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2017 Zag Grads: Caleb Dawson

Posted on May 1, 2017 in: commencement, Feature Stories, Spotlight, Students

Caleb Dawson (GU photo)

Gonzaga Student Body Association President Caleb Dawson, from Federal Way, Washington, a double major in sociology and economics with a minor in women’s and gender studies, will begin a doctorate in education this fall at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education.

The academic program is titled Critical Studies of Race, Class, and Gender. Dawson aims to “advance equity and justice in higher education through teaching, scholarship, and service as a professor and eventually as an administrator.” A fellowship will fund his studies, health insurance, and a living stipend.

He will be advised by two nationally renowned black scholars: GSE Dean Prudence Carter, a sociologist, and Assistant Professor Michael Dumas, an expert in urban education and African American studies.

Dawson has been deeply involved at Gonzaga since entering in 2013 as an Act Six Scholar, an emerging urban leader chosen to receive a full scholarship based on his leadership, academics, and commitment to service. As a scholar-activist, he is committed to leading change in higher education from merely recruiting and retaining students of diverse backgrounds to educating equitably and inclusively.

Recently, as a member of the University Council for Equity, Inclusion, and Intercultural Awareness, appointed by Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh, he has been a leader in campus efforts to foster the conditions that will lead to transformational educational experiences for all Zags, particularly students of historically marginalized backgrounds.

“What if institutions of higher education could be the model of a diverse, democratic community?” he asks. “We cannot stop at welcoming ‘different’ people to ‘our’ ways of doing higher education. We must create new conditions that enable, support, and reward different identities and contributions.”

As GSBA community events chair as a sophomore, he launched the annual Gonzaga Scares Hunger food drive and the monthly Courageous Conversations luncheon.

Last summer, he spent seven weeks at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy as one of 100 students nationwide invited to the Public Policy and International Affairs Program’s Junior Summer Institute, which prepares students to enter the nation’s top graduate programs in public policy and international affairs.

Read about more outstanding Zags who will graduate during Gonzaga University’s 124th commencement exercises May 13-14.

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