Millicent Adjei stands in front of a garden with a stone benchMillicent Adjei

Giving matters: Global Graduate Grants

A Global Graduate Grant powered Millicent Adjei’s research on low-income students in Ghana

How do first-generation, low-income students use “hustle” as a strategy to navigate their way through college and succeed, despite so many barriers?

Millicent Adjei from Ghana was one of them. Eventually, as associate director of diversity and international programs at Ashesi University College, she reflected on her own energetic and urgent push, or hustle, through college and how it impacted her scholarly work. Now a doctoral candidate in comparative and international development education in Minnesota, Adjei is focusing her dissertation research on the “hustle” of low-income students in an African university.

“I am very grateful for the significant ways this funding has situated me to do thorough work with my dissertation.”

A new CEHD Global Graduate Grant, or G3 for short, allowed Adjei to travel to Ghana last summer for a pilot phase of her research. There she conducted five extended interviews with new college graduates at her research site, which helped her fine-tune her questions and make significant changes in the data collection process.

“It was incredibly informative for me as a researcher in ways I did not anticipate due to the very personal and emotional stories and experience of struggle and sheer tenacity and determination of the students and what their success meant to them,” says Adjei. She is now well on her way to completing her dissertation.

Global Graduate Grants provide valuable global experience related to internationally focused research, teaching, or engagement. They are a new way to meet an urgent need for outstanding graduate students like Adjei.

The G3 program was made possible by retired CEHD career adviser Frank R. Braun, PhD ’60, who endowed a new grant to become a permanent resource in the college. An anonymous donor contributed funds for immediate spending in order to get the fund off the ground. Though modest, the fund has already produced significant results and created great interest and a sense of possibility for graduate students who want and need to conduct research abroad.

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Story by Gayla Marty | Photo by Michael Quansah | Spring/Summer 2018