Robert Newby Diversity Research Award Information

The fund recognizes the diversity-­‐related work completed by up to three undergraduate student projects and one graduate student project per year with an award of $250.00 for each project. The activity must be linked to a credit-­‐bearing academic experience at CMU which involves research, creative activity and/or the application of findings. The activity can take a variety of forms as long as it is done as part of a credit-­‐bearing experience at CMU. Examples of eligible activities include, but are not limited to, a research paper, an internship, or a study abroad experience. Extra-­‐curricular activities like participation in an RSO whose aim is to promote diversity and social justice or an Alternative Spring Break (if it involves working with a population whose background is different than the student’s) could also be used, but only if a faculty member agrees to using the activity as the basis for a course assignment (for example, a paper or report related to the class topic).

The Multicultural Diversity Education Committee invites student participation in the Robert Newby Fund to support Student Diversity Efforts.  The award is  given to up to four students at Central Michigan University for their outstanding applications and research work on both the graduate and undergraduate level. 

To apply for the 2020-2021 year, click here:Newby Award Application Spring 2021 fill.pdf

As a recipient of the award, these students will present at the Student Research and Creative Endeavors Exhibition (SRCEE) normally held each year in April. 

Please meet the four award recipients for 2018-2019.

 Montisa Anntoinette Watkins

 pictured l-r: Cheryl Lynn Geisthardt, Montisa Anntoinette Watkins, A.T. Miller 

Montisa is a native of Detroit, Michigan where she spent her formative years in the Detroit Public Schools. She is a first-generation college student graduating in 1991 from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. Montisa spent the next six years working with high school students and families in Detroit as the minority admissions representative at her alma mater. She went on to Michigan State University earning a master’s degree in 1999 in Student Affairs Administration. As a CMU King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellow and doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program, Montisa is passionate about making space to consider and dialogue about the impact of spirituality, religion, and faith on college student success in secular and faith-based university campuses.

Kaci Clayton

pictured l-r: A.T. Miller, Kaci Clayton, Cheryl Lynn Geisthardt  
Kaci is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Social Work and minoring in Family Studies. Her work entitled “Social Justice Through Storytelling,” was selected to receive the Robert Newby Fund to Support Student Diversity Efforts award. Following graduation in May, Kaci plans to gain experience in her field as an LLBSW (Limited License Bachelor of Social Work). Kaci hopes to attend the University of Michigan School of Social Work to complete her Masters of Social Work, specializing in either community and social systems, management of human services, or social policy and evaluation. The two social justice issues Kaci is most passionate about will guide her career path: forced displacement and mass incarceration.

Emily Jensen

pictured l-r: A.T. Miller, Emily Jensen, Cheryl Lynn Geisthardt 

Emily graduated in May with a degree in Child Development and Family Studies. Her project with Dr. Cheryl Geisthardt “Working with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Medical Setting: Insights from Certified Child Life Specialists” was selected to receive the Robert Newby Fund to Support Student Diversity Efforts award. Through this project she was able to combine her interests in childhood development and inclusive diversity while working with children with autism. Emily has a passion for working with children from diverse backgrounds and wants ensure equal treatment and opportunity for all people.

Sarah Clinkscales 
     pictured l-r: Cheryl Lynn Geisthardt, Sarah Clinkscales, A.T. Miller 

Sarah is a senior at Central Michigan University, studying to obtain her Bachelor’s in Journalism with a minor in Anthropology. Sarah is passionate about creating a more inclusive and diverse environment at institutions and believes the best way to promote diversity is by creating a platform for all people’s voices to be heard, and that this can be achieved through research. Her ethnography “The Impact of Black Greek Organizations” was selected to receive the Robert Newby Fund to Support Student Diversity Efforts award. Her work looks at the challenges of black and brown students at predominantly white institutions, and the benefits they receive joining the community of Historically Black Fraternities and Sororities.