The Rackham Program in Public Scholarship is pleased to announce its 2022 Public Scholarship Grant awards for graduate students. Drawing on their research, students designed mutually beneficial collaborative work plans with community partner organizations to produce a public good—from strong local community impact, to state- and national-level political change.
The award recipients will work across the United States and beyond, from supporting residents in community-centered urban development in Detroit, to providing educational and legal resources for women farmworkers in Watsonville, California, to advocating for Sub-Saharan African migrants’ involvement in a Moroccan education system from which they have been excluded. The projects selected for funding stood out in a pool of competitive applications for their equitable partnerships, ethical conduct with community participants, and concern for ensuring the inclusion of community knowledge alongside their research. The successful students each detailed a sustainable, innovative social, political, and/or economic impact beyond the academy.
“I am happy to see yet another group of excellent graduate students who are to undertake important and exciting public engagement projects, which the graduate school can fund through its Rackham Public Engagement Grants,” says Arthur Verhoogt, the Rackham associate dean for academic programs and initiatives in humanities and the arts, and a professor of papyrology and Greek in the U-M Department of Classical Studies. “I look forward to seeing the results of this necessary work and the impact it will have on their research and career trajectories.”
A review committee selected the awardees from an extremely competitive pool of proposals.
“Through their project proposals, these Rackham students have demonstrated their openness and commitment to serving community needs and the greater public good through collaborative research,” says Rackham Program Lead Joe Cialdella. “Their work reflects the creativity, breadth, and quality of publicly engaged scholarship being led by Rackham students as they advance their scholarly careers in new and exciting ways.”
By choosing to make public engagement a part of their graduate education, this year’s cohort will be able to make distinct contributions to the community needs they serve, the practice of publicly engaged scholarship, and their research.
The Rackham Program in Public Scholarship has been supporting public scholarship on campus since 1998, when it began as the former Arts of Citizenship Program. Its mission is to support collaborative scholarly and creative endeavors that engage communities and co-create public goods while enhancing students’ professional development around public engagement and community-based learning.
This year’s grant recipients and their projects are:
Ph.D. Candidate, Urban and Regional Planning
“Equitable Development in Detroit: Community Investment Trusts”
In partnership with Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit (D4), Morgan Fett will work with and design a curriculum for Detroit communities to advocate for equitable urban growth. Through the use of community investment trusts, the project will center residents as major stakeholders in their city’s development.
Ph.D. Candidate, Sociology
“Refugee Children’s Access to Public Education in Morocco”
Cynthia Magallanes-Gonzalez will collaborate with the Collective of Sub-Saharan Communities in Morocco to co-create and distribute a report stressing the migrant parent experiences and concerns with the Moroccan education system. The report will reach a variety of stakeholders from government officials to school administrators and education and migrant advocacy non-profits, highlighting the need for more accessible education for Sub-Saharan migrants.
Thao Nguyen and Jasmin An
Ph.D. Candidates, Women’s and Gender Studies and History, Women’s and Gender Studies and English
“Anti-Hmoob Violence Report: 1975-2019”
Thao Nguyen and Jasmin An are partnering with non-profit, Cia Siab, Inc. in Wisconsin, to track violence against HMoob Americans. They will produce a report and digital map to inform Hmoob and non-HMoob communities of cases of violence, HMoob-specific anti-violence educational resources and services, and will highlight HMoob women’s efforts in this project. They will support Cia Siab, Inc.’s ultimate goal of state-wide policy change.
Ph.D. Candidate, Educational Studies
“Lower Brule Education Project”
In partnership with Lower Brule schools in South Dakota, Devon Riter will launch the Lower Brule Education Project to enhance communication and relationships between school staff and families. With Lower Brule Sioux tribal approval and alongside various community stakeholders, Devon will support the creation of sustainable modes of school-family communication to better involve the Indigenous community in their children’s education.
Ph.D. Student, Architecture and Urban Planning
“Pedestrian Observations: Mapping Manhattan Chinatown’s Public Spaces”
Myles Zhang will partner with City as Living Laboratory to create a public-facing interactive map of Manhattan’s Chinatown. With artists, scientists, and Chinatown residents, the project will visualize current uses of public and private spaces in Chinatown and equip residents with the tools and information to question the use of their community spaces and advocate for equitable and sustainable change.
Ph.D. Student, Sociology
“Labor Rights, Mutual Aid, and Community-Building Amongst Farm Working Women”
Rosa Noriega will collaborate with De Sol A Sol Collective in Watsonville, California to design and facilitate a course for farm working women. The curriculum will primarily address the gender-based violence and sexual harassment many of the Indigenous Mexican immigrant workers face, offering a framework for understanding worker’s and women’s rights, as well as providing access to additional resources and legal services.