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New grant to foster research in social justice

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Ellyn Uram Kaschak ’65 did not have the financial means to attend college but knew higher education was the gateway to a world of opportunity.

Scholarships and other student aid gave her the resources to pursue her studies and become a psychology professor and book author. Now, she is giving Binghamton University students similar opportunities to make their dreams come true.

“Being a poor city kid, you look at things that other people are doing and think, ‘That’s not my world.’” says Kaschak, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. “That support was my step into that world.”

The Dr. Ellyn Uram Kaschak Summer Research Grant will support exceptional undergraduate students in Harpur College who seek to conduct research in the field of social justice for women and girls.

The research grant will be integrated within Harpur Edge, which connects Harpur College students with resources outside the classroom to help them take charge of their liberal arts education. These resources include special Edge initiatives, other campus programs and more.

“I was helped. I wanted to give back,” Kaschak says.

She hopes her support fosters critical thinking, social change and “bettering the situations of people who don’t have as much as others.”

“Harpur gave me the confidence to be able to write,” says Kaschak, author of Sight Unseen: Gender and Race Through Blind Eyes, published in April 2015. “My writing is a lot about asking
questions and seeing what’s really in front of you and not what we’ve been socialized to see. I want to have people see things with beginners’ eyes.”

Kaschak is a professor emerita of psychology at San Jose State University in California. She currently teaches in the gender studies program at University for Peace in Costa Rica.

Last Updated: 1/20/17