Scholarships and Awards

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Institute is pleased to offer awards to our undergraduate students. These awards are granted every spring semester. The average award is $350.

Group photo at the Molette Dinner 2024. (Far Left) Fiona Vernal, (Second from Left) Evelyn Simien, (Middle) Tony Omega, (Second from Right) Taylin Santiago, (Far Right) Alicia Pittman, (Not Pictured) Amanda Cannada.Photo of Evelyn Simien, recipient of the Molette Award, Lauryn Thomas holding her award, and Andrea Molette BranfordPhoto of Foluke Akinkunmi and Kayla Azinge, recipients of the Community Engagement Award, standing alongside Evelyn SimienGroup photo of Africana Studies Faculty at a table. (Candi Nwakasi, Joshua Mayer, Dexter Gabriel, Fiona Vernal, Shardé Davis, Evelyn Simien) Faculty.

The Drs. Barbara and Carlton Molette Scholarship

Drs. Barbara and Carlton Molette decided to pursue careers in theater while both were students at Spelman and Morehouse Colleges, respectively. They began playwriting collaborations in the 1970s and have received numerous awards, including lifetime achievement awards. Carlton, professor emeritus of dramatic arts and Africana studies, retired from UConn in 2008. He and his late wife, Barbara, who was professor emerita at Eastern Connecticut State University, wrote more than 20 plays together, and many were produced by university theater departments, including UConn’s.

Ruth Decosse ’20 (CLAS), who received the Molette Scholarship, said it came at a critical time.

“The scholarship helped to pay for the fees that were on my student account, which was a relief considering the impact the pandemic had on me,” she said. “I had lost my job and was dealing with the news of so many things being canceled and people passing away. This helped me pass my senior year and graduate. I am forever grateful for the Molette scholarship.”

Learn more about Dr. Barbara Molette and Dr. Carlton Molette

Africana Studies Institute Undergraduate Student Awards

Private support helps us provide these awards for academic excellence and the highest achievement in Africana Studies. The generosity of our donors ensures that our students are in the best position to respond to urgent needs and emerging priorities. Alternatively, your gift may create a new fund and ensure that our students have access to such high-impact learning experiences as study abroad, conference participation, research opportunities, and career-launching internships.

The Drs. Barbara and Carlton Molette Scholarship Award is awarded to a graduating senior who majored in Africana Studies and has demonstrated the highest academic achievement.

The Academic Excellence in the Minor Award is awarded to a graduating senior with a minor in Africana Studies who has demonstrated the highest academic achievement.

The Community Engagement Award is awarded to a student who has either majored or minored in Africana Studies and has had a significant impact on their community through public outreach, civic engagement, or social advocacy.

Africana Studies Institute Past Award Recipients