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Award for Graduate Student Research

Each year, the Center for Catholic Faith and Culture joins the Office of Research in supporting outstanding research and scholarship among graduate students at the Graduate Student Research Symposium.  The Center recognizes and rewards research from any discipline that aligns with Duquesne's Catholic, Spiritan mission, particularly our commitments to:

  1. the dignity and equality of all persons
  2. working with vulnerable populations for systemic change
  3. preserving justice, peace, and integrity of creation

This year, the Center presented the $250 award to the following student: 

2019 Common Good Research Award 
Stephanie Walrath I Public History
 "Decolonizing National Parks: A Conversation about Repatriation and Shared Authority"

Stephanie's project aligned with Catholic Social Teaching principles of equality, participation and subsidiarity. She assessed the racist history of administration of parks with deep indigenous footprints and proposed how, in the future, such lands be administered or co-administered by native representatives. Having parks managed and their histories interpreted by natives expands and strengthens the historical narrative and cultural legacy.

What types of research projects are eligible for the Common Good award?

Research projects in the liberal arts, business, the professions, the sciences, and music all bear on our prospects for nurturing the common good.

The common good refers to the array of tangible and intangible social conditions (e.g., food, shelter, education, healthcare, happiness, human dignity) that are necessary to promote the flourishing and well-being of all persons. Supporting and working for such universal rights is a foundational pillar of the Catholic faith which advocates for a more just society for all, regardless of economic or social status, faith tradition, race, culture, etc.

Your research might include, but is not limited to, projects that address:

  • Specific social problems, such as health disparities, climate change, racism, or education inequality
  • Theoretical approaches to global issues such as human rights and theories of justice
  • Religious traditions, including or beyond Catholicism, and their import on making the world a better place (e.g., promoting tolerance, social justice, etc.).

Learn more about The Common Good

How will projects be evaluated?

All students whose research projects are accepted for the Graduate Student Research Symposium will be considered for the Common Good Award if their projects meet the following criteria:

Topical relevance for the Common Good
  • Focused primarily on a topic that is pertinent to the common good of persons
  • Demonstrated alignment with Duquesne's Catholic, Spiritan mission
  • Engagement with resources (concepts, theories, scholars, texts, communities, etc.) from Catholic or other religious traditions.
Scholarly merit
  • Clearly defined research agenda
  • Demonstrated familiarity with relevant literature
  • Depth of analysis
  • Critical thinking and originality
Communication of research
  • Effective use of poster formatTopical relevance for the Common Good
How to apply

 Please follow the Rules and Regulations established by the Office of Research.

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