The Richards Center, the Department of History, and the Department of African American Studies will host the fourth annual Emerging Scholars Summer Mentoring Program, June 23-28. Headed by Dr. Crystal Sanders, associate professor of History and African American Studies and director of the Africana Research Center, the mentoring program is designed to broaden interest in graduate study in History among talented undergraduate students from under-represented backgrounds. The competitive program invites applications each year from students across the country. This year, 10 undergraduate students will participate in the program. They come from a variety of institutions, including large public universities like the University of Alabama and University of Oklahoma; small colleges like Wellesley College; and HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) like North Carolina Central University and Howard University. During the program, current Penn State faculty and graduate students will demystify the graduate admissions process, guide participants in how to select a graduate program that is right for them, and advise them on how to develop a compelling research project that will lead to a successful graduate degree and future publications. Participants also will take part in a simulated doctoral seminar. In addition to learning about graduate education in History, generally, the students will be exposed to Penn State’s innovative dual degree programs in History and African American Studies and History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Past Emerging Scholars programs have encouraged a number of attendees to pursue graduate study at a variety of institutions, including two alumni who have enrolled in Penn State’s History graduate program. The program has yielded significant results in its brief existence. As Dr. Sanders has put it, “The center’s commitment to increasing the number of PhDs from underrepresented minority groups is exciting and commendable. Diversity among both students and faculty in the classroom fosters excellence and ensures that higher education reflects the demographics of our world.”