Standing Against Racism
Many of us have been hurt, frustrated, angry, overwhelmed and much more in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, which has made visible once again the structures and intersections of white supremacy, economic inequality, gender, and death in the U.S. Over the last week, important calls for justice and affirmations of anti-racist principles, articulated by Black Lives Matter and other social movements, have pointed to how we might challenge these hierarchies in our institutional, political, and personal lives. We have also seen how inequalities are reproduced, often despite our individual intentions and wishes.
As we confront the layering of health, social, racial, and economic inequalities that have characterized this summer, I have been talking with other HSOC faculty about we can use our scholarly tools to empower our communities. How can we make sense, for instance, of the competing medical narratives that are being offered about the death of George Floyd? How can we understand the relationship between the COVID19 crisis - and the exaggeration of social inequalities that it has precipitated - and the ongoing protests?
We feel strongly that this is not only a time for reflection but also for action on a variety of fronts. We’ll be organizing an open coffee hour soon to hear from any of you who wish to share your thoughts and ideas for action, or even your anger or grief with us. Some of you are already taking action through volunteer work, activism, or intellectual work. Many might also have questions, need space to reflect or to draw support from others, or to process strong and sometimes complex emotions. Together, we hope to learn how we, as faculty, can support HSOC students and the broader communities of which we are a part.
We hope that by creating a space for collective and open discussion, we can reflect more deeply on how to incorporate the lessons of these events into our program. In the meanwhile, please know that we are thinking of you, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to any one of us if you need support or a listening ear.
In solidarity and community,
Projit Bihari Mukharji, HSOC Director, for the faculty
Events, Information and Opportunities
Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF)
Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) provides information and support for Penn students and alumni considering applying for grants and fellowships. The filterable Fellowships Directory allows you to search for fellowships before and after graduation.
Students unfamiliar with fellowships should review the online Fellowships 101 slide deck, attend an upcoming information session, and call the CURF office at 215-746-6488 to schedule an individual fellowships consultation.
--The Fulbright grant, which provides a living stipend, health insurance, and travel reimbursement for 8-12 months of international research, study, or teaching English in any of over 140 countries around the world
--The Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which provides a living stipend, tuition, fees, and travel for one, two, or three years (with possible extension for a 4th year) to earn a graduate degree in any field at the University of Cambridge
--The Thouron Award, which provides a living stipend, tuition, fees, and travel for one or two years of graduate study at any university in the United Kingdom
--The President’s Engagement and Innovation Prizes, which provide a $50,000 living stipend plus up to $100,000 in project costs for social impact projects designed to improve the lives of others
--And many others, which can be found by searching CURF’s Fellowships Directory
CHART of CURF OPPORTUNITIES BY YEAR (freshperson, sophomore, junior, senior)
University Policy on Religious Holidays
The University also recognizes that there are several religious holidays that affect large numbers of University community members, including Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the first two days of Passover, and Good Friday. In consideration of their significance for many students, no examinations may be given and no assigned work may be required on these days. Students who observe these holidays will be given an opportunity to make up missed work in both laboratories and lecture courses. If an examination is given on the first class day after one of these holidays, it must not cover material introduced in class on that holiday.
Faculty should realize that Jewish holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the published date of the holiday. Late afternoon exams should be avoided on these days. Also, no examinations may be held on Saturdays or Sundays in the undergraduate schools unless they are also available on other days. Nor should seminars or other regular classes be scheduled on Saturdays or Sundays unless they are also available at other times.
The University recognizes that there are other holidays, both religious and secular, which are of importance to some individuals and groups on campus. Such occasions include, but are not limited to, Sukkot, the last two days of Passover, Shavuot, Shemini Atzerat and Simchat Torah, Chinese New Year, the Muslim New Year, Diwali, Navaratri, Rama Navami, Paryushan, and the Islamic holidays Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Students who wish to observe such holidays must inform their instructors within the first two weeks of each semester of their intent to observe the holiday even when the exact date of the holiday will not be known until later so that alternative arrangements convenient to both students and faculty can be made at the earliest opportunity. Students who make such arrangements will not be required to attend classes or take examinations on the designated days, and faculty must provide reasonable opportunities for such students to make up missed work and examinations. For this reason it is desirable that faculty inform students of all examination dates at the start of each semester. Exceptions to the requirement of a make-up examination must be approved in advance by the undergraduate dean of the school in which the course is offered.