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Marcia Chatelain to Use Carnegie Fellowship For Book on First-Generation Students

April 23, 2019 — Georgetown College history and African American studies professor Marcia Chatelain will use her 2019 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship toward her next book, The Scholarship Kid: A Social History of Higher Education and Inequality in America.

The book is inspired by her experience with the Georgetown Scholars Program and teaching the 2018 Mastering the Hidden Curriculum course, which explores questions around the first-generation college experience while equipping students with the skills to navigate their first year at Georgetown.

Chatelain is one of 32 exceptional academics, journalists and authors from across the nation that the Carnegie Corporation of New York selected as part of this year’s class.

“I am so grateful to Adriaan Fuchs of Carnegie Hall in New York City for nominating me for this award,” Chatelain says. “In an incredible act of generosity, Carnegie Hall put my name forward for this honor after I provided some help to them for their Migrations: The Making of America festival.”

Prolific Researcher

She will receive a $200,000 stipend to fund academic research and writing projects over the next year.

Chatelain is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor and a prolific writer and researcher whose work focuses on issues of race in America, specifically the experience of black children, the history of social movements and the relationship between civil rights and the fast food industry.

Research Agenda

“Fellowships like the Carnegie have been essential for helping me develop my research agenda by funding time away from teaching and service so I can spend time in the archives,” Chatelain says.

Chatelain has contributed pieces to Time and The Atlantic along with other major news outlets and makes regular appearances on both local and national broadcast news programs.

Her first book, South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration (Duke University Press, 2015), received critical praise, and her second, Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, will be published by Liveright/W.W. Norton early next year.

She also is creator of the #FergusonSyllabus, a social media campaign that crowdsourced teaching materials and ideas for classroom discussion of race, policing, African American history and civil rights.

Distinguished Scholar

Chatelain has won several Georgetown awards, including the Dorothy M. Brown Teaching Award in 2014; the Edward Bunn, S.J. Award for Faculty Excellence in 2015; and the College Academic Council's Faculty Award in 2016.

“Marcia Chatelain is one of our most distinguished scholars, whose work has wide-ranging impact on her field of study and indeed on larger public debates,” College Dean Chris Celenza says. “She is a scholar and the model of a public intellectual, and I am delighted that the Carnegie Corporation has recognized her.”

Chatelain is looking forward to using the fellowship to work on her book, The Scholarship Kid.

“I am so proud of first-generation and low-income college students, and I want to make sure that colleges and universities recognize their contributions to transforming higher education,” Chatelain says.