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Other Awards and Grants

The following prizes are awarded annually at the Department's graduation celebration held the Wednesday before Commencement. The deadline for prize applications is Friday, April 18, 2014. For more information on these awards please contact: Kathleen Cloutier Graduate and Undergraduate Program Officer

Barker Center
(617) 384-7767
(617) 496-2871

Philippe Wamba Summer Research Travel Grant

Outstanding academic performance
Eligibility: Continuing FAS undergraduate and graduate students

This grant was established in 2008 by Danny Rimer in memory of Philippe Wamba. This summer travel award is intended to support a Harvard undergraduate or graduate student carrying out field work or research in Africa. Preference is given to the student who most exemplifies the outstanding academic performance of Philippe Wamba. A 1993 graduate of Harvard College, Philippe Wamba, in his short life, had a profound impact on his fellow students and the faculty of the African and African American Studies Department. Following his graduation, he soon returned to Harvard University where he became the Editor-in-Chief of

Program Description
The Philippe Wamba Summer Research Travel Grant provides funding for research and field work in Africa for currently enrolled Harvard FAS undergraduate and graduate students.

The recipient is awarded funding of up to $10,000.

Application Process
Interested students should submit the following:
• Cover letter describing your field work or research interest
• Résumé
• Two-page proposal outlining your goals and detailing any preliminary work in
your area of interest
• A letter of recommendation from two faculty members or advisors who are
knowledgeable about your field work or research (The letter of recommendation
should discuss the student’s aptitude and preparedness for the work and travel, as
well as its relevance, if any, to their program of study. It should also offer any
information that the recommender has about the field work or research.
Applications for research should be supported by letters indicating the
recommender’s evaluation of the scholarly merits of the project, the likelihood
that it will be completed according the student’s proposed timetable, the student’s
degree of preparation for the project, and its relation to their current program of
study. Recommenders may also provide further information about the student’s
character, intellect, motivation, and project.
• Budget indicating how funds will be utilized: you should also identify any other
funding applied for and/or received

Recipients will be responsible for submitting a 1,000-word report on their work over the summer, including an accounting of how the funds were spent. This report is due no later than November 1 in the office of the Department Coordinator, Kathleen Cloutier.

Students must adhere to Harvard College or GSAS Policies on undergraduate or graduate travel abroad. Please visit the Office of Career Services website for travel policies.

Please submit your completed application no later than 5pm on Friday, April 18 to:
Kathleen Cloutier
Graduate and Undergraduate Program Officer
Department of African and African American Studies
Barker Center, room 232
12 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138, 617-384-7767


Jonathan M. Levin Prize for Teaching and Social Justice

Most promising undergraduate student who intends to become a public school teacher
Eligibility: All Harvard College seniors pursuing careers as public school teachers

This award, established by Martin D. Payson, Quincy Jones, and Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., honors Jonathan M. Levin, a compassionate and dedicated man committed to teaching as a means of combating the social injustices that exist in American society. The Department awards this prize in two installments, to the most promising undergraduate student who intends to become a public school teacher. The first monetary installment will be awarded at graduation and the remaining funds will be awarded upon the successful completion of two years of public-school teaching. The recipient will be asked to write an essay on his/her experiences teaching in the public schools and submit this to the Department before he/she can accept the second installment. Applicants must submit a 1-2 page statement of purpose explaining their commitment and passion to teaching and how they will contribute to public school teaching or public service if they receive this award. They must also submit a resume, letter of faculty recommendation, and a letter of employment from Teach for America or from a public school, confirming teaching employment for the following year.


William Plummer French Prize

Best personal library focusing on some aspect of African or African American culture and history
Eligibility: All undergraduates regardless of class rank

Established in 1997, this prize is in memory of William Plummer French who passed away on January 14, 1997. An avid bibliophile, French worked at the University Place Book Shop in New York City, which specialized in African American books. Self-educated through the books in the store, French became known to collectors, scholars, librarians, and fellow dealers as the most sophisticated and knowledgeable bibliographer of African Americana. A book prize is awarded to an undergraduate student from any academic department who has collected the best personal library focusing on some aspect of African or African American culture and history. For this prize, students must submit a bibliography of their African and/or African American library collection focusing on culture and history. This collection may include books and journals as well as film, music and other media. The Department reserves the right to audit the submitted bibliography.


Reverend Peter J. Gomes Prize in Religion and Ethnicity

Social responsibility through public service and potential for distinguished contributions to the public good
Eligibility: Harvard College Senior

This prize is named for the Reverend Dr. Peter John Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, to honor the work and commitment he has made to Religious Studies, to the study of ethnicity and diversity, and to African and African American Studies. Established in 1995 as a celebration of Gomes’s twenty-fifth year of service to Harvard University, this prize is awarded annually to the Harvard College senior who has demonstrated social responsibility through public service and potential for distinguished contributions to the public good. Seniors must submit the application form, a 1-2 page personal statement and a C.V. to Kathleen Cloutier, Graduate and Undergraduate Program Officer, Barker Center, Room 232.


Maurice Sedwell Ltd. Prize

Undergraduate who best exemplifies the values of the Department
Eligibility: Senior Concentrator in African and African American Studies

The Maurice Sedwell Ltd. Prize was inaugurated in 2003 in order to honor an undergraduate in the Department of African and African American Studies who best exemplifies the values of the Department. Andrew Ramroop OBE is an entrepreneur whose company, Maurice Sedwell Bespoke, 19 Savile Row, London, UK, specialises in hand-cut, hand-made, and hand-tailored suits to the highest standard attainable. An individually designed suit is given to the student winning this award. The value of the prize is $7,000.