight.

T’keyah Grant is a double major in International Studies and Politics & Human Rights with a double minor in Law & Ethics and Social Work. She demonstrates commitment to excellence both within the MMC community and the larger New York City area. In the classroom, T’keyah’s astounding merit is recognized by the many college accolades she has received. On top of making the Dean’s List every year of her college career, T’keyah is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Pi Gamma Mu Honor’s Societies, and has proudly served as Senior Marshall for the Class of 2021. Most recently she was awarded the Certificate for Academic Excellence for her Social Work minor. Outside of Marymount, T’keyah has worked for the Sunrise Movement, volunteered with the Movement for Black Lives, and interned with the United Nations Office of the Scalibrini International Migration Network. Upon graduating, T’keyah seeks to continue her engagement in policy research and advocacy to develop community capacity for effectively addressing the social problems of our time.

This April, T’keyah submitted her research and was accepted to Marymount’s own Honor’s Day. You can read her work, Above the Law? : UN Peacekeepers, Sexual Exploitation & Accountability here. The 255 took the opportunity to reach out to T’keyah and further inquire about her research project. Check out what she had to say below.

1. What is your research paper about?

My paper, Above the Law ? : UN Peacekeepers, Sexual Exploitation & Accountability is an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data on the United Nations (UN) peacekeepers in relationship to sexual exploitation and abuse. It takes a look at peacekeepers that have been deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, through the MONUSCO mission (the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo). The paper highlights UN peacekeepers, as violators of human rights rather than an instrument of the UN, used to promote human rights and to keep the peace. The paper also argues that the UN seems unwilling and unable to hold these individuals accountable for their actions. This paper answers the question of why the UN, as the upholder of human rights throughout the world, is unable to police its own. Through analysis of the data, I was able to assert that it is difficult to effectively hold peacekeepers accountable for their violations of conduct, due to issues of command and control, impunity, high standards of substantiation and corroboration, as well as early repatriation.

T’keyah Grant, Class of 2021

2. What was your motivation for conducting this research?

In alignment with the tide of adjusting and reforming the UN and its operations to suit the modern dilemmas of the world of today, I wrote this paper with the intention of lending to bigger conversations around the effectiveness of the UN as an international governing body, as well as the larger conversation around gender and human rights. My study adds to these conversations by illustrating why the inability of the UN to effectively hold their own accountable, affects the legitimacy of the body as a whole to address injustices throughout the world.

T’keyah Grant, Class of 2021

We would like to thank T’keyah for taking the time to share her research with us. Needless to say, whether conducting research projects or applying her studies in internship and volunteer experience, T’keyah is an outstanding individual. Congratulations to T’keyah for her myriad achievements and graduation from MMC. We, here at HUMSOC, wish our future alum nothing but the best in her future endeavors. As we approach the home stretch of this semester remember to take breaks, take naps, stay hydrated and help each other out.