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Shu Tokita Prize

For Students of Color Studying Literature

The Shu Tokita Prize, established by friends and relatives of Shu Tokita, ’84, will be awarded to one or two students of color majoring in literature, in area studies, or a language major with a focus on literature, who demonstrate need for substantial financial assistance. If you have any questions about whether or not you are eligible, please contact us.  Recipients will be selected on the basis of commitment to the study of literature as evidenced in the content and quality of their essays, and financial need. Awarded to one or two sophomores and/or juniors for the remainder of their time at Wesleyan, the Prize is usually $1,500 per year. The recipient(s) of the Shu Tokita Prize will receive the annual award at the start of the following fall semester, that is, for their junior and/or senior year(s).

The Prize was established in memory of Shu Tokita, Class of 1984, who passed away in January of 1989 from leukemia. He had received a B. A. in English Literature from Wesleyan University and an M. A. in Japanese Literature from Tsukuba University. He studied literature as a pursuit that spoke to his life, and from which he gained insights and, ultimately, strength. The Prize seeks to reflect Shu’s interest in literature and his belief that it should be accessible to people of all backgrounds; thus, the Prize is focused on supporting students of color, for whom the study of literature, Shu’s family and friends felt, is often considered a “luxury.” Through the Prize, we hope to encourage and assist Shu Tokita recipients in their decision to pursue literature as an academic endeavor. We hope that they will likewise share their insights and wisdom with their communities. Current Wesleyan student winners of the Shu Tokita Prize are Grace Wong ‘18 and  Franchesca Peña ‘18.


  1. Any domestic student of color (U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or undocumented student) who is a full-time Wesleyan sophomore or junior and is African American, Asian/Pacific American, Latino/a American, or Native American, is eligible to apply. The applicant must be in need of substantial financial aid.
  2. The applicant’s major or focus of study must be in literature. Applicants may be affiliated with the following departments: English, College of Letters, other language/literature departments, or area studies, e. g., East Asian Studies concentrating on Chinese or Japanese literature.


The selection is based on the submitted 750-word essay on one of the two topics below, and on financial need, and not on academic standing.

Essay topics:

  1. How do you plan to use your major, or focus of study, to make literature more accessible to people of all backgrounds?  Please offer a specific example from either your own experience or perhaps a literary text that can illustrate your views.
  1. What is your response to someone who asserts that a major in literature is “impractical?” Please offer a specific example from either your own experience or perhaps a literary text that can illustrate your views.

SELECTION: Selection is based on review of applicant’s written essay and financial need.

DEADLINE for submission of applications: 5 p.m., Monday, April 16.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF PRIZE WINNER: In time for the prize reception in May.

TO APPLY: For further information, please contact the campus coordinator of the Shu Tokita Prize committee, Alice Hadler (Downey House 209, x 2832, ahadler@wesleyan.edu, campus mail: English Dept., 294 High St.). Please submit your application and essay as an email attachment to Prof. Hadler by the Monday April 16 deadline.


April 11, 12:15-1:15 at the Gordon Career Center

Wednesday, April 4th 2018 7:00 pm EDT – 8:00 pm EDT

Olson Commons – Gordon Career Center, Boger Hall Gordon Career Center, Boger Hall 41 Wyllys Ave, Middletown, CT 06459, USA, 41 Wyllys Ave, Middletown, CT 06459, USA

Hosted by Wesleyan University Organized by Jim Kubat (Wesleyan University)


Recent Wes graduates – both currently in law school and recently hired into law firms – will tell you their stories and give advice on: how to make the most of your years at Wes in preparation for law school; the law school application process and admission/selection experience; life in law school (work, classes, clinics, etc.); and getting started full-time in law. This is a virtual presentation, making it easier on our guests with tight schedules. Presenters: 1. Anika Amin ’14, Theater; UCLA Law, ’17; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, New York, NY 2. Ruby Lang ’17, Environmental Studies/Government; Columbia Law School ’20 3. Allen Mack ’13, English; Fordham Law ’17; Shearman & Sterling, New York, NY 4. Eliana Theodorou ’12, Environmental Studies; NYU School of Law ’18 Co-sponsored by the Gordon Career Center, Wesleyan Mock Trial, the College of Social Sciences, the Government Department, and the Wesleyan Lawyers Association.




The deadline for applications is April 16.



The Peter Morgenstern-Clarren ’03 Social Justice Award was created in memory of Peter Morgenstern-Clarren who pursued social justice while a student at Wesleyan.  His activism included securing benefits for Wesleyan custodial staff, participating in the United Student and Labor Action Committee, and contributing his leadership to the campus chapter of Amnesty International.  We are grateful to Dr. Hadley Morgenstern-Clarren and The Honorable Pat Morgenstern-Clarren for their generosity in sponsoring this award that honors their son’s activism for the public good.  A committee will select the sophomore or junior who best embodies the pursuit of social justice. The winner will receive a cash award of $1,500. The application process is described below. Any sophomore or junior in good standing may submit an essay that addresses the following:

Describe in detail the most influential social justice effort in which you played a leadership role that sought to make our local and global communities more equitable. (The effort should have a direct effect on the Wesleyan campus and/or on external communities.) 

1.      Explain your level of involvement in the work for example: your role in raising awareness about a particular issue on campus, coordinating events, implementing programming and campaigns in the pursuit of social justice.

2.      In addition to your essay, you must include a letter of support from a faculty or administrator involved in your effort and submit evidence of impact that the social justice effort had on making our society more just by contributing testimonies from individuals (excluding family and friends) directly involved, artifacts from your social justice effort (e.g., past printed programs, presentations, and articles), and/or your work from courses. You may include non-print items, such as DVDs.

You must submit all items electronically to Dean Teshia Levy-Grant (tlevygrant@wesleyan.edu), North College, 1st floor, Room 122 by 5 p.m. Thursday, April 12, 2018.  All essays, letters of support and printed items must be in by the deadline.  By submitting your packet, you agree to allow the Office of Equity & Inclusion to use it (or excerpts from it) for assessment, archival, and promotion purposes. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Dean Teshia Levy-Grant x4771.

Wesleyan Black Alumni Council Prize:  $4,000 student scholarship for a summer experience grant

In April 1986, the Wesleyan Black Alumni Council (WBAC) established a memorial fund to honor deceased alumni of African descent. The memorial honors the memory and spirit of Bruce D. Hall ’77, James “Donnie” Rochester ’74, and Dwight L. Greene ’70. In its wisdom, the Council agreed that the most fitting honor of the spirit of deceased alumni was through a scholarship/summer experience grant to enrich and expand the education of students from underrepresented groups, or students interested in research pertaining to the African-American experience. The maximum stipend is $4,000. 

Application: A student who wishes to apply for the Wesleyan Black Alumni Council Memorial Prize must submit a proposal that includes all of the following: 

1   A personal statement that includes a discussion of the applicant’s intellectual and academic interests and their relationship to the African American experience. 

2   A description of the research plan that discusses the nature, scope and methodology that will be used to explore the problem/thesis/project. 

3   An itemized budget that describes how the stipend will be used. 

4   An unofficial academic history. 

The application must be submitted as an email attachment (.doc, .docx, or .pdf format) by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2018, to Dean Teshia Levy-Grant (tlevygrant@wesleyan.edu). Potential applicants for the WBAC Memorial Prize are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to meet with Dean Levy-Grant to discuss their proposal ideas: 122 North College 860.685.2272 


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