This is a list of reflections by MFP Alumni describing the impact the fellowship program has made on their career. Please submit your MFP Alumni Reflection. 

David Lopez, University of Washington, MFP 2010

David Lopez

” In addition to the added financial support that made my first year in graduate school more sustainable, the APSA Minority Fellowship Program signals to me that my  chosen discipline cares about increasing underrepresented scholars among its ranks. The MFP is the sort of institutional commitment we need more of in political science and across higher education.”

Betina Wilkinson, Wake Forest, University 2007

“Based on the financial support that I obtained from my fellowship, I was able to collect focus group data which was fundamental to writing a strong dissertation in graduate school. These data helped me establish a robust theoretical foundation for several research projects.”

Rachel Gillum

Rachel Gillum, PhD, Stanford University and Gates Hadley, MFP 2008

“MFP provided support during the first two summers of graduate school; allowed me to pursue research projects that expanded my knowledge and skill set and helped me build rapport with faculty members.”

Stefan Martinez-Ruiz, Duke University, MFP 2017

“I remember when I was applying to PhD programs and felt so unsure of the process: whether I would get in anywhere, whether I would be competitive, whether I could truly make that transition into academia in a way that felt like the right choice for me. When I received the Minority Fellowship, it made that process seem so much more realistic. Seeing that APSA believed in me enough to award me the Minority Fellowship and a letter in support of my PhD applications, made me feel like the interest I had in academia wasn’t some moonshot but a potential reality. In short, receiving the Minority Fellowship helped me believe in myself.”

Stephanie Chan

Stephanie Chan, Princeton University,  MFP 2017

“Being a recipient of the Minority Fellowship Program has introduced me to a welcoming community of scholars. Through its networking events, I have met academics who are pursuing interesting research questions and I have been inspired by the accomplishments of MFP alumni.”

David Shirk

David Shirk, University of San Diego, MFP 1993

“Because of the APSA’s affirmative actions to provide me with direction, encouragement, preparation, and resources, I was able to become the first person in my family to pursue graduate study and obtain a Ph.D. As an APSA Minority Scholar, I was able to obtain a full scholarship during my graduate studies which made it financially possible for me to pursue my professional ambitions.”

Michelle Boyd

Michelle Boyd, University of Illinois, Chicago, MFP 1992

The MFP has been crucial to my success, both while I was a professor and since I’ve left the academy. It helped me understand how historical, political, and economic context impacted power relations in every day life. And that was helpful for my intellectual work as well as my ability to successfully navigate faculty life before and after tenure. Even more surprising, this same orientation helps me in my work as an academic writing coach and retreat leader. It would be easy to understand scholars’ writing struggles as individual problems. But the training and mentor-ship I received during and after the MFP, as well as the examples of strong scholarship and writing that I saw, helped me understand that writing problems are rooted in racialized (gendered, classed, etc.) institutional inequities. Most of my retreat participants are women of color, and I’m a better thinker and coach to them because of the opportunities offered by the MFP.” 

Katherine Woolfalk, Analyst Institute,  MFP 2006

“Provided me with support for research, helped me grow my professional network, and served as a credentialing mechanism.”

Roger Oden, Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc, MFP 1970

Diego von Vacano

“Admitted to Ph.D. program at University of Chicago before receiving MFP notification, and later received large number of invitations to apply to upper tier political science programs throughout the United States.”

Diego von Vacano, Texas A&M University, MFP 1996

“It encouraged me to pursue a PhD after I did an MPP. It was the first time I realized an academic career could be a possibility.”

Olivia Cook, Auburn University, MFP 2017

Olivia Cook

“I remember when I was applying to PhD programs and felt so unsure of the process: whether I would get in anywhere, whether I would be competitive, whether I could truly make that transition into academia in a way that felt like the right choice for me. When I received the Minority Fellowship, it made that process seem so much more realistic. Seeing that APSA believed in me enough to award me the Minority Fellowship and a letter in support of my PhD applications, made me feel like the interest I had in academia wasn’t some moonshot but a potential reality. In short, receiving the Minority Fellowship helped me believe in myself.”

Joao Resende-Santos, Bentley University, MFP 1989

“The exposure and national visibility – crucial during my job search. Many job searches use these kinds of resources like the APSA MFP to identify potential candidates and broaden their pool of candidates and interviews.”

