Originally Posted by: wichmannkm | April 24, 2015
Political Science and African American Studies Double-Major Brandon Chapman will attend the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) at Duke University. This intensive five-week program is named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize winner and former American Political Science Association (APSA) President, Ralph J. Bunche. The competitive program introduces doctoral study to undergraduate students from under-represented racial and ethnic groups.
Dr. Hollis France encouraged Brandon to apply during his junior year. “Brandon struck me as a ‘go getter’ and I thought this kid is going to go places,” Professor France noted. She added, “Brandon’s acceptance places him in a very elite group of minority political science students from around the country. He will be in classes with a diverse student body. Students are drawn from small liberal arts schools, master’s level institutions like CofC, and doctoral granting universities. RBSI also brings in students from historically black colleges and universities and Ivy League institutions. This program works to increase the number of minority students attending Ph.D. programs and ultimately joining the ranks of academia.” Professor France speaks from experience as she also attended RBSI as an undergraduate student and credits the program for giving her the confidence to pursue a Ph.D.
Brandon is looking forward to making the most of this opportunity to develop the writing skills necessary for graduate school and meet top political science students around the country. Brandon said RBSI will encourage him “to do better, study harder, and buckle down.” He also hopes the institute will help him narrow his focus as he is also considering law school and community organizing. Brandon is especially interested in race implications on political institutions.
While he attributed his double major and spring internship with the Office for Institutional Diversity as factors in helping him stand out among other applicants, Brandon mainly emphasized the help he received from Professors John Creed and Hollis France on his personal statement. He noted that they were “very instrumental in securing this great opportunity” because they assisted him with revisions and met with him frequently throughout the application process.
For more information on the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, please visit http://www.apsanet.org/rbsi.