Willamette University awarded $40,000 grant for College Colloquium program

For the sixth consecutive year, Willamette University has received a grant from the Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust of Portland, Ore. to support the College Colloquium Student Research Grant program.

The $40,000 award will fund student research grants, faculty development and course enhancements associated with the Colloquium, which uses small-class discussions, critical reading and analytical writing to help all first-year students acclimate to Willamette’s academic environment.

Students choose a class from more than 40 Colloquium topics. Their Colloquium professors serve as their academic advisors until they choose a major.

Once the course ends, as many as six grants of up to $3,500 each are awarded to students who want to continue exploring their topic through an independent research or creative project. The projects may be artistic, literary, investigative, interdisciplinary or performative. Students conduct their research during the summer between their freshman and sophomore year.

In the past, students have researched the portrayal of women in film adaptations of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” the effects of burning on flower reproduction in a Willamette Valley prairie and the use of murals to enact political change in Northern Ireland.

The Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust has awarded more than $1.4 million to the university in the past 27 years, helping to support the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center, the Cell Biology Lab, the Center for Dispute Resolution and other causes.

The College Colloquium was established in 2006 and is now directed by American History Professor Ellen Eisenberg. The next application deadline for students is Feb. 16.