From the August 2017 Desktop News | Only two months before completing her master’s in English, Candace Chambers earned the Scholars for the Dream travel award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication, or CCCC.
The award is given to students who are part of historically underrepresented groups, and whose research contributes to the larger goals of the conference. Up to 10 scholarships are given each year to provide travel to the CCCC to present research.
“When I won, I was really shocked,” Chambers said. “After the initial shock, I was elated because the work we were doing in a small town in Alabama was getting recognized on a national level.”
Chambers spent her time at UA working with middle school girls in Hobson City, Alabama, the oldest historically African American incorporated city in the state. She was among three graduate students working on the project led by Dr. Michelle Bachelor Robinson, Assistant Professor of English. The team asked middle school girls to take photos of things in their community they would like to know about or things they would like to see changed.
The work the students produced was showcased at UA’s Paul R. Jones Gallery.
At the conference, held in Portland, Oregon, Chambers attended a reception held for the Scholars for the Dream award recipients, presented on the work she did in Hobson City, and networked with other award winners and English teachers. She said getting to meet past winners of the award was an invaluable experience.
Now that Chambers has graduated, she plans to pursue her doctorate at the University of Michigan. She said she wants to do similar work in other historically African American communities in the South for her dissertation.
After receiving her Ph.D., Chambers said she would like to teach English or start academic success centers in underprivileged towns to assist students in applying for college and scholarships. She hopes to structure the centers like mentor programs that would follow students from high school through earning their undergraduate degrees.