After a year packed with meetings and paperwork, the Ann Radcliffe Trust is now up and running, with its first ever grants process well underway.
Director of the Trust Karen E. Avery '87 had received nearly 20 grant requests when the application deadline passed Tuesday, and she said the Trust expects to give funds to nearly all those applicants, provided their proposal fits within the Trust's mission statement.
The Trust aims to raise awareness of women, women's leadership and women's issues at Harvard and beyond, and funds groups or students who are interested in planning an event or project that deals with women's issues on campus.
The Trust will have nearly $20,000 to dole out to student groups this year. Much of that money comes from a gift of $50,000 made this summer by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
"We depend on that money to make these grants," said Avery, who is also associate dean of the College.
With the grants process well under way, Avery said she, College administrator Julia Fox and Trust student advisory committee member Aruna D. Balakrishnan '03 are also sorting through applications for the five student positions currently open on the Trust's student-Faculty Advisory Committee.
Establishing a selection process for future members of the committee was a major issue for the Trust last spring, after Avery herself selected the committee's first members.
Avery said yesterday that this semester, five members of last year's committee are returning, five representatives from women's groups on campus will serve on a rotating basis and five members will be selected from the student body as a whole through the application process.
The Trust is also sponsoring a major initiative this fall, called the Science Mentors Program, which was established last spring with a donation from Karen Gordon Mills '75.
Fox is spearheading the program, which will assign participants concentrating in science a mentor from their department.
The program will grant graduate students a stipend for mentoring undergraduates and aims to attract and retain the number of women science concentrators at Harvard.
Fox said the program is in its planning stages, but she expects it to be up and running next semester.
Faculty members will likely nominate graduate students for the mentoring posts, Fox said, and their stipends will be paid from Mills' donation.
The Science Mentors Program is a replacement for the now defunct Radcliffe Science Alliance that brought first-year women students interested in science to campus a week before orientation for seminars and speeches.
All of Radcliffe's ties with undergraduates were severed when the former women's college merged with Harvard last October.
The $50,000 Radcliffe gift to the Trust came out of those discussions.
And the Trust has tapped into Radcliffe's alumnae base as a source of funds. On Radcliffe's donor cards, mailed directly to alumnae, donors can check a box to earmark their funds specifically for the Trust.
The dean of newly formed Radcliffe Institute sits on the board that supervises the Trust's activity board, and Avery said future Radcliffe funding for the Trust will likely be the decision of incoming Radcliffe Dean Drew Gilpin Faust, scheduled to take the reigns at Radcliffe in January.
--Staff writer Joyce K. McIntyre can be reached at email@example.com.