Washington Signature
[ Search and Navigation ]   [ View Full Site ]

C.V. Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

Frederick Douglass Student Fellowships

The Starr Center’s Frederick Douglass Fellowships support students working collaboratively on community-based public history projects in African-American studies and related areas. Fellowships have also been awarded to students who undertake independent research and writing projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The author, activist, and diplomat Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), for whom the fellowships were named, was born in Talbot County, Maryland, about 30 miles south of Chestertown, and retained a deep attachment to the Eastern Shore until the end of his life.

Community History Projects


Museum on Main Street, “The Way We Worked in Kent County: Exploring the Black Labor Experience.” Participation in the Museum on Main Street program was initiated by the Starr Center in partnership with Sumner Hall, an African American historic site preserving a United States Colored Troop veterans’ hall – one of just two of its type still standing. Having been granted a Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition titled, “The Way Worked,” Washington College and Sumner Hall together mobilized a three-month, county-wide series of student and citizen-produced programs and exhibitions that catalyzed inter-generational and inter-racial explorations of race, class, work, and community planning.

Exploring the intersection of work and race in Kent County, Starr Center student fellows— working with college staff and faculty, Sumner Hall volunteers and community members— curated exhibitions, conducted oral history interviews, created videos and listening stations, and served as exhibition docents.  2017 Fellows: Isabela R. Antonio, Danielle Bing, Maria Betancur Cordona, Mairin Corasaniti, Christopher Irving, Patrick Jackson, Melissa Sue Lopez-Neely, Maria Rodriguez, Rose Stevens, Stephaney Wilson, David Ruano Velasquez.

Research and Writing Fellows


James Mitchell ’17: “The History of Affirmative Action and Diversity in American Higher Education”
Faculty mentor, Carol Wilson, Department of History


Phaedra Scott ’14: “Discovering August Wilson’s Hill District”
Faculty mentor: Michele Volansky, Department of Drama




Kathy Thornton ’13: “The Beginning of the End: How Conflicting Anglo-Powhatan Relations Triggered the Massacre of 1622”
Faculty Mentor: Adam Goodheart, Director, C.V. Starr Center



Beverly Frimpong ’12: “W.E.B. DuBois & Booker T. Washington: An Ideological Fusion for the 20th Century”
Faculty Mentor: Joseph Prud’homme, Department of Political Science



Brian Suell ’12: “The Essence of Equality:
An Investigation of the Current State of Education
and Poverty in American Cities”
Faculty Mentor: Jill Ogline Titus, C.V. Starr Center