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Research Grants Program Aims to Advance Women

September 12, 2001

Arthur Nead
Phone: (504) 865-5714

The Newcomb College Center for Research on Women is issuing a call for research projects that will benefit the lives of women and girls. The Emily Schoenbaum Research Grants program, which is administered by the center, is gearing up to receive research project proposals for the third year since its inception in 1999.

The program was established by Emily Schoenbaum, a 1988 graduate of Newcomb College, and targets projects affecting the New Orleans metropolitan region.

"Emily was in the first group of students to take women's studies seriously," says Beth Willinger, executive director of the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women.

The program she founded follows her interest in social justice, children's education and the environment, as well as from her recognition that there is so much that needs to be done for women and girls in New Orleans. The two previously awarded projects, she says, involved research to make known some of the contributions by women in New Orleans to serve as a model for others. Possible future grants might try to promote service programs that would benefit women and girls, says Willinger.

The program's first grant was made to A. Anthony, a professor of American studies at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She researched her aunt, Florentine Perrault Collins, who was one of the first commercial African-American photographers in New Orleans, says Willinger.

"Nobody knew that she had had this incredible career as a photographer documenting Creole life in New Orleans." Collins lived from 1895 until 1988. When Anthony concluded her study, she presented a slide lecture at the center about her aunt's life and career.

The second Schoenbaum research grant went to Alice Abel Kemp, professor of sociology emerita at the University of New Orleans and a senior research fellow of the Center for Research on Women. She received a grant to study the History of Women in Policing in New Orleans. Working with Kemp on this project is Capt. Linda Buczek of the New Orleans Police Department. The two are studying the progress of women in various jobs on the police force. The project is still ongoing.

"One reason this is so important," says Willinger, "is that these are the sorts of positions that can get women out of low-paying jobs. These are jobs with health and retirement benefits, and they have a career ladder offering future advancement." "It's important to encourage girls to see these kinds of jobs as professions," Willinger says, so they can think about growing up to be a police officer or a firefighter."

Research proposals are due Nov. 30, and will be assessed by a research committee consisting of several faculty members and center personnel. The program provides up to $1,000 to defray project expenses, including travel, clerical support and equipment and materials. Tulane students, faculty or staff members may apply. Application forms are available online at http://www.tulane. edu/~wc. For additional information on the program, contact Beth Willinger, 865-5235.

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