Chaya Crowder is a MA student in political science and a John Kluge Scholar at Columbia University. She is the recipient of research funding from the Columbia Undergraduate Scholar's Program, which provides undergraduates with resources to pursue independent research projects. Under the direction of Professors Fredrick Harris in political science and Ted Shaw in the law school, Chaya’s research project explored the black students' perception of affirmative action at Columbia University. The research paper—entitled “The Legal Reinterpretation of Affirmative Action and the Redefinition of What It Means to Be Black In the Ivy League: A Study of Black Student Perceptions of Affirmative Action.” — was published in University of Washington’s Undergraduate Law Review. Chaya was also awarded the Social Justice Fellowship with the Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union and the Center for Popular Democracy. Chaya’s academic interests are fueled by a desire to explore causes surrounding the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, unique ways that African Americans respond to those challenges.