Richmond Scholars Use Enrichment Grants to Pursue Opportunities in Healthcare, the Arts, and Philosophy

September 24, 2020

Enrichment Grants help Richmond Scholars pursue study abroad, research projects, internships, and other endeavors that contribute to their academic and professional goals. Highlighted here are four Scholars who found creative ways to use the grants during the summer of 2020 in spite of the uncertainties and changes brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.

George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates Training Center logo

Elspeth Collard, '23

Elspeth completed a summer EMT course at the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates Training Center. Through this six-week online course, she gained a wealth of information and experience and obtained a preliminary EMT license. The benefits were even more far-reaching, as Elspeth explained that “the class also provided its own built in professional framework. Here were these people, crazy enough to take a 6-week EMT course during a pandemic, determined to work in healthcare. We got to know each other well, spending 9 hours a day together. We share a bond now that I believe will last.”

Elspeth shared that the EMT course “defined my summer and definitely shaped me as a human being, but also puts me closer to working in the field that I have hoped to pursue for so long.” Her advice to other Scholars is to plan ahead, keep it simple, and to not let the opportunity get away!

Karen Fleming dance image

Karen Fleming, '21

Karen used her Enrichment Grant to cover the tuition cost of participating in Ballet Virginia’s summer intensive program. The rigorous four-week course included training in dance techniques and choreography and seminars in anatomy and audition preparation. It culminated in a virtual performance for friends and family, and Karen expressed that this opportunity to dance in a studio instead of her home was the most memorable part of the experience.

“Participating in summer programs or workshops like this one is essentially the arts equivalent of an internship, an important experience for both learning new skills and networking,” Karen said. She encourages fellow Scholars to think broadly about the types of experiences the Enrichment Grant could fund.

Casey Murano painting

Casey Murano, '21

Enrichment Grant funding for Casey’s research project “Adventures of a Creative Pilgrim” allowed her to spend the summer creating a series of plein air landscape paintings in her hometown. She also participated in a virtual art class related to her research. The watercolors she created will become part of her senior thesis exhibition next May.

Casey’s advice for other Scholars about the Enrichment Grants: “Start brainstorming early, because senior year comes quicker than you expect.”

Abhi Ruparelia seminar classAbhi Ruparelia, '21

 Abhi participated virtually in the 2020 Colorado Summer Seminar in Philosophy, an intensive three-week graduate-level seminar where he studied under prominent faculty in the field and met other students with similar interests.   

“This [opportunity] gave me a whole new perspective on the diversity of philosophy as an academic discipline and a close-up of life in graduate school,” Abhi said. As a result, he is confident in his decision to pursue graduate work in philosophy and looks forward to applying to graduate schools this semester.

Every Richmond Scholar is eligible for an Enrichment Grant of up to $3000 to support an experience that contributes to their overall academic or professional trajectory. Faculty endorsement is required. The deadline for applications supporting winter break and spring opportunities is October 15th. Scholars should visit for more information and contact with any questions.