Student Opportunities

Black Studies Essay Award

In order to recognize exceptional undergraduate research on the field of Black Studies, the program annually confers one Black Studies Essay Award. The award recognizes an outstanding research paper completed by a Washington College undergraduate student related to Black Studies and written for a Black Studies course at Washington College. The prize is open to all full-time current students that are either on campus or abroad. Essays written any time during the entire academic year are eligible.

The criteria for the competition are as follows:

  • The paper should focus on issues related to the populations of Africa or the African diaspora.
  • The paper should represent completed research, be 9 to 15 pages in length, typed, and double spaced. Content, analytical skills, and relevant bibliographical content as well as original contribution to the field of study are factors to be considered. The paper should exhibit competence in research methods and stylistic preferences in their respective disciplines. Format can be Chicago, APA, or MLA.
  • The paper should be accompanied by a cover letter indicating the Black Studies course where it was originally submitted. Papers can be identified by faculty nomination or by self-nomination.

Final date for submissions— May 1st


Papers should be submitted in PDF format to [email protected]. The committee, composed of Washington College faculty and staff, reserves the right not to give an award in any given year. Essays may be published and recognized at other college venues*.

Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

*Awardees may be recognized at other college research venues and copies of their papers may be held in Miller Library.


Chesapeake Heartland Black Studies Archival Research Awardphoto 

Description: This award will fund student-led research projects that aim to engage with or expand the Chesapeake Heartland’s Digital Archive. The initiative will include THREE student research awards for the duration of the academic year (2021-2022), each up to $1,500. The awardees will be selected among Black Studies minors by the Black Studies faculty, and will be supervised and assessed by the director of the Black Studies program.

If granted a Student Research Award, Black Studies minors will:

• Develop original, publishable, academic work that will engage either with the Digital Archive or will develop another collection in synch with the CH’s mission.

• Disseminate their research on campus on the form of a panel or roundtable, and/or poster presentations, and outside our campus, in the form of a publishable article.

• Develop partnerships with the larger Chestertown community by organizing itinerant conversations in schools, especially the Garnet Elementary School, the Kent County Public Library, and Sumner Hall.

• Serve the community needs while enhancing both their presentational and research skills through hands-on research-led experiences.

Project Timeline

September 30th: Student Research Award Applications and Faculty/Staff Letter of Recommendation must be submitted

October: Methodology sessions conducted with BLS faculty and BLS director

November – February: Data analysis / Data collection

February - March: Schools and community Conversation (in synch with BH Month)

1st Week of April: On campus online/live Panel

2nd and 3rd Weeks of April: Preparation of Article for publication

Contact: Dr. Deanda [email protected]