The Colin A. Leroy Research Fund, established in 2013 after the unfortunate death of Colin Leroy, is a research grant that exists to provide funding for History Majors at Trinity to engage in research outside of the college related to their thesis. As a history major myself, I was naturally interested in learning more about the Colin A. Leroy Research Fund, and how it could benefit me when it came time for me to do my senior thesis research. I sat down with Professor Dario Euraque. Professor Euraque is a professor of Latin American History and International Studies here at Trinity College, as well as the current Chair of the History Department. Professor Euraque shared with me the general ideas of the Colin A. Leroy fund, as well as providing me with his own thoughts and opinions about the fund and how it benefits history majors here at Trinity.
Two students who have benefitted from the Colin A. Leroy Fund are Michael Mclean and Mollie Scheerer, two recent graduates from Trinity College, both History Majors. During my discussion with Professor Euraque, he brought up both of their Senior Thesis works as examples of the benefits of the Colin A. Leroy Research Fund. The Fund offers scholars from Trinity the opportunity to travel across the country or to different countries to access materials that these scholars would normally never be able to access. The inclusion of these unique manuscripts and other primary sources that can be found only in particular locations around the world only enhances the thesis. In addition, traveling to the sites gives the scholars a unique sense of place, as they have visited and seen what they are writing about, lending their subject a weight beyond what they could read in books. Professor Euraque gave Mollie Scheerer as a prime example of gaining a sense of place in regards to her subject. Mollie Scheerer’s thesis dealt with the appropriation of artifacts for museums and the removal of said artifacts from their home country. Traveling to Honduras and actually visiting an ancient Mayan ruin helped her to more fully grasp the importance of the staircase to Hondurans and the national imagination of Honduras.
Beyond the academic benefits of the research, the Colin A. Leroy Fund helps students in other ways. Professor Euraque highlighted some of these benefits. One part of it outside of Trinity is a unique intellectual archive that wouldn’t happen on campus. Prior to writing the proposal they have to be in touch with the archive and determine the relevance of the materials, addressing the materials. In addition, proposal must have budget, a series of line items, food, materials, travel, lodging, miscellaneous fees. Budgeting practice for a research trip is not a common lesson that students learn during the course of class. Students realize that research is only not an intellectual process, but also involves estimating a budget as well as other exercises that they aren’t familiar with. Doing any budget is useful and offers the chance to realistically plan goals and practice getting funding for the process, step planning.
The application’s process for a grant from the Colin A. Leroy Is a fairly easy one. Obviously, prospective applicants must be history majors and working on their senior thesis. What needs to be included in the application process are an estimated budget, an itinerary, a summary of the thesis and its goals, and the specifics of what you are planning on gaining from this expedition. Before applying for the grant, it is necessary that contact has been made with the archives to assure that such a trip is necessary and profitable.
Special thanks to Professor Euraque for agreeing to answer my questions.