Are you interested in a funded research opportunity? Want to dig into an area of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism impacting the Bryn Mawr College community?
The Pensby Center Fellowships support projects that contribute to our histories, enhance our programs and add to the College's goal of building equity, inclusion and anti-racism in our community. Fellows are mentored by faculty or staff members, have regular check-ins with a member of the Pensby Center staff and receive a stipend.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For guidance and more information, contact Assistant Dean Vanessa Christman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any member of the selection committee (list below). Additional details follow.
The Pensby Center awards fellowships to undergraduates throughout the academic year and over the summer. These fellowships support projects that contribute to our histories, enhance our programs and add to the College's goal of building equity, inclusion and anti-racism in our community. Fellows are mentored by faculty or staff members and have regular check-ins with a member of the Pensby Center staff.
Examples of fellowship projects include—but are not limited to—collecting, organizing and annotating oral histories, letters, photographs and other historical materials; surveying community members about existing programs; and working alongside staff to create and develop programming. Past research has culminated in permanent additions to the College's archives, exhibitions on campus and other significant contributions.
The Pensby Center Fellowship began in 2013 in response to the shuttering of Perry House and the dearth of archival material about it, its residents and the experiences of students, faculty and staff of color at Bryn Mawr. Currently, these fellowships provide stipends for project periods of varying lengths. Applications will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.
The 2021 Selection Committee Members are below.
Vanessa Christman, Assistant Dean for Access and Community Development, Chair
David Consiglio, Director of Assessment, Learning Spaces and Special Projects
Gabrielle Gary, Associate Director of Affinity Programs (ARD)
Allison Mills, College Archivist
Ann-Therese Ortiz, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Community Life
Chanelle Wilson, Assistant Professor of Education
2021 Pensby Fellows
Estefania Torres is an Environmental Studies major from Houston, Texas. She works as a Student Representative on the Posse Advisory Council and as Assistant Seamstress in the Theater Department. As someone who has many loved ones who are a part of the Undocumented+* community, they became the inspiration behind the focus of her project.
The project, called The Dream Center, revolves around creating more accessible resources and creating supportive project plans for the future Undocumented+ Bryn Mawr community. Many college students who are a part of the community are often left out from academic or future-career boosting opportunities due to their status in the US. These barriers are often overlooked on college campuses, as it is difficult to voice out these concerns due to fear in compromising their status. However, Estefania will be working to continue to advocate for the Undocumented+ community by researching what resources are available and building a more inclusive campus for the Undocumented+ community at Bryn Mawr.
*Undocumented+: Term utilized in this project to encompass Undocumented/
DACAmented/Mixed Status individuals.
Amell Garrison is senior sociology major, with an independent major in dance and a minor in Africana studies. They are the current president of AJOYO Dance and member of Rhythm N Motion! Amell’s experience during the 2020 Strike is what inspired their summer project. The strike made Amell question why change is so slow moving at Bryn Mawr. After a summer of research, they were able to answer this question, by creating a comparative timeline that highlights the global social, political, and economic shifts that ultimately urged Bryn Mawr administration to foster change within the college. The timeline addresses the learning, accountability, and social shifts administration has yet to accomplish.
2020-2021 Pensby Fellows
Reyna Gareipy is a senior Psychology major and Neuroscience minor from Phoenix, Arizona. She works as a Community Diversity Assistant (will serve as the CO-Head this year), Bryn Mawr Tour Guide and research assistant in a psychology lab. First-generation students make up a low percentage of the student body at Bryn Mawr College and while there are programs in place to help them succeed, they are often lost the minute they step on to campus. They struggle both academically and socially trying to fit into an environment that was not made for them to succeed. As a first-generation student herself, Reyna has faced challenges that her continuing-generation students haven’t leading her to feel stressed and isolated from her peers. Reyna hopes to use this project to uncover a first-generation students’ experience at the college to be able to share their stories with their fellow classmates and professors to assist administration to improve existing programs and create new ones.
is an Environmental Studies major and Sociology minor from West Chester, Pennsylvania. Anderson is a junior at the College, and he works as a supervisor in New Dorm Dining Hall, as a Community Diversity Assistant, and as a THRIVE mentor. He also serves on the Honor Board. As a trans man at a historically women’s college, Anderson has often felt lost, othered, and misunderstood by members of his community. For those reasons, he has decided to use his Pensby fellowship to connect with and document oral histories from trans men/transmasculine people who have graduated from Bryn Mawr. Very little is known about the growing presence of trans men/transmasculine students on campus, and it is rarely addressed, so Anderson wants to unearth the histories of trans men/transmasculine students at the College, collect their experiences, both positive and negative, and pinpoint areas in which the College and the community can grow in order to improve the experiences of trans men/transmasculine people as students and as lifelong Bryn Mawr College community members. Ultimately, Anderson hopes that his project will give trans men/transmasculine students in the community the recognition they deserve, educate cisgender students, alumni, faculty, and staff, and illuminate areas for potential development within Bryn Mawr’s programs, initiatives, and goals.
Lila Hernandez will be exploring the challenges that face Posse scholars on Bryn Mawr's campus. Posse is a full tuition leadership scholarship awarded to 20 students each year at BMC, half of these students come from the greater Boston area and the other half come from the greater Houston area. A "posse" is a group of 10 students meant to support each other through the college experience. Posse scholars come from a wide range of backgrounds, and therefore have a unique experience at Bryn Mawr. Many have expressed a lack of support on campus. Lila will be interviewing BMC Posse Scholars to learn more about their experiences, and find ways to better support these students. With her efforts, she hopes to become a voice for the Posse community and an outlet to help these students fit into the Bryn Mawr community. This summer's research findings will provide valuable information pertaining to how Posse students feel about their position at Bryn Mawr and how the community can help these students feel included. Lila's research will contribute to creating a more inclusive community at Bryn Mawr College, bringing together and celebrating the Posse Scholar community on campus.
Yesenia Mendez Pacheco
is a Economics and Spanish major with a minor in Latin American, Iberian, and Latina/o Studies. Unafraid. Unapologetic. Undocumented. Students across the nation affected by immigration policies have been mentally, emotionally and financially struggling to achieve their dreams. Yesenia has witnessed first-hand how challenging it is to obtain institutional help on campus. For this reason, she plans on creating a guide specifically for Bryn Mawr College to map out the development of programming for DACAmented and undocumented students. This project will not only visualize this group of students, it will also create a concrete way to institutionalize programming for affected students in order to create a more diverse and inclusive community at Bryn Mawr College. Yesenia's research will focus on four deliverables (1) research UndocuAlly Trainings that have been successfully implemented in other institutions of higher education (2) develop recommendations on how to conduct targeted & protected outreach and data collection (3) research the creation of campus scholarships and grants for undocumented Students (4) develop a plan and research best practices to advocate for a dedicated undocumented student space. With the Pensby Center Fellowship and with all the passion and dedication Yesenia has for this cause, she hopes that this project has long-lasting benefits for the migrant community on campus.