Georgetown professor wins Carnegie Fellowship, will study best ways to support first-gen students

Georgetown College history and African American studies professor Marcia Chatelain has won the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship to support research on first-generation college students and how to best serve them. “I am so proud of first-generation and low-income college students, and I want to make sure that colleges and universities recognize their contributions to transforming higher education,” Chatelain says.

Chatelain is one of 32 academics, journalists, and authors selected for the 2019 class of fellows and will receive a $200,000 stipend to fund academic inquiry and writing projects. The Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded more than $32 million in fellowship grants since 2015 to support “fresh perspectives on the humanities and solutions to the urgent issues of today.”

Chatelain will use the fellowship to work on her next book, The Scholarship Kid: A Social History of Higher Education and Inequality in America. She says the book is inspired by the Georgetown Scholars Program, including her experience teaching its 2018 Mastering the Hidden Curriculum course, which explores questions around the first-generation college experience while equipping students with the skills to navigate their first year at Georgetown.


Georgetown course helps first-gen students master ‘the hidden curriculum’

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Building on a prolific research and writing career

Chatelain is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor whose work focuses on issues of race in America, specifically the experience of Black children, the history of social movements, and the relationship between civil rights and the fast food industry.
She is the author of South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015) and will publish a second book Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America (Liveright/W.W. Norton) early next year. Chatelain also is the creator of the #FergusonSyllabus, a social media campaign that crowdsourced teaching materials and ideas for classroom discussion of race, policing, African American history, and civil rights.

“Marcia Chatelain is one of our most distinguished scholars, whose work has wide-ranging impact on her field of study and indeed on larger public debates,” College Dean Chris Celenza says. “She is a scholar and the model of a public intellectual, and I am delighted that the Carnegie Corporation has recognized her.”

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