Volume 69, Issue 17
February 13, 1998

Society of Junior Fellows offers membership to eligible students

Diana D. Pryor

The Society of the Junior Fellows is looking for a few good men and women. Interested? Think you have what it takes? Keep reading.

Designed to be a collegium of scholars dedicated to the exchange of ideas, the Society participates in the publication of the Washington College Review, the annual journal of undergraduate research and writing. They also hold collegian activities to engage the interests of all the Junior Fellows and present a limited number of outstanding speakers for the College.

At this time, only second semester sophomores, juniors and first semester seniors may be considered for membership. Applicants must have spent at least two semesters at Washington College to present sufficient record of performance for evaluation and a cumulative 3.5 GPA.

Active participation and/or leadership in campus activities, including government, academic, service, social, and athletic, is considered in the application process. Also participation in extra-curricular activities, including hobbies and community service, is recommended.

Additional criteria for membership are internships held or applied, research experience and plans, including major research projects and plans.

Limited to fifty members, the Society considers only the students with the best record and promise, as assessed by the Review Committee on the basis of the applications submitted.

Students are selected by a faculty committee of curators: Dr. Donald Munson, Director of the Joseph McLain Program, Dr. Daniel Premo, Chair of the Political Science Department. Assisting the Committee are the Chairs of the three divisions: the Humanities, the Social Sciences, and the Natural Sciences.

Dr. Tahir Shad, Associate Dean, Mr. Edward Maxcy, Associate Dean of Students, Dr. Linda Cades, Director of Career Development, and Mrs. Vicky Sawyer, Director of Student Employment and Community Service, complete the selection Committee.

Currently, Dr. Davy McCall, Acting Chair of the Department of Economics, serves as the Curator of the Junior Fellows Program.

To support their variety of projects that broaden their educational experience, Junior Fellows may apply for monetary grants. These projects may range form scholarly research and internships to volunteer work. However, only juniors and first semester seniors are eligible to submit written proposals for grants.

Nine scholarships were awarded for the academic year 1996-1997 and three during the Fall Semester 1997. Among those granted scholarships were Edward Geisweidt, an internship at the Folger Institute, Washington, DC and Karen Sieger, a research project on turtles in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

The program will continue to finance independent research and to supplement internship pay in 1998. Many students have benefited from the grants by allowing them to engage in study in different places around the world, and closer to home, as well:

Abbie Robbins says, "The Society of Junior Fellows made it possible for me to complete my internship at 95.9. The Coast, which is something that would not have been feasible without some kind of assistance. Since WC does not have a communications major, working at this station provided me with experience that will assist me in the pursuit of a career."

Tara McKee, who used the grant on the other side of the world, related, "My trip to India, primarily funded through a Junior Fellows grant, gave me the opportunity to learn first hand how Indian women are viewed within the Hindu culture. By means of lectures, historical tours and many hours of observing these women in their own natural environment."

Not only does the Society support its members in helping to finance research projects and internships, but also holds lectures and programs specifically for members of the society. One of the more recent lectures was on the Tombs at Calvert Cliffs.

"Timing is crucial. If a member joins too late in his/her college career, the opportunity to obtain a grant could be lost," cautions Bette Lucas.

Letters of application should be addressed to Dr. Davy McCall and include a statement by the applicant explaining what the applicant expects to gain from membership and a letter of recommendation from the Department Chair of the student's major field.