Kenan-Biddle Partnership offers $5,000 grants to bring Duke, UNC students together

Grant applications are being accepted for the second year of the Kenan-Biddle Partnership, funded by The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

The initiative promotes collaborative projects between students of Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Last year, the partnership awarded 10 grants totaling $50,000 for projects ranging from sustainable agriculture to global health equity to contemporary poetry. A list of past grantees is available at http://www.studentaffairs.duke.edu/kenan-biddle/2011-grantees.

Grantees Megan Morikawa of Duke and Chase Pickering of UNC said the grant helped them achieve significantly higher goals than otherwise would have been possible. “The Kenan-Biddle Partnership allowed the Duke & UNC Roots & Shoots group to achieve ambitious goals and events for 2011 which, as a young group, we never had thought possible,” Morikawa said.

“The partnership not only provided the funding, but gave us confidence and inspired creativity in the execution of the 2011 Primate Palooza, featuring Jane Goodall,” she said. “The grant allowed our organization to bring in guest speakers, rent venues of the appropriate size and impact for our events, help advertise on both campuses, and bring together both student bodies to celebrate the work and research being conducted on both campuses.”

The partnership will continue to promote student-initiated, inter-institutional projects designed to strengthen established collaborations or encourage new ones. Proposed projects may also contribute to the scholarly or public service missions of both campuses. Each project proposal must include a student or students who serve as the project initiator.

An annual call for proposals from both campuses will encourage collaborative arts, sciences and humanities projects that will positively affect both campus communities. Each project must include at least one public exhibition, presentation or performance. Preference will be given to proposals made jointly by students from both institutions.

“A great benefit of the inter-campus effort has been the sharing of expertise and scholarly passion that our faculty and student members have brought to TUFS [Triangle University Food Studies],” students Anna Child of UNC and Emily McGinty of Duke said. “The leaders of the group, Dr. Charlie Thompson from Duke and Dr. Marcie Ferris from UNC, are an illustrative example. Dr. Thompson brings his passion and years of experience in working with migrant farmworkers and focuses on the hands that bring our food to the plate, while Dr. Ferris brings an incredible knowledge and understanding the history of southern food and its culture.”

This project is just one example from a diverse range of interests, including public health, women’s studies, English literature, law, environmental studies, soil science, and others, the students said. This work and an upcoming symposium planned for the spring are possible because of the resources available on both campuses and the support and spirit of the Kenan-Biddle Partnership grant.

Proposal applications for 2011-12 may be submitted through Oct. 14. Decisions will be announced in November for a Jan. 1 start. Applicants should see http://www.studentaffairs.duke.edu/kenan-biddle for more information.

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Published September 13, 2011.