This #GivingTuesday, the BU community has the opportunity to support a more antiracist, diverse, equitable, and inclusive BU. At BU Wheelock, nothing embodies that more than our Ruth Batson Impact and Equity Scholarship.
The Ruth Batson Impact and Equity Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for Black and Latinx students who are earning graduate degrees in BU Wheelock’s teacher preparation programs. The scholarship expands access to the BU Wheelock master’s programs with the goal of developing a more diverse teacher candidate pool.
Founded in late 2019, the fund is named in honor of educator and civil rights advocate Ruth Batson, who through leadership roles with the NAACP and Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, helped push the city of Boston toward the desegregation of its public schools. She earned her master of education degree from Boston University in 1976.
Meet some of the first Batson Scholars below:
Prior to joining BU Wheelock’s Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in Curriculum and Teaching, Shauntell Dunbar served as an instructional coach. Today, she aspires to serve as a department head in her district. “I entered the education field to support students in developing skills, knowledge, identity, and advocacy,” she explains.
A single mother of three boys, including one that is currently in college, Dunbar was initially daunted by the financial cost of returning to school. However, she says, “The Batson scholarship provided me with an opportunity to achieve my goal without sacrificing my children’s well-being.”
With her CAGS, Dunbar will be in the position to support teachers in her district in achieving the highest standards of excellence for all students, especially Black and Brown students. She hopes to eventually lead teachers in developing and implementing a curriculum that will reduce and eliminate the racial and cultural inequalities in curriculum.
“Until we have equal opportunities and representation in all aspects of education, we will continue to have education policies, curriculum, and teachers directly contributing to the widening of the gap for Black and Brown students.”
A former science teacher in a New Jersey charter school, Nicole Mapp is currently pursuing graduate studies in Deaf Education at BU Wheelock. “The Batson Scholarship has been a financial blessing toward my tuition,” she says.
The most critical issue facing deaf education right now is the way that deaf education itself is designed and delivered for students with disabilities, explains Mapp. With her graduate degree, she hopes to be a part of the solution.
“Bilingual American Sign Language and English instructional strategies need to be developed through input from and in collaboration with educators and researchers who identify as deaf/hard of hearing, especially deaf/hard of hearing people with disabilities,” she says.
“[The Batson Scholarship] ultimately provides well-trained members to the teaching force who will more closely represent the diverse backgrounds of all students attending U.S. schools.”
Prior to joining BU Wheelock’s graduate program in Math Education, Armando Segura served as a mathematics program director. Teaching and leading in secondary mathematics is something he hopes to continue to do after his graduate studies.
The Batson Scholarship, Segura explains, has provided, “an opportunity to invest my time as an educator in professional development that has allowed me to learn valuable skills in math pedagogy.”
Segura looks forward to increasing access to postsecondary education opportunities and to “grade level instruction that is culturally equitable and relevant to students’ historical identities.”
The Ruth Batson Scholarship has provided, “an opportunity to invest my time as an educator in professional development that has allowed me to learn valuable skills in math pedagogy.”
We hope you’ll consider giving today on #GivingTuesday as we continue to honor Ruth Batson’s legacy.