Announcing the UIC Library Special Collections Graduate Student Fellowship recipients

UIC Library Special Collections Graduate Student Fellowships have been awarded to two UIC scholars.

Fellowships are open to UIC students who are enrolled in a graduate degree program and conducting research in subject areas related to the Library’s strong special collections in the history of Chicago. For more information about Special Collections and University Archives, visit the Library website.

Congratulations to the 2021/22 fellows!

Abdul Basheer
MA candidate, Department of History
Project title: “Muslims at UIC, 1966 to the Present”
Collections to be consulted: University Archives, Muslim Student Association records, UIC Yearbooks

“Muslims at UIC, 1966 to the Present” by Abdul Basheer chronicles the history of Muslims at the University of Illinois Chicago, both as a broad community and distinct organization.

The project will include a broad historical overview of the Muslim Student Association at UIC from its origins in the mid 1960s to the present. This will include a periodization of the group’s history with different eras or phases demarcating the larger timeline. At the same time, the project will include discussions on the broader American Muslim community, including a dialogue on certain themes such as identity and culture.

“I want to use the Muslim Student Association as a body of study for my project, outlining the origins of the student group and its development and transformation over 50 years and more. In addition, I will review the UIC yearbooks. I expect to use the special collections sources on the history of Chicago to broaden the scope of my research from merely the MSA at UIC to perhaps the story of Muslims in the City of Chicago,” says Basheer.

Lydia J. Hou
PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology
Project title:  “International Students as Diversity Projects: Competing Interests in Higher Education Institutions.”
Collections to be consulted: University Archives records of the offices of the President and Chancellor, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and the Board of Trustees

Lydia Hou’s dissertation project, “International Students as Diversity Projects: Competing Interests in Higher Education Institutions,” explores how colleges and universities are incorporating International student populations into another driving trend in higher education diversity initiatives. Hou plans to gather archival data from the University Library’s Special Collections and University Archives records to provide historical context for her dissertation. The archives include records of the Office of the President and Chancellor, files for the offices of Student Affairs, files for the offices of Academic Affairs, as well as Board of Trustees records and additional documents integral to telling the story of UIC’s history, in particular UIC’s historical policies and practices, regarding international student recruitment, retention and plans for increasing and supporting diversity.

Says Hou, “My research using Special Collections [and University Archives] will provide an opportunity to tell the story of UIC’s work to recruit and support international students as well as incorporate them into our incredible wealth of institutional diversity.”

The UIC Library Special Collections Short-Term Travel Fellowships are generously funded by the Richard J. Daley Collection Committee.