APSA celebrated the 30th anniversary of the APSA RBSI Program (founded in 1986) at the 2016 APSA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. RBSI Alumni from each decade participated in the alumni roundtable and an anniversary reception which honored the program, RBSI alumni, faculty and staff.
Sherri Wallace, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Louisville
RBSI Class of 1988
“Participating in the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute in 1988 changed my direction in life. I was determined to go to law school; however, the opportunity to spend the summer in the program at Southern University and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA opened my eyes to the possibility to pursue a career teaching, researching and doing public service on topics and issues that were valuable to me. I was able to become a teacher/scholar on race and politics and significantly impact the discipline on how we teach race and politics in American Politics via scholarship, teaching and service in the profession. It is a joy to be able to do what I do.”
Yalidy Matos, PhD
Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Brown University
RBSI Class of 2008
“Participating in RBSI allowed me to have a better understanding of graduate school and graduate level work. Consequently, RBSI reiterated my decision to attend graduate school. My most memorable moments at RBSI were in the Race and American Politics course. The course allowed me to think deeper about race in American, and to dialogue with like-minded individuals.
Dirk Horn, Graduate Student/Teaching Assistant
University of California, Irvine
RBSI Class of 2011
“Participation in the RBSI program affirmed that I wanted to go to grad school and work in the academy. One memory that stands out is Dr. McClain and all the graduate assistants (now professors) who really put time and effort into helping all the RBSI students in any way they could.”
The Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) program was created in 1986 through a partnership between APSA, the Committee on the Status of Blacks in the Profession, and faculty members Jewel L. Prestage of Southern University and Peter Zwick of Louisiana State University. The original program– a summer program for African American students– aimed to increase diversity within the discipline by introducing students to the graduate experience and to senior scholars in the discipline. In the following years, RBSI expanded to include students from underrepresented backgrounds, and students interested in broadening participation in political science and pursuing scholarship on issues affecting under-represented groups.