Shaheen Grant provides new opportunities

The generosity of Yvonne Shaheen has again helped students gain opportunities that would not have been possible without the help of the Shaheen grant. The Shaheen Grant has four different avenues students can apply for in hopes of receiving grant money to accomplish, explore or research something they are passionate about, according to the Shaheen College of Arts and Science. 

According to Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty and Staff, Brad Neal, the four different grants include the Student Career Readiness and Leadership Development Grant, the Service/Learning Community Engagement Grant, the Undergraduate Scholarly, Creative Activity Grant and the Study Abroad/Study Away Grant. The awards require an application process and is not awarded to everyone who applies.

“It’s a competitive award, it’s just not first come first serve,” Neal said. “You have to give your rationale and explanation on why you deserve this funding.”

Graduate student of Anthropology Nicholas Tibbs was able to do just that because he was awarded the grant this year in support of his research on his thesis, as well as an archeological dig in search for an early 19th century farmstead in Delphi, Ind. He said that being awarded this grant meant a lot to him for a few reasons.


“This was my first grant that I ever applied for…. It showed [that] I’m capable of getting an academic grant like this,” Tibbs said. “That I do have support with the Shaheen School and then also that they are interested in my project.” 

Tibbs said the most rewarding part of the whole process was being able to see the students he hired have their first field experience and watching them get excited to find different things while out during the dig. 

Senior political science and international relations double major Bryan Comer was also awarded the Shaheen Study Abroad/Study Away Grant so he could travel to Scotland to study Brexit and the formation of national identity. He said getting the first-hand experience of seeing how politics in European countries work, along with furthering his understanding of U.S. politics was very valuable knowledge to gain. According to Comer, he would not have been able to get this experience without the grant.

“The grant was the only thing that allowed me to make this happen. I would not have been able to afford it otherwise so it allowed me to have a pretty life changing experience,” Comer said.

Assistant Professor of Art and Design Katherine Fries and a few of her students, including graduate student of studio art Kalia Daily were awarded the Service/Learning Community Engagement Grant. They used it to volunteer and learn valuable information from the Hamilton Woodtype Museum in Two Rivers, Wis., Daily said. She said the grant helped pay for their lodging and helped the museum organize and clean some of their inquiry collection, while also being able to print on their equipment and learn some new techniques along the way.


Fries had taken students to this museum for their annual conference in the past where they were approached about volunteering. At the time, there was not enough funding to pay for the trip, so the grant was the primary reason they were able to have the experience. Fries said the most exciting thing about this experience, for her, was watching her students be able to learn from their work at the museum.

“My favorite part was getting to take the students and see them interact at [the] Hamilton [Woodtype Museum] with the Hamilton staff, to get to learn all these new techniques and get excited about it and applying the things they have done in class,” Fries said.

Daily said receiving the grant and getting to go on this trip was a long time in the making and it was just a matter of whether the funds would ever be present or not. 

“It meant quite a lot, we were talking about going on this trip beforehand just trying to get funds together,” Daily said. “But with the grant to not have to worry about that aspect of it to just be able to focus on the community aspect of it and focus on helping the museum who has helped us so much. Being able to give back to them was a really good experience and it did mean a lot.”

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