Professors award fellowships to allow undergraduates to engage in projects within greater Syracuse community
Professors award fellowships to allow undergraduates to engage in projects within greater Syracuse communityJanuary 22, 2008Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Two Syracuse University professors are bridging the divide between the social sciences and the humanities by awarding fellowships to support undergraduate collaborative action research projects within the Syracuse community.
John Burdick, professor of anthropology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), and Stephen J. Parks, associate professor of writing and rhetoric in The Writing Program in A&S, both faculty associates in the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts in the Maxwell School, received a $5,000 grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities to support the Bringing Theory to Practice Project. They have awarded six fellowships for the Spring 2008 semester, including a $400 stipend and $400 research budget, to each of the following students:
- Margaret McWeeney, a senior political science and international relations major, and Jennifer McCafferty, a senior international relations and anthropology major both in The College of Arts and Sciences, to conduct research with the Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, aimed at improving advocacy around the Onondagas’ current land claims case;
- Diego Medrano, a senior political science and international relations major, and Elizabeth Bachman, a junior policy studies and economics major, both in A&S, to work on a project with the Center for New Americans on the mental health care needs of refugee populations; and
- Lucille Murphy, a junior majoring in professional studies in organizational leadership through University College, and Mary Gallagher, a senior English and textual studies major in A&S, to conduct a project on workers’ lives with the workforce development council of UNITE-HERE, a labor union comprised largely of immigrants, minorities and women.
Each project has been developed collaboratively with community leaders.
“This initiative creates exciting opportunities for undergraduates to engage directly with the off-campus community to make a real-life contribution to the betterment of the city in which they live and to see the value of their education at work through the application of research skills,” says Burdick. “Such experiences enable students to see how their education can have real-life impact, allowing them to grow toward their future role as citizens. This is Scholarship in Action.”
Once the projects are completed, they will be assembled into a publication by New City Community Press, of which Parks is the executive director. “The publication will demonstrate the value of such community-university collaborations, highlighting how the issues fit into the puzzle of the larger community, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the projects, and providing a framework for future collaborations,” says Parks.