PhD Student Receives Carol DeSouza Student Support Fund

SGISD PhD student Odgerel “Oge” Dashzeveg is the latest winner of the Carol DeSouza Student Support Fund. The fund provides a stipend to a SGISD student who is traveling nationally or internationally to do research, attend a conference, or engage in service learning or an internship.

Dashzeveg will apply the funding toward the cost of attending the 2018 Asian Conference on Cultural Studies, organized by the International Academic Forum. The conference, which will be held in Kobe, Japan in early June, brings together academic and independent researchers, artists, and activists from around the world to explore the challenges that people in Asia face in the 21st century.

“I’ll be presenting the findings of my pilot study, which explored lived experiences of women coping with rapid transitional changes from socialism to capitalism in Mongolia,” Dashzeveg explained. “Thanks to the DeSouza Fund, I’ll have the chance to meet with women and gender studies experts and research scholars in Asia, and learn innovative ideas to apply toward my dissertation research.”

Previous winners have used the funding to study universal health coverage in Kenya, to interview female parliamentarians in Senegal and South Africa, and to present at conferences in South Korea, Mexico, and Scotland on the economic rights of international students studying in the U.S.

For decades, Carol DeSouza has been an advocate for students from underserved backgrounds and those with disabilities. She had a long career at UMass Boston, including running the Ross Center for Disability Services and serving as the university’s compliance officer for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

DeSouza directed TRIO grants (Student Support Services and McNair) at the university. These grants support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. She also served as the licensure officer for teachers, principals, and counselors in the Graduate College of Education for prospective employees of the urban schools.

DeSouza’s connection to this work is personal as well as professional, since she was a first-generation, low-income student born and raised in the Bronx, New York.
“I have spent more than half of my life dedicated to UMass Boston, and it is time for me to give back to this institution,” said DeSouza. “I hope this encourages other retirees and current faculty and staff members to join me in this endeavor.”