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News from the Department

Masarachia Program announces five new scholars

March 10, 2016

Five new students have been selected for the Masarachia Scholars Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, bringing a wealth of experience to the program.

The Masarachia Scholars Program is named for Sam Masarachia, a World War II veteran honored with four bronze stars and an advocate for unions and senior citizens. In 1999 he endowed the Sam Masarachia Scholars Program, which provides full tuition to students with career interests in labor, senior citizen, and community advocacy.

New Masarchia Scholars are:

Patricia Alonso brings a wealth of organizing experience to the program. She is a co-founder of the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance and worked for two years with the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network (INDYCAN). Patricia is studying nonprofit management in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Aniqua Chatman comes from Gary, Indiana, where she was valedictorian of her high school class. Aniqua is currently an intern with Indiana Legal Services. She is interested in education issues and immigration reform. Aniqua is also an actor. Her major is political science.

Umaymah Mohammad is a Social Justice Scholar, and she participated in the recent “Tunnel of Oppression” at IUPUI. Umaymah has been active with several campus groups, including the LGBTQSA and the Muslim Student Association, and she has encouraged these groups to recognize the complex identities of their members. Umaymah is a dual major in political science and neuroscience.

Rasul Palmer is a graduate of the Kheprw Institute, where he had the opportunity to facilitate community discussions of current events, including the Trevon Martin incident. He uses his computer and media skills to help older workers prepare for the workplace of today. He plans to major in economics and computer science.

Lo Ray is a former member of the LGBTQSA executive board and believes in the power of direct action to change society. Lo is studying social work and wants to organize marginalized communities. 

“Sam Masarachia would have been very proud of this new cohort of scholars,” said Professor Thomas Marvin, director of the Masarachia Scholars Program and associate professor of English. “Like Sam, they have the courage to stand up and fight for vulnerable members of our society. Because of Sam’s generosity they will earn college degrees and graduate with the skills they need to make a difference in the world.”

Masarachia Scholars learn about the history of people’s movements and theories of how social change happens. A central question is “what can the social-action organizations of the past and present teach us about the possibilities for progressive social change in our world today?” To answer this, students examine the social movements of the past and meet the activists working for social justice today. Students are encouraged to attend a wide range of events, and coursework utilizes reports on those events attended, papers that address social issues, and service learning projects with local organizations.

Learn more about the program.