Inaugural Otey and Barbara Scruggs graduate scholars named
Maxwell School has named two graduate students as the inaugural Otey and
Barbara Scruggs Graduate Scholars: John
R. Barruzza, a PhD candidate in the history department, and Chelsea M. Thomas,
a student in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program.
was established in the spring of 2017 in honor of the late Otey Scruggs, who
served on the Maxwell School faculty for more than 35 years, and his widow
Barbara Scruggs. The fund was endowed by the Scruggs’ son, Maxwell Advisory
Board member Jeffrey Scruggs, and his wife, Robbin E. Mitchell, as a testament to
Scruggs’ lifetime commitment to Syracuse University and the Maxwell School.
Otey and Barbara Scruggs scholarship is a fitting tribute to a treasured member
of the History Department and his wife,” said Associate Professor and Chair of
History Norman Kutcher. “Otey cared deeply about the University generally and
the History Department especially. Graduate education grew substantially in
strength and numbers under his leadership, so it is fitting that this
scholarship will benefit our most deserving graduate students.”
Otey Scruggs was an award-winning
professor of history from 1969 until his retirement in 1995. Having done early
research on Mexican farm workers, Scruggs later was a pioneer in the field of
African-American history. He wrote a biography of 19th century priest and black
abolitionist Alexander Crummel, titled We
the Children of Africa in this Land. His publications also include Braceros, ‘Wetbacks,’ and the Farm Labor
Problem: A History of Mexican Agricultural Labor in the U.S., 1942–1954.
inaugural Scruggs scholars, Barruzza and Thomas, are accomplished graduate
students of Syracuse University.
earned an MPhil in history from Syracuse University in 2016, an MA in history
from Villanova University in 2012, and a BA in history and psychology from
Rutgers in 2010. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in history at the Maxwell
School, expected in 2019. In addition to the Scruggs scholarship, he has been
awarded several grants for his scholarship and research including a European
Holocaust Research Infrastructure Fellowship (2018), the Dean’s Summer Research
Grant (2016) and an award from the Roscoe Martin Fund (2016). His dissertation is titled “From Mass Murder
to Memory: Milano Centrale and the History of Anti-Semitism in Italy, 1931-2017.”
graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University in 2015 with a bachelor of
arts in policy studies and is currently pursuing an MPA at the Maxwell School. Thomas
was the recipient of the Posse Foundation Leadership Scholarship as an
undergraduate student at Syracuse University.
Thomas is a promising student and we are very pleased to have her as part of
our MPA family,” said Chair and Professor of Public Administration and
International Affairs Robert Bifulco.
support from donors such as the Scruggs family helps the Maxwell School recruit
the top graduate students and ensure a diverse student body by encouraging
students who might not otherwise be able to enroll in our programs.”
-- Edy Semaan, MA International Relations/MS Public
Relations, anticipated '19