Honoring Women’s History Month, SUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor King Announce Applications Opening for the Dr. Virginia Radley SUNY Fellowship Program and the Dr. L. Eudora Pettigrew Women’s History Summer Research Excellence Grants

March 18, 2024

Faculty Fellowship and Student Research Grants Further Research on the Significant Impact Women have had on New York State and the Region

Faculty Interested in Applying for the Fellowship Can Do So Here; Students Can Apply Here for the Research Grants


Albany, NY
– In celebration of Women's History Month, State University of New York Board of Trustees and Chancellor John B. King, Jr. today announced the opening of the applications for the Dr. Virginia Radley SUNY Fellowship Program and the Dr. L. Eudora Pettigrew Women's History Summer Research Excellence Grants. Faculty interested in applying for the fellowship can do so here, and students can apply for the research grants here. Applications are due by May 29.

Named in honor of the first woman to be appointed as a SUNY state-operated campus president, the Dr. Virginia Radley SUNY Fellowship Program provides support for a SUNY faculty member with scholarly expertise in history or an associated discipline. The fellowship is an opportunity to discover, celebrate, and elevate the history of women's roles and leadership in New York State, including SUNY's founding, evolution, and 75 years of growth, and amplify these narratives to SUNY and broader communities. In 2023, the inaugural fellowship was awarded to Dr. Elizabeth Garner Masarik, an assistant professor of history at SUNY Brockport, who is using the fellowship as an opportunity to research the connections between religion and the Women's Rights Movement in New York State.

The Dr. L. Eudora Pettigrew Women's History Summer Research Excellence Grants are named in honor of the first Black college president in the SUNY system. This initiative will provide five SUNY undergraduate students with the opportunity to pursue an innovative community-based applied-learning experience in women's history. Working under the advisement of campus faculty members, and each receiving a stipend and other financial support, those selected will conduct original research at New York historical sites, libraries, historical societies, museums, and other institutions. Participating students will be expected to document their studies and share the results of their research on their campus and through a SUNY system administration social media spotlight in the fall.

"The history of New York State is largely the history of women's contributions and accomplishments, and New York's place at the center and inception of the Women's Suffrage Movement is undeniable. Throughout the years, however, many of those women's stories were overlooked or understudied," said SUNY Chancellor King. "The fellowship and the grants help change that by supporting scholarship to offer a full account of the history of the state and providing students with an applied-learning experience in women's history. That's why I'm excited to announce the second year of this program as we continue to elevate the impact these incredible women have had on our state and SUNY's commitment to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion through action and research."

The SUNY Board of Trustees said, "SUNY is proud to honor the indelible marks women have made on our state throughout its history. Excellent academic research and scholarship should more fully recognize the experience and accomplishments of women, and these initiatives will help achieve this goal. By doing so, we can encourage and inspire the next generation of remarkable women who will continue to break through barriers for the betterment of all New Yorkers."

Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "As we celebrate Women's History Month, it is a great reminder of the invaluable contributions of women in academia and beyond. The Dr. Virginia Radley SUNY Fellowship Program and the Dr. L. Eudora Pettigrew Women's History Summer Research Excellence Grants opens opportunities to SUNY students to continue learning women's history through applied-learning experiences. I commend the SUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor King for their dedication to our students, and I encourage all eligible individuals to apply and make lasting contributions to our collective understanding of women's history in New York."

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, said, "As a former high school history teacher, I understand how critically important it is to have a full and accurate understanding of our past. As the first woman from Queens elected to the State Senate, I understand the obstacles women have faced. These research grants and faculty fellowships will help provide a better understanding and appreciation of the Women's Suffrage Movement and the role women have played."

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, Chair of the Assembly's Standing Committee on Higher Education, said, "New York State is the home and the birthplace of the women's rights movement. Dr. Virginia Radley and Dr. L. Eudora Pettigrew were trailblazers in the SUNY system; paving a path for others to follow, breaking glass ceilings, and pushing boundaries. As we celebrate New York women's accomplishments and contributions to our shared history and progress, I look forward to seeing the results of this research and more highlighted in the fall and beyond."

About Dr. Virginia Radley

Dr. Virginia Radley was president of SUNY Oswego from 1977 until 1988. Dr. Radley was also the first provost and executive vice president at the campus. She reinforced and sustained SUNY Oswego's commitment to student success and academic excellence, while also piloting the college's honors program to attract talented students. Dr. Radley led the college through the tumultuous financial times of the late 1970s.

During her tenure, she increased the number of women faculty and staff by 45% to ensure women were more properly represented across the college, and increased enrollment of students from underserved communities. Dr. Radley earned degrees at several institutions including Russell Sage College, the University of Rochester, and Syracuse University. She also served as a professor of English and dean at both Russell Sage College and Nazareth College.

About Dr. L. Eudora Pettigrew

Dr. L. Eudora Pettigrew was SUNY Old Westbury's president in 1986 and stayed in that role until 1998. Before leading Old Westbury, Dr. Pettigrew was the first Black professor to chair a department at Michigan State University in the 1970s and the first Black leader in central administration at the University of Delaware, where she was named associate provost for instruction in 1981. Dr. Pettigrew served as chair of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP)/United Nations Commission on Disarmament Education Conflict Resolution, and Peace, which promotes global awareness and competence as well as peace and international understanding through education.

Dr. Pettigrew earned a bachelor's degree from West Virginia State College and master's and doctorate degrees from Southern Illinois University. In addition to her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Dr. Pettigrew received three honorary doctorate degrees: the first Ph.D. from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 1997; the second from Holy Family University in Philadelphia, PA in 2002; and the third from Western Connecticut State University in 2004. In 1991, she received the Distinguished Black Women in Education Award, the National Council of Negro Women's highest citation.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit suny.edu.


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