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Religious Studies

2016-17 SAAB Representative


This year’s SAAB representative for the Religious Studies Department is Carleene Houk.

The Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB) grant program funds student research initiatives and other academic expenses via a board of student representatives from each academic discipline. For students who plan on attending or presenting at a conference, doing research in the United States or abroad, bringing speakers or lecturers to campus, doing research for a thesis, etc., the SAAB grant program is an amazing resource.

The first step to getting a grant is for students to contact two SAAB representatives at least two weeks before they plan on submitting their grant proposal (a list of SAAB reps can be found on the SAAB website). There are four different types of grants students can apply for:

  • Student-initiated research, performed either in the U.S. or overseas
  • Attendance at academic conferences either as a participant or a presenter
  • Visiting scholar programs to address new ideas and contemporary issues
  • Performances in music, art, theater, communications, or wherever one’s imagination leads

In-depth instructions for each type of application can be found here

These different types of grants have different proposal due dates and processing times. Research grants and Arts/Expression grants are due on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. Visiting Scholar grants and Conference grants are heard weekly and the grant proposals are due by 4pm on Thursdays.  All grants will be heard within two weeks.

Carleene encourages you to contact her with any questions about SAAB or about a proposal you would like to submit. You can reach Carleene via email at

Here are some of the SAAB grants that were awarded to Religious Studies majors in 2014-15:

Naomi Sheff ’15 - Program and Conference Grant

Naomi used her Program and Conference Grant to attend an intensive All-Day Experiential Workshop with Brian Weiss, a leading psychiatrist in past life regression therapy. The workshop focused on a form of psychotherapy that explores the significance of one’s precious incarnations to their current psychological, physical, emotional, and spiritual state. Naomi showcased her research at a Religious Studies Department Event in March. She also presented to the SOAN 255: Medicine Healing and Culture class, and purchased Brian Weiss’ book Many Lives, Many Masters, which she later donated to the library.

Ben Klein ’15 and Robin Zeller ’15 - Research Grant

Ben and Robin used their Research Grant to travel to India, where they performed an interdisciplinary study of Indian classical music. Ben, a Religious Studies major, and Robin, an Environmental Studies major, used their combined knowledge to study the connection between Indian classical music and sacred space. They hosted a free concert on campus in March to relay their research, experience, and music they learned from their trip. In addition, they presented a short workshop and performance for the Music Department. They also presented Senior Thesis posters to their respective departments based on their research.

Religious Studies

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