Making the New Merit Summer Stipends for Undergraduates Work: A Call to Action
By Steve Newman, Editor, The Faculty Herald
We are taking the unusual step of publishing an article outside of our normal schedule because it is time-sensitive and the stakes are high. As Prof. Val Peridier usefully details in her article, Temple’s incoming class includes 181 students who have been given summer stipends of $4000 for three summers and another 344 who will chose which year to spend their single stipend. The deadline for their applications is March 1st. Faculty have a key role to play here since all of these projects, excepting study abroad, require a faculty member to sign off. So please be on the ready for these students to contact you, and please be ready to provide information about your research interests if you are asked by your Dean’s Office.
There may be some cause to grumble here about the process and the timing. But I urge all of us to focus instead on doing whatever we can to make this program a success. Incentive isn’t hard to find; after all, the Provost has presented us with the opportunity here to work with some extremely promising students, which brings not only the joys of mentorship but also the practical benefits of an enthusiastic and intelligent person to share the research load. But if that’s not incentive enough, there is also the fact that promises have been made to these students, and we must do what we can to help keep them. We must do so not only because promises to students should be honored whenever they can but because significant damage may be done to Temple as a whole if they are not. Whatever we think about the recent decision to cut sports teams, I think we’d all agree that Temple has suffered enough bad publicity lately.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact Assistant Vice Provost Emily Moerer (EMoerer@temple.edu) or Ruth Ost, Director of the Honors Program (firstname.lastname@example.org). The application form the students will have to fill out can be found at http://www.temple.edu/vpus/opportunities/MeritScholarshipStipends.htm, and the FAQ for students at http://honors.temple.edu/academics/forms-current-students.