Welcoming our newest cohort of Royce Fellows!
On April 13, the Royce Fellowship welcomed its newest cohort of Fellows at its 27th annual induction ceremony. Hosted at the Brown Faculty Club, the induction saw friends, family and community members gathered as the fellows presented their upcoming research projects and celebrated with a reception immediately following.
Established in 1996 through the generosity of Charles Royce, '61, P'91, P'94, P'08, GP ‘26, the Royce Fellowship supports Brown undergraduates as they carry out independent engaged research projects of their own design in locations across the United States and around the world. Fellows conduct their research under the supervision of a faculty member and as part of an interdisciplinary cohort of students from across the university.
During her opening remarks, Mary Jo Callan, Vice President for Community Engagement and Stark Family Executive Director of the Swearer Center acknowledged, “In 1996, the idea of risk and inquiry as fundamental lifelines to democracy seemed less urgent than it does today. This Fellowship has shaped, and continues to shape, a generation of civically-minded graduates. The students in this fellowship are passionate about addressing our most pressing problems. They are dedicated to asking questions and taking risks.”
Every year, the Society of Royce Fellows welcomes a new class of approximately 20 to 25 students who join the ranks of alumni, faculty members and student scholars engaged in diverse fields of research. Swearer Center’s new Assistant Director for Community-Engaged Research, Grace Argo, noted the diversity in fields of this year’s applicants. “Of the twenty-three inductees, eleven are STEM concentrators, six are concentrating in the arts and humanities, and six are concentrating in the social sciences. Six inductees are undertaking international projects this summer, spanning four continents and two Indigenous nations; six are collaborating with local organizations in Providence; and eleven plan to work in cities across the United States.”
Remembering some of the many examples of impactful work that has come from 26 years of Royce Fellowship projects, President Christina H. Paxson also emphasized the naturally non-linear path academic exploration sometimes requires. Mr. Royce echoed her sentiments. “As usual, [President Paxson]’s right! You will not succeed in the plan you have as you have written it down, you will not, 100% will not. You’re going to learn how to zig and zag, you’re going to learn how to adapt, you’re going to learn how to talk about your project with others. One of the cool things that I think we do in this program is that it’s a community. It’s a community. You will be with others, you will share your problems and you will share success, and you will acknowledge that it’s important to have a wonderful project and be able to communicate.”
The Royce Fellowship is vital to the landscape of engaged research at the Swearer Center and undergraduate research at Brown. It is a natural extension of Brown University’s Open Curriculum and the tenets of individual discovery, rigorous scholarship and service to the public good. To learn more about the history of the Royce Fellowship, check out last year’s story celebrating its 25th anniversary.
To meet this year’s Royce Fellows, go to their profiles on our website.