2020-21 SAAB Representative

This year’s SAAB representative for the Religious Studies Department is Noe Rodriguez.



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

These different types of grants have different proposal due dates and processing times. Research grants and Arts/Expression grants are due by 4pm on Mondays. Visiting Scholar grants and Conference grants are heard weekly and the grant proposals are due by 4pm on Mondays. All grants will be heard within two weeks. The deadline for all grant applications is April 22nd (subject to change).

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

Noe encourages you to contact him with any questions about SAAB or about a proposal you would like to submit. You can reach Noe HERE.

Here are some of the SAAB grants that were awarded in 2017-18:

Zachary Schonrock-  Research at the Britten-Pears Archive in Aldeburgh, England

I received a SAAB Research grant to visit the Britten-Pears Archive in Aldeburgh, Britain, UK. This is a uniquely comprehensive archive of the life of twentieth-century British composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, Peter Pears. Britten was arguably the most important and influential modern British composer, and his largest work, the War Requiem, Op. 66 had profound and reaching effects and acceptance both in its time and today. My research focuses on the reception of that particular piece, and how that reception fit within the cultural context of 1960’s Britain. I am excited to get this grant to go the archive because I will have the chance to look at tons of letters, journals, press clippings, manuscripts, and other collected secondary sources regarding both Britten and the Requiem that will help me to write my music thesis better than if I used only what was immediately available at Lewis & Clark. I’m also very excited to present my research at Festival of Scholars and to present in lower-level music history and exploration & discovery courses, to give younger students a glimpse into the resources available, and the process of doing musicological research at Lewis & Clark.

MaríaLaura Andandre Laso-  Transgender Health & Policy in Ecuador 

I believe in the transformative power of education. Lectures, classes and essays are all meaningful ways to engage with big and important questions, yet I think I am the most grateful for the multiple opportunities I have found to ground my knowledge in lived experience. The SAAB grant gave me the opportunity to engage with the difficulties of doing a specific kind of research, one that is meaningful at a personal, social, and political level. This experience allowed me to explore ways  I could responsibly and ethically combine intellectual work and activism. The research I did with this grant, is not only an academic enterprise. As a SOAN student, I think writing ethnography is a way of creating new critical representations of reality, but, more importantly, I believe we need to bring theory into praxis and bring our bodies out of academia into the streets, the collectives, and the everydayness of an ever changing world. The trans rights organizations I collaborated with have been organizing, working and resisting since the beginning of the 2000’s, they have achieved law reforms, created a trans-feminist movement in Ecuador, re-claimed spaces that have historically been denied to trans people, and yet exclusion, discrimination, human rights violations, civil rights violations, hate crimes and hate speech continue to be critical issues trans communities experience in their everydayness. Systemic changes happen frustratingly slowly and our hopes for transformation ought to manifest through work and action. It is my main purpose to use my anthropological skills and my privileged position within academia to humbly contribute to the ongoing advocacy and policy reform efforts of these organizations in Ecuador, my home country.

For me, it is not only important but necessary to take a break from our stressful routine, look beyond our horizons, put things into perspective and remember that we are not the center of the world. We ought to be aware of our surroundings, experience love and joy, but also anger and frustration with the inequalities and injustices that happen everywhere we look. Taking the time and initiative to think, imagine and create spaces that currently don’t exist perhaps won’t change the world immediately, but it would change the relationship we have with the world. It is a humbling experience to ask ourselves what transformations we want to experience and how, from our very specific positionalities, we want to contribute to transforming the spaces where we inhabit

Elise Glaser-  Jewish Self- Deprecation and Comedy Podcast; A Conversation on Anti-Semitism in the Current United States 

I chose to apply for a SAAB grant because I wanted to expand upon my thesis in a creative and accessible way. As my thesis deals with antisemitism and the media, I wanted a more public platform to discuss these issues that I believe need to be talked about LC. My thesis is focused on thesis questions:

Why is Jewish humor often self-deprecating? What effect does this kind of humor have on its Jewish and non- Jewish viewers? Can Jewish self-deprecation reinforce anti- Semitic stereotypes?

With my SAAB Grant, I will go to LA to see different comedy shows and interview a Jewish screenwriter. I will make a podcast with these experiences and then present it at Festival of Scholars, my goal is to start a conversation on campus about media representation and anti- Antisemitism.