University of Rochester seniors Lashonda Brenson and Camillia A. Redding have been named 2010-2011 American Political Science Association (APSA) Minority Fellows. Brenson and Redding are among only 12 recipients selected from a national pool of candidates. Both Brenson and Redding are enrolled as Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholars through the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University.
The APSA Minority Fellowship is designed primarily for minority students applying to enter a doctoral program in political science who demonstrates an interest in teaching and potential for research within the field. The fellowship provides each scholar with a stipend of $4,000. They are awarded based on a student's undergraduate course work, grade point average, co-curricular activities, and recommendations from faculty.
Brenson, of Rochester, N.Y., will graduate with Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and in mathematics. Brenson plans to pursue a graduate degree in political science, studying the role that race and gender play in legislative politics. By examining institutions in terms of the race, gender, and the intersection of the two, Brenson hopes to offer a better understanding of how institutional dynamics affect the ability of minority representatives to legislate.
In spring 2009, Brenson participated in Rochester's Washington Semester Program, working as a full-time intern conducting independent research in the congressional office of Representative William Lacy Clay, D-Mo. In summer 2009, she conducted research on the intersection of race and gender on the policy preferences of African-American Congresswomen at the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RSBI) at Duke University.
She has presented research at eight regional and international conferences, including the American Political Science Association's Annual Meeting and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.
Also active on campus, Brenson is a member of the Black Students' Union and the Political Science Undergraduate Council. She was recently selected to join the Keidaeans, the University's senior honor society. Brenson, the daughter of Ella Brenson, is a graduate of East High School.
Redding, of Rochester, N.Y., is completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a concentration in American politics and also will graduate with minors in legal studies and in African-American studies. A perennial member of the Dean's List, Redding has presented research at the American Political Science Association's Annual Meeting and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.
As a participant of the University's Political Science Honors program, Redding's senior thesis will examine how constituents' ability to identify racially with their legislator affects their perception of that legislator and government.
She is a member of the Undergraduate Political Science Council and the University's Minority Student Advisory Board. In the classroom, she serves as a teaching assistant in two courses: Legislative Politics and Rochester Politics and Places. Redding, the daughter of Celeste Winters, is a graduate of Greece Athena High School.
The American Political Science Association is a professional organization for the study of political science. Its more than 14,000 members work to promote scholarly research and quality teaching and education about politics and government. The APSA created the Minority Fellowship Program in 1969 and has assisted more than 500 students to complete doctoral degrees in political science.