CAMD Office to Launch Student Scholars Program

During Monday’s All-School Meeting, the Office of Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD) announced its new student scholar program, to be piloted this year. The program offers five students the chance to pursue extensive research in topics related to culture and diversity over the summer. Scholars chosen for the program are also required to select a faculty advisor for their projects. In addition, and prior to, their summer work, scholars will meet with CAMD throughout the spring to plan the direction of their individual study. All scholars will also be required to read a common text over the summer, and, upon returning in the fall, the scholars will meet to discuss the findings of their research as well as the book. They are then expected to give a presentation on their summer experience in the fall term. Some of the presentations will be used as workshops for Uppers and Seniors on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day the following January. Rajesh Mundra, Associate Dean of CAMD, thought of the idea for the program and is responsible for its creation. “When I came to CAMD two years ago,” said Mr. Mundra, “I wanted to explore ways CAMD could connect with academic curriculums, which often leave out the topics of multi-culturalism and diversity.” Mr. Mundra said that announcing the program on Martin Luther King Day was “especially fitting of the spirit of the day.” Interested students have come to CAMD in search of more information on the program. Linda Griffith, Dean of CAMD, said, “I am excited that a number of students have stopped by CAMD to inquire about the program and to pick up an application. It really demonstrates that there is significant student interest in cultural issues.” To cover the research expenses, the selected student scholars will receive a $250 grant. Faculty advisors are also given a $150 stipend for their participation and service. An Abbot Grant from the previous academic year will fund the program. The program was not implemented until this year because CAMD had to determine the details of the program. The CAMD Scholars program is modeled after the Brace Center Fellowship program, which focuses on gender issues. In addition to her position as Dean of CAMD, Ms. Griffith has served on the Brace Center Advisory Board Executive Committee for two years. Ms. Griffith said, “While sitting on the Brace Center board, I began to notice that many of the Fellowship proposals [the board] received focused on gender as it relates to culture. The CAMD Scholar program hopes to enable student research for those with a specific interest in culture and not so much gender.” As the Brace Center can not support all fellowship applicants, CAMD hopes their related program will enable additional students to purse summer research and allow for a different direction of study.