Creating New Ways to Support CHID Students

Submitted by Amy R. Peloff on

CHID students develop fascinating projects and accomplish amazing things over the course of their time with us, and now CHID has funds to support them in their endeavors. In recent years, we have been fortunate to work with several donors who have generously established several endowments for our majors. Inspired by their generosity and excited by the possibility of being able to financially support some of our students, CHID has set up some regular scholarships by using these endowments and supplementing those funds with other donations made to our Friends of CHID fund.

For instance, with the support of donors like Mary Whisner and John Toews, last year CHID awarded eight $250 student research awards. Two students used these funds to attend conferences related to their research: video artist Kyle Croft used his money to attend MIX, New York City’s 24th Annual Queer Film Festival and current Fulbright Scholar Mimi Cagaitan attended the Human Trafficking in an Era of Globalization conference at the UW. Other students used the funds to support specific research projects, such as Alaia D’Alessandro’s  “Phonic Earth Project” on CHID’s study abroad program in the Faroe Islands, Nick Tobin’s “Washington State Video Portraits,” Jon Volkman’s research on “Resonance and Authenticity in Adaptations,” Christopher Yoon’s research on “Meat, Muscle, and Me,” and Elke Hautala’s senior thesis project on Lucha Libre. And finally, Olivia McCausland used these research funds to travel to Detroit to work on her thesis, an exploration of the parallel art cultures of Seattle and Detroit.

We’ve also realized that students often need some financial help in order to participate in the wealth of international study programs that we offer. Last year we were able to award three merit-based and three need-based scholarships of $400 each to CHID students participating in a CHID-sponsored international program. Students used these awards to study abroad in the Faroe Islands; San Sebastian, Spain; the Balkans; and Amsterdam.

Our commitment to the pioneering work of former Associate Director Jim Clowes in Peace and Conflict Studies has not waned either. The family of CHID alum Sean Murphy (’03) established a special fund to help support the research of students interested in promoting peace, reconciliation, and non-violent conflict resolution. We were able to use some of those funds last year to recognize the work that Mimi Cagaitan did in her senior thesis, “Behind the Veils of Industry: Body of the Filipino Mail-Order Bride as the New, Virgin Frontier in Postcolonial Missions.”

Since a number of our students go on to graduate and professional school, last year we used a generous donation from CHID alum Michele Pearson (’96) and her husband Jerry to offer help with the often onerous costs of preparing for and applying to these schools. Last year, four current students and recent alumni were able to use these funds to study for and take the GRE.

As you can see, CHID has entered a new era in student support. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the generous contributions to our program by our friends and alumni. If you are interested in helping us to continue to offer this kind of support, please consider making a donation to the Friends of CHID fund.

[Photo by Olivia McCausland, from]