W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies Doctoral Candidate Karl Lyn Awarded Prestigious Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
Karl Lyn, a doctoral student in the W.E.B Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst, is one of 90 outstanding scholars to be named a 2023 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
The fellowship award will provide an annual stipend for three years, and an invitation to attend the Conference of Ford Fellows, a unique national conference of a select group of high-achieving scholars committed to diversifying the professoriate and using diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. It also includes access to key networking resources including the Ford Fellow Regional Liaisons, a network of former Ford Fellows who have volunteered to provide mentoring and support to current fellows.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be awarded this prestigious fellowship,” Lyn says. “It represents the fruits of my hard work, passion, and commitment to academic excellence. I am excited to maximize this opportunity to continue my development as a socially responsible scholar and educator who works toward equity and justice in and beyond the academy.”
Lyn was selected for the prestigious honor out of more than 1,900 applicants across the nation.
The Ford Foundation says Lyn's award “reflects his scholarly competence as well as the promise that he shows for future achievement as a scholar, researcher, and teacher in an institution of higher education.”
This fellowship will support Lyn’s dissertation work in Los Angeles, where he aims to study the evolving political ideologies and praxis of Black emerging adults in urban communities. Lyn’s current project relies on ethnographic fieldwork in South Central Los Angeles to investigate the consequences of urban conditions on the political identity development of Black youth entering adulthood. His research areas include Black political thought, education, and urban studies. His work has been awarded and recognized by the National Council of Graduate Schools, the National Council for Black Studies, New York University’s Faculty of Arts and Science, the Research Enhancement and Leadership (REAL) Fellowship at the UMass Amherst, and now the Ford Foundation.
Lyn earned a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies and Education from Dickinson College, and holds a Master of Education from UMass Amherst. His recently published peer-reviewed article, “Negotiating African American Language, Identity, and Culture in the Urban Classroom,” released in the Journal of Black Studies, examines critical factors that advantage and disadvantage Black students in urban schools, and provides a pedagogical framework for supporting Black students’ academic success and positive identity development. Lyn is also the author of many other articles and book chapters, including a book chapter entitled “The Culture Wins: Continuing Black Cultural Traditions through Verzuz,” in Niya Pickett Miller’s anthology, “Sustaining Black Music and Culture during COVID-19: #Verzuz and Club Quarantine.” The competitive Ford Foundation fellowship will allow him more time to write and publish, with the goal of becoming a tenure-track professor.
The Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship is administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The program seeks to increase the diversity of the nation's college and university faculties by increasing the number of professors who can and will use diversity and equity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.
For a full list of Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellows, visit nationalacademies.org.