CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland State University has received a $500,000 gift to support service learning, paid internships and opportunities to study abroad.
The Bonnie and Peter Raquet High Impact Learning Fund will help students in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Bonnie Raquet received a master’s degree in history from CSU and retired as executive vice president for corporate affairs with Cargill Incorporated, the global food and agricultural products provider. She received CSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. Rev. Peter Raquet served as an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from 1980 until his retirement in 2005.
“We are pleased to provide the opportunity for students to expand their liberal arts education through experiences outside the classroom, as they grow in understanding how to live in communities and lead through transformational change,” Bonnie Raquet said in a release.
The hope is that students who receive funds will “choose to serve, whether professionally or as volunteers, in socially and economically challenged areas to bring leadership to underserved or underdeveloped communities,” Peter Raquet said in the release.
Students often have financial constraints that make it impossible for them to take advantage of outside opportunities, Gregory Sadlek, dean of the liberal arts college, said in the release.
CSU offers more than 3,000 internship opportunities annually. The High Impact Learning Fund will provide funding to create paid internships to assist more students in being able to participate in these initiatives. The fund will also be used to develop a new internship partnership between CSU’s Department of History and the Western Reserve Historical Society.
The college currently offers faculty-led initiatives to study in numerous countries, including Ireland, Morocco, South Africa and Thailand. The initiatives allow students to take courses with foreign universities while also conducting research and outreach activities with faculty.
In addition, CSU partners with numerous affiliate programs around the world to place students in additional study-abroad initiatives at universities and nonprofit institutions on six continents.
The fund will provide scholarships and grants to assist students in deferring the costs of these experiences and helping more individuals take advantage of these opportunities.
CSU receives $1 million federal grant
A five-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow CSU to expand the McNair Scholars Program, an initiative designed to better prepare individuals for doctoral studies through involvement in research, mentoring and other scholarly activities.
The program specifically focuses on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities and first-generation college students to receive doctorates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Cleveland State University has been a local site for the McNair Scholars Program.
Students in the program are assigned a faculty mentor and conduct summer research projects in disciplines of their choice. Scholars have the opportunity to conduct field research, write scientific papers, and present their findings at professional conferences.
Alumni of the McNair Scholars Program have gone on to doctoral studies at Case Western Reserve University, Meharry Medical College, University of Texas Southwestern and the University of Toledo, among others, CSU said.
The program is named for physicist and astronaut Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African American in space and died during the launch of the space shuttle Challenger.