After visiting countries torn by racial genocide, Robert Hutto '20 takes a closer look at racial identity
Psychology and Management double major, Robert Hutto ‘20 spent part of last summer traveling through the small country of Rwanda as part of a course offered by the Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CFIFE) on campus. The main focus of the class was sustainable business development and social entrepreneurship. Although it has been 25 years since the genocide of Rwandan Tutsis, much of the population there is still recovering, and the majority of social entrepreneurs they worked with were concentrated on the aftermath of the genocide. This experience, along with a trip to Myanmar in the summer of 2018 has helped inspire Robert’s research in the Psychology Department. This year, Robert is completing an honors thesis under the direction of Jui Bhagwat that tests factors that can influence racial identity development in biracial people.
He writes: “These experiences abroad have had a great deal of influence on my life back at home. As a research assistant in Dr. Bhagwat’s Early Cognitive Development Lab, I have had the freedom and resources to propose, design and conduct my own research project. My experiences with racial issues in Rwanda and Myanmar have led me to focus on perceptions of racial identity and its development, specifically for biracial people. As a biracial person myself, I am fascinated by the topic of race.”