This fund recognizes graduate students who advance our understanding of political phenomena.
Established by Professor Claude E. Welch, the fund provides annual financial support to a graduate student who has submitted the best written, oral or visual presentation (i.e. paper, artwork, media production, etc.) that documents original research, or makes a significant contribution to understanding political phenomena. The fund combines the Welch Student Research Fund and the Graduate Paper Award.
Claude Welch’s concern for human rights started in his early teens. When he worked as a grocery stock boy, a co-worker was fired on the spot without any warning. Welch protested – and was immediately fired as well. Human rights thus became a key interest for him, lasting more than 60 years.
Welch became involved in campus administration shortly after arriving at UB, including heading the Division of Undergraduate Education, serving as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and participating in faculty governance. He also remained active in the classroom, receiving numerous teaching awards from SUNY, the Student Association and political science undergraduates. Welch also received the first-ever joint TIAA-CREF and SUNY-wide Lifetime Achievement award, as well as lifetime achievement awards from the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association.