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Sponsored Research Projects Highlight

January 27, 2021

Continued support from the Shemanski Testamentary Trust awarded to Fostering Scholars and Center for Religious Wisdom and World Affairs.

The Rev. Michael Trice, PhD, director of the Center for Religious Wisdom & World Affairs and Colleen Montoya Barbano, director of the Fostering Scholars Program, were recently awarded grants from the Alfred & Tillie Shemanski Testamentary Trust, whose philanthropic mission focuses on supporting interfaith tolerance and understanding and promoting quality educational, human services and health care programming for economically challenged individuals.

These recent awards continue the Shemanski Trust’s generous and longstanding—more than 50 years—support of initiatives and student scholarships at Seattle University, including 15 years dedicated to interreligious engagement.

Continued funding from the Trust, including this year’s award, will sustain Fostering Scholars, which provides critical financial, academic and personal support to current and former foster youth who face enormous barriers to success.

As the first program of its kind in the state and a national model, Fostering Scholars serves cohorts of 18 to 23 scholars in achieving their life-changing goal of earning a college degree. With the generous funding from the Trust, student in the program will continue to receive full scholarships that cover the comprehensive costs of attending Seattle University (tuition, books, supplies, health care and year-round housing). Scholarship funds are complemented with wrap-around, personalized academic and social support, advocacy and mentoring.

Additionally, the Trust has provided vital funding to establishing and expanding the current Interreligious Initiative, a program launched five years ago in the Center for Religious Wisdom & World Affairs. The new initiative focuses on creating tools and opportunities for dialogue that reveal interreligious and intercultural connections and shape theological education. This year’s support will enable student engagement in the center, fund initiatives with Seattle University’s Jewish Student Union and Campus Ministry and help produce weekly podcasts with partners around the world that explore the wisdom of religious traditions and spiritual pathways in responding to societal challenges.