Chappell Lougee Scholarship applications reach record high

Despite an earlier deadline, the Chappell Lougee Scholarship received a record number of applications this year, exceeding last year’s high mark.

According to Christina Mesa, an Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) academic director and the scholarship’s coordinator, the program received 45 applications by the Jan. 14 deadline. The program, which offers grants worth up to $6,000 for summer research projects in the humanities or creative arts, received nearly 40 applications last year by a Feb. 1 deadline.

In previous years, the deadline for submitting applications was Dec. 1. Mesa said that the new January date was chosen to make it easier for students to apply.

“I always felt bad about having students turn in these proposals right around finals,” Mesa said. “We had also thought about setting the deadline to February, but it was too close to the deadlines for applying to major grants.”
Melissa Stevenson ’96, academic director of Florence Moore Hall, said that the earlier deadline motivated students to get a head start on the application process.

“This was a deadline we knew [about] very early in autumn quarter,” Stevenson said. “Students that were working on their projects knew that… the bulk of their work had to be done in autumn quarter with some revision over winter break.”

The Chappell Lougee Scholarships were established in 1987 to honor history professor and Structured Liberal Education (SLE) director Carolyn Chappell Lougee’s work as dean of undergraduate studies from 1982 to 1987. The original funding came from Stanford’s Centennial Campaign fundraising and the Chappell Lougee family.

While Mesa hesitated to identify definitive trends from the scholarship’s relatively brief history, she highlighted a recent shift in the composition of the applicant pool.

“There seems to have been, in my time reviewing, a boom in creative writing proposals,” Mesa said. “I think that a lot of it may have to do with outreach, but I cannot say for sure.”

In 2011, students put forward a considerable number of proposals involving food-related issues, like research into food distribution and security, according to Mesa. The 2012 Olympic Games in London was also a popular venue for applicants.

While this year’s number of awardees has yet to be finalized, Mesa estimated that  “around half of the people who applied will be awarded a grant, but this is a very rough estimate.”

The final number of awardees, Mesa added, is highly dependent on the number of students who ultimately choose to turn down the grants.

“It’s something that happens every year,” Mesa said. “Quite often, students get funding from other sources, especially their own departments.”

About Nitish Kulkarni

Nitish is a Deputy Desk Editor at The Stanford Daily. He is a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and he is interested in writing about technology and research.