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Application Form for the Cooper-Du Bois Mentoring Program

Supporting Doctoral Study for Underrepresented Students interested in African American Literature, Language, and Culture and Black Digital and Public Research.

DATES: October 25 - 28, 2019
LOCATION: Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Application deadline: Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Program:

Underrepresented students interested in pursuing doctoral studies in African American literature, language and culture, as well as Black Digital and Public Research meet with Penn State faculty, staff and current and former graduate students to learn about the graduate admissions process; the field of African American literary, cultural and rhetorical studies; opportunities for Black digital and public research; and the academic profession and public research more broadly. As part of this three-day program, students attend workshops on a variety of topics related to graduate studies and the admissions process, learn about digital and archival resources, and meet with faculty, area and program heads, and current and former graduate students.

Session Topics Include:

  • Graduate Studies in African American Literature and Language
  • Opportunities for Digital and Public Research
  • The Graduate Application: Navigating the Process and Preparing Materials
  • Penn State’s Dual-Title PhD in African American Studies
  • Tips on Preparing the Statement of Purpose
  • Participating in project-based and/or digital research as a graduate student

Students Will Receive:

  • Reimbursement for travel to and from State College, 3 nights lodging, meals, and all programming and instructional materials.
  • Waived fee or reimbursement for Penn State Graduate School application (if applying).
  • $150 stipend to cover travel related incidentals.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicants should be juniors, seniors, or Masters students currently enrolled in or having earned a degree from a U.S. college or university. Priority will be given to students interested in applying to graduate school in Fall 2019 for admission in Fall 2020.
  • Priority given to applicants from racial or ethnic groups under-represented in the discipline of English/Literary Studies and/or in the English graduate program at Penn State University.
  • Applicants must have a strong, demonstrated interest in pursuing African American literary, cultural and/or rhetorical studies, and/or African American studies.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

To apply, complete the form below and submit it along with the following:

  • a 1-2 page letter of application stating your academic/career goals and research interests;
  • an unofficial transcript;
  • and one letter of recommendation submitted by a faculty member.

Note: once you submit your application an email will be sent directly to your letter writer requesting the recommendation be uploaded directly to the system. Please let your letter writer know in advance so they have their letter ready to submit when they receive the email request.

For questions about the program or application, please email program director, Shirley Moody-Turner at

Applicant Information

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
Are you eligible for employment in the U.S.?

Will you now or in the future require visa sponsorship from Pennsylvania State University to obtain, extend, or renew your authorization to work in the U.S.?

Are you at least 18 years of age?

Recommender Info

When you submit your application, your recommender will receive an email with instructions detailing how and where to submit your letter of recommendation.

Provide the name of the faculty member who has agreed to write and submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
Provide the email address of the faculty member who has agreed to write and submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

Documents to Upload

Please title uploaded files in the format "Last Name First Name Document type." Example: JansenZachariasApplication

Describe in 1-2 pages your academic/career goals and research interests.

Submit Your Application

This publication is available in alternative media on request. Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please consult Tacee Sechler at or 814-863-2179 in advance of your participation or visit. Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. U. Ed. LBS 16-358