April 26, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Thomas Chen ’07E of Hillsborough, N.J. has been named a 2006 recipient of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s (RBF) Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color. Chen, a women’s and gender studies major at Amherst, is one of 25 juniors from 16 participating institutions selected for this year’s award.

An RBF fellow receives up to $22,100 over a five-year period, beginning the summer following junior year and ending after completion of three years of public school teaching. To provide students with direct teaching experience, fellows are also required to plan and complete a summer project between their junior and senior years. Projects are then presented at a summer workshop, to be held this year in August in Washington, D.C.

Established in 1991, the RBF seeks to increase the number of highly-qualified teachers of color in K-12 public education as a response to alarming demographic shifts in public school classrooms. While it is expected that by 2014 more than half of all publicly educated children will be students of color, presently, only 10 percent of public school teachers in the United States are of color. Since its inception, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has awarded fellowships to 300 college students.