Edgar Alfonseca

Edgar Alfonseca, NYC Department of Education, MFP 2010

“I was able to produce a high-quality application for PhD programs due to the Minority Fellowship Program. My time spent in the PhD program allowed me to get the quantitative analysis skills I needed to begin my career in analytics.”

 

Chinbo Chong, University of Pennsylvania, MFP 2010

“Allowed me to expand and strengthen my connection with scholars of color in the field.”

Jared Clemons

Jared Clemons, Duke University, MFP 2017

“The APSA Minority Fellowship Program has been absolutely critical to my development as a political science scholar. I have had the opportunity to meet and network with not only some of the foremost scholars in the field, but also many of the emerging minds within the discipline. Being a part of this program has not only offered me a sense of community, but also the welcome realization that there are people who look like me who are making an immeasurable impact on the field. I am forever grateful to the American Political Science Association for their commitment to both inclusion and the diversity of perspective and experiences that comes with it.”

Rachel Torres, University of Iowa, MFP 2017

“It connected me with scholars in other departments and allowed me to build a community of support that is vital to my academic career.”

Tanika Raychaudhuri

Tanika Raychaudhuri, Princeton University, MFP 2016

“Being a recipient of the Minority Fellowship Program helped me to develop my research agenda in race and ethnicity politics and a professional network in this community of scholars. Although I am still in graduate school, the MFP has helped to connect me to a wider range of scholars of REP and scholars of color in political science.”

Helen Kras, University of Kentucky, MFP 2018

“This award enabled me to incorporate survey experiments into my dissertation project. I am currently developing the pilot survey that I intend to field by the end of the Spring semester with university students in El Salvador. In addition, this award will enable me to field the survey experiment in Brazil as well. The survey experiment will enable me to understand whether the existence of state funded services for survivors of gender-based violence shape citizens’ views of the government and of its role in preventing and addressing violence against women. Your kind assistance was invaluable to the development of my dissertation project.”

Sherri Wallace

Sherri Wallace, University of Louisville, MFP 1988

“I was a non-funded recipient of the MFP. It still had a positive impact on my academic career because it made me visible as a viable graduate student, who would need funding, but could successfully complete a graduate program.”

 

Ricardo Romero, Arizona State University, MFP 2018

“The APSA Minority Fellowship has been an even greater help than I had anticipated. First, it helped me have a bit more peace of mind financially as I prepared for comprehensive exams over the summer. Happy to report I passed both of them and I’m currently working on my prospectus to officially advance to candidacy. The fellowship also helped me in my travels to Michigan for ICPSR. Major help in taking care of everyday costs such as food and much needed coffee shop study sessions. It also helped me on a more personal level. Over the fall semester, my generally good health decided it needed some time away from me. Despite being blessed with very good health insurance thanks to my program, three months of medical bills, labs, and a 30-minute surgery still added up. The leftover funds from MFP allowed me to be less stressed about that entire situation and get some research work done. I am extremely thankful to APSA for developing this program; more generous than I deserve. It has been a busy year and 2019 should be busier. All in all, I am looking forward to it.”

Angie Torres-Beltran

Angie Torres-Beltran, Cornell University, MFP 2018

“The MFP helped connect me with a community of scholars, especially women and people of color. I have been able to connect with other students and share whatever knowledge I can with them to help them transition into graduate school and they have shared with me ways to overcome difficulties and take advantage of other opportunities.”

 

Vanessa Cruz Nichols

Vanessa Cruz Nichols

Vanessa Cruz Nichols, Indiana University, MFP 2009

“Being a recipient of the Minority Fellowship Program provided an important signal to the graduate programs I applied to. The MFP represented a third party entity who believed in me, and this gave me a sense of victory and validation at a time when you’re in limbo waiting for graduate programs to get back to you. The financial award also facilitated research endeavors early on in my graduate career. The community and networking opportunity the MFP has provided through current students and alumni networks has been invaluable, much like the one I found in my undergraduate McNair program. Kim Mealy is a miracle-worker! Finally, I strongly believe the MFP program program helped me in my pursuit of external fellowships, including fellowships from the Ford Foundation.”