University of Michigan African

American Student Project

Screenshot of AASP's homepage


The African-American Student Project by the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library is a searchable database covering all African-American students who attended the university from 1853-1956. It includes students' names, local addresses, sororities/fraternities memberships, and information about their relatives who also attended U of M. The site offers archival materials for a comprehensive view of their experiences and an interactive housing map displaying off-campus residential patterns.


University of Michigan - Bentley Historical Library


UI Design
Quality Assurance
Information Architecture

GIF of AASP's gallery, news section, map filter, and map search page

Empowering Discovery

The site's objective was to create a user-friendly platform for easily accessing desired information and discovering new content. The project aimed to and has succeeded in offering comprehensive context and data about African Americans at U-M between 1817-1956, showcasing both achievements and struggles. Launched a year after the UI's completion, the African-American Student Project now presents an impactful site with a remarkable mission.

Mobile version of AASP's map filter
iPhone outline
Mobile version of a specific person's information
iPhone outline
AASP's database page
UI Design and Quality Assurance as a Web Designer at Studio Pence
2022 © Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan

Personal Impact

From working in collaboration with full-stack developers and communicating directly with shareholders, this project not only taught me a lot, but has also left a lasting influence on the way I approach design and strategies.

Beyond this, having the opportunity to work on the University of Michigan's African-American Student Project reminded me that racism is not a thing of the past; it is still thriving throughout the US, even today, in the form of both outright violence and microagressions. Students at the University of Michigan were fighting less than 100 years ago for their right to fair dormitory housing, and serious discussions surrounding African-American students' living problems only began in 1970 with the Black Action Movement.