Eight students from the Political Science Department were awarded the competitive Rackham Centennial Spring/Summer Fellowship Award for 2012.  
             Janna Bray
             Andrew Feher
             Spencer Piston
             Timothy Ryan
             Cali Mortenson Ellis (Joint with Public Policy)
             Molly Reynolds (Joint with Public Policy)
             Amy Krings (Joint with Social Work)
             Kerri Nicoll (Joint with Social Work)

The Rackham Centennial Award provides graduate students with the opportunity to work in collaboration with faculty mentors on research, creative, and scholarly projects during the Spring/Summer 2012 term so that they can make progress towards their degree and eventually impact the future as “Michigan Graduate Students of the World”.

“The Rackham Centennial Spring Summer Fellowship Award is an essential complement to my doctoral training, allowing me to develop mastery of a useful quantitative methodology and create a new dataset for scholars in both of my fields,” says recipient Cali Mortenson Ellis.  

Another winner, Kerri Nicoll noted that “Funding from the Rackham Centennial Spring/Summer Fellowship is making it possible for me to spend the summer recruiting respondents and conducting interviews under the guidance of my dissertation committee members: Drs. Ann Lin and Sandra Danziger, as well as Drs. Pamela Brandwein, Professor of Political Science, and Luke Shaefer, Assistant Professor of Social Work.” 

Because students from any graduate program were eligible to apply, competition for the awards was stiff, with only 100 fellowships available to over 750 graduate student applicants from a variety of disciplines.  Among the criteria for selection were the clarity and coherence of the project proposed and how the project directly relates to and helps the student achieve progress towards the degree.  

The fellowship awards were given out to celebrate the Rackham Graduate School’s 100th anniversary.  This is the first year the Centennial Fellowships were awarded.  According to a spokesperson from the Rackham’s Fellowship Office, the Graduate School may continue to offer these spring/summer awards again, but no final decision has been made regarding the continuation of this fellowship program.  For the many graduate students who would like to see more funding opportunities available for their research, maintaining this fellowship program would certainly be of tremendous value.  

Watch the News section of the Website in July for stories about the individuals and the work they're doing.  

Bai Linh Hoang is a doctoral student in American Politics.