Kaley Owens, junior in literature, has been accepted into the 2017 Rutgers English Diversity Institute (REDI) for summer 2017 at Rutgers University.. Admission to the institute is highly competitive and only 15 participants are accepted each year nationwide. Each participant receives a grant for travel and housing to attend the intensive week-long experience, which provides workshops and seminars “designed to encourage current students and recent graduates from diverse cultural, economic, and ethnic backgrounds to consider graduate study in Literatures in English.”
Information FROM Kaley, from which you can pull quotes, etc.:
Before Dr. Binfield forwarded the email from the REDI Week directors to me, I had no idea that such programs even existed. After looking into REDI, I realized that the program was right up my alley. It focuses on promising undergraduate students who are contemplating a career in higher education and want to attend a graduate program, which aligns perfectly with the plans I have for my own future. Shortly after entering the English & Philosophy program at Murray during the Fall of 2015, I knew that I wanted to further my education beyond the undergraduate level. This is due to many factors, one being the extremely helpful department, who encourage students to engage in their studies beyond mere classwork (which is why I am where I am now). Also, I have never had a class where my professor was not wholly on fire for the subject that they teach, diffusing their excitement through each student. Murray State granted me the ORCA Research Fellowship Grant which has allowed me to further my research with Dr. Kevin Binfield, who is also my wonderful mentor. With the grant we will be traveling this week to present our research at the Reading Bodies, Writing Minds Conference at the University of Nottingham in England. Being able to have an academic home at Murray that encourages student research like my own is what allowed me to even be in the running as a REDI Week attendee. Before coming to Murray, I was just an average community college student looking for something practical to invest my life in. When I enrolled at Murray after obtaining my associate’s degree, I was encouraged to do what I loved, not to see the University as a job factory. As you can see, it was the best decision I ever made, one that took me from being an average student to a driven student with more opportunities for my future than I would have had just seeking something practical. Dr. Kevin Binfield, my mentor, helped me tremendously in applying for REDI Week. In fact, he has pretty much helped with all of the things I have achieved while at Murray. It was him who initially asked me to collaborate on The Retreat Patient writings (creative writings written by insane asylum patients), and I would not be able to do all these amazing things if I had never been introduced to such research. We are the first actually do any type of scholarly research over The Retreat writings, which is crazy considering just how fascinating they are. Murray State should be extremely proud to be able to examine and cultivate research such as ours. Dr. Sroda has also been with me since day one of my enrollment at Murray, in fact she was the first person I ever spoke to here, and I will be forever grateful for her contagious excitement and encouragement on my first day. She helped with my application to REDI by writing one of my required recommendations for me, which obviously must have been really amazing.