Occidental Alumna Awarded Madison Fellowship
Elisha Roberts ’05 has been awarded a James Madison Memorial Fellowship, presented annually to aspiring and experienced secondary school teachers of American history, government, and social studies to support graduate studies in American history.
Through a national competition, the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation of Washington, D.C. offers fellowships to a select group of individuals desiring to become teachers of the American Constitution.
Roberts plans to attend Boston College’s Donovan Scholars Urban Teaching program beginning in summer 2009. She would like to eventually run service-learning exchange programs based at urban public high schools. “I will teach the Constitution with a critical lens,” Roberts said of her future career plans.
After Occidental, Roberts taught English abroad for a year through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. Upon her return she began working for the nonprofit Family Connections in Denver, which assists people living with disabilities. She is currently running a service, learning, and exchange program on a volunteer basis at East High School, her alma mater, which will take six juniors to Papua New Guinea this summer.
Roberts was a politics major and education minor at Occidental, played on the women’s soccer team and was a member of the Black Student Alliance and Glee Club.
Named in honor of the fourth president of the United States and acknowledged “Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” a Madison Fellowship funds up to $24,000 of each Fellow’s course of study towards a master’s degree. That program must include a concentration of courses on the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution. About 50 Fellows are selected each year.
Recipients are required to teach American history or social studies in a secondary school for at least one year for each year of fellowship support. The award is intended to recognize promising and distinguished teachers, to strengthen their knowledge of the origins and development of American constitutional government, and to expose secondary-school students to accurate knowledge of the nation’s constitutional heritage.
Founded by an Act of Congress in 1986, the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the federal government. Additional information may be found at www.jamesmadison.gov.