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Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI)

Celebrating 30 Years of Excellence!

The RBSI Legacy: 30 Years of Excellence

The RBSI program was created in 1986 through a partnership between APSA, the Committee on the Status of Blacks in the Profession, and faculty members Jewel L. Prestage of Southern University and Peter Zwick of Louisiana State University. The original program-- a summer program for African American students-- aimed to increase diversity within the discipline by introducing students to the graduate experience and to senior scholars in the discipline. In the following years, RBSI expanded to include students from underrepresented backgrounds, and students interested in broadening participation in political science and pursuing scholarship on issues affecting under-represented groups.

To date there are over 500 RBSI Alumni. To mark the 30th anniversary APSA will highlight 30 program alumni who share their professional experiences and how the RBSI Program influenced their careers. Read the inspiring reflections below and learn more about the discipline-wide impact and legacy of the APSA RBSI Program.

RBSI Alumni Reflections on the RBSI Program and the 30th Anniversary

  • Nikol Alexander-Floyd, Associate Professor, Rutgers University, RBSI Class of 1989
  • Nicole Bauer, Grad. Teaching Asst., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, RBSI Class of 2011
  • Renata Barreto, Graduate Student, University of California, Berkeley, RBSI Class of 2012
  • Nadia Brown, Associate Professor, Purdue University, RBSI Class of 2003
  • Nyron Crawford, Assistant Professor, Temple University, RBSI Class of 2007
  • Elizabeth Davies, Graduate Student, University of Chicago, RBSI Class of 2014
  • Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor, Emory University, RBSI Class of 1998
  • Rachel Gillum, Senior Director, RiceHadleyGates, RBSI Class of 2007
  • Dirk Horn, Grad Student/Teaching Asst., University of California, Irvine, RBSI Class of 2011
  • Muhammad Idris, Postdoc, PERFORM, RBSI Class of 2010
  • Phillip Logan, Graduate Student, Temple University, RBSI Class of 2013
  • Sherri Wallace, Associate Professor, University of Louisville, RBSI Class of 1988
  • Vesla Weaver, Associate Professor, Yale University, RBSI Class of 2000
Stay tuned for alumni reflections from the following RBSI Alumni!
Ralph Bunche
About the RBSI Program

Named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize winner, former APSA President, and the first African American to receive a PhD in political science, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, the RBSI encourages students to pursue academic careers in political science by enhancing writing, research, and analytical skills to increase competitiveness in the application and financial aid process for graduate school; developing statistical skills for data analysis used in political science; exposing participants to the significant questions in the discipline and profession of political science; introducing participants to leading political scientists; and educating participants about political science career opportunities and encouraging their application to doctoral programs in political science. [Read more about the RBSI Program]  

The 2016 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute

The 2016 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI), under the direction of Dr. Paula McClain of Duke University, will be in session from May 29, 2016 through June 30, 2016. This marks the 30th anniversary of the RBSI program--30 years of RBSI Excellence! The 2016 RBSI Scholars will take courses in research methods and racial and ethnic politics in the US. Additionally, the RBSI Program will feature guest speakers from the discipline, a recruitment fair, and professional development programming.  Read more about the current class of RBSI Scholars, their accomplishments and their research interests. 

The 2015 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute
RBSI Group Photo

The 2015 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI), under the direction of Paula D. McClain, was held at Duke University from June 1-July 2. Twelve students (read student bios) participated in the graduate and research methodology training program by completing two courses and conducting original political science research. Rodney Hero, APSA president, was on hand to speak at the closing banquet on July 2, 2015. Six RBSI Scholars were selected to present their research posters at the 2015 APSA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Read more.

[Read about RBSI 2015 on PSNow]

Video and photo credit: Shaun King, Duke University

For more information about the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, please view the program information page.

American Political Science Association
1527 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036-1206
(202) 483-2512 • Fax: +1 (202) 483-2657

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