Ama, smiling and wearing a bright green shirt and blue jeans with trees behind her.
Ama, smiling and wearing a bright green shirt and blue jeans with trees behind her.

Always the Leader

Ama  Amponsah

Class of 2022 • Newark, Delaware
When Ama Amponsah ’22 was looking at colleges, she knew she didn’t want to attend a big university. This led her to the supportive Washington College community and to getting involved on campus during all four years, both academically and in extracurricular activities.


An accomplished student who graduated this spring with a major in anthropology and a minor in chemistry, Ama shone outside the classroom as well. Holding positions in multiple clubs and organizations, she worked tirelessly toward making the campus a better place. As the president of Cleopatra’s Sisters, she came full circle in her journey with the organization.

“I remember joining as a freshman and not knowing what it was, but I knew there were a lot of minority girls in the club, and I thought I’d join to get to know them and make friends,” she explained. “Now, here I am senior year as the president. It’s been a full-circle moment, especially trying to keep everyone together through COVID during our ups and downs.”

Always the leader, Ama also founded a new club at WC. “I founded the African Student Union here, and finding that community with other minorities on campus was really fulfilling. There are so few of us, so we all try to get along. We all go through the same things, so it was really nice.”

Ama’s journey brought her to her final academic challenge at WC—the Senior Capstone Experience (SCE). A specialized project undertaken by every student in their senior year, the SCE focuses on a topic of the student’s choice and ties together their academic interests and strengths.

Ama is grateful to the faculty and staff in the Department of Anthropology for their continued support, especially during her SCE process. “The whole process was stressful, but the anthropology department was there, helping me the whole way. College is already so demanding, especially academically, so having a department and major that isn’t stressful is great.”

Her project, “Urgent Care: A Virtual Public History Exhibit Exploring the HIV and AIDS Epidemic,” explores and applies an anthropological framework to the epidemic and why it has impacted people that way it has.

“It’s partially based on the work I did in my sophomore year for the Starr Center on its Urgent Care project. I was able to take that and come back, finish the website that was created, and make it public facing and apply anthropological perspectives to the epidemic and the way individuals had been treated based on their diagnosis."

Ama’s SCE also explores the similarities and differences between the epidemic and the COVID pandemic. “Luckily, there are a lot more differences between them than similarities!”

Ama has decided not to pursue medical school after graduation. Instead, she has expressed interest in continuing her work at WC’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience with the faculty and staff who supported her during her time here at Washington College.

Ama's Four Year Plan

Year 1

Favorite ClassFYS 101: Cultural Relativism

Taught by Dr. Steinmetz of the Anthropology Department, Ama's favorite class in her first year was her FYS – Cultural Relativism. "The topics were really similar to things I was already interested in with sociology, but it was applied culturally and on a world scale. We made a lot of connections in that class.”

Year 2

Learn by Doing Getting Involved

Ama's second year was full of exciting extracurriculars, including co-founding the African Student Union at WC, participating in internships, and moving into new leadership positions. "This was the first semester that we founded ASU and I was also the social chair of Cleopatra's Sisters. That summer I was able to intern with the Starr Center doing a project called 'Urgent Care', which is something I got to come back to for my senior thesis.”

Year 3

Looking Forward ToInternships

During her third year, Ama participated in the Chesapeake Heartland's project 'Ebony and Ivory Towers'. "It was my favorite thing – it was a great internship and great job to work at and to meet people to talk about the campus 20 years ago”.

Year 4

Looking Forward ToSenior Capstone Experience

During her fourth year, Ama has dedicated countless hours to her Senior Capstone Experience, 'Urgent Care: A Virtual Public History Exhibit Exploring the HIV and AIDS Epidemic'.