The centerpiece of the MLK Scholar Program is your independent research project, an undertaking that will unfold over your entire college career and result in a comparative analysis of how the U.S. and other countries respond to the same social justice issue.

You'll begin by identifying the social or cultural issue that's most meaningful to you. What are the problems you see? Why is this issue significant and to whom? What are your research objectives? You'll participate in many animated meetings with other scholars and faculty fellows as you work together to outline your project.

Your research skills will be honed both locally and abroad, as you explore this issue in each country you visit, engage in service learning activities, and get to know people and what they value. Year to year, you'll collect your personal experiences, data, notes, reflections, analysis, and feedback into an invaluable electronic portfolio that demonstrates your growing knowledge and research progress over time.

In the spring of your senior year, you'll transform what you've learned into a compelling research paper and present your findings to the campus community at the James J. Whalen Academic Symposium. This prestigious event showcases the best creative work and student research of the year. Presenting your work alongside your peers will be the highlight of your career as an MLK scholar.

MLK Scholars presenting their research at the Whalen Symposium
Recent MLK Research Topics

access to health care
portrayals of minorities in the media
educational inequities
art and activism
race relations
LGBT issues
migrant rights
adult development and aging
pay equity
women's rights
child and family welfare
domestic violence
environmental politics
bias in the criminal justice system
disability rights

. . . and more