The Jerry Bender Africa Award

The Jerry Bender Africa Award (of up to $3,000) is given to one School of International Relations student each year to fund an unpaid summer internship/research opportunity in Africa, in honor of Gerald (Jerry) Bender. Professor Bender taught at the School of IR from 1976 until his retirement in 2008. Today he is living in the Los Angeles area.  He was one of the most admired teachers at the School, and he won every teaching award given by USC and Dornsife College.  A specialist on Africa, Professor Bender traveled there dozens of times, especially to Angola and South Africa.  He was a generous mentor to many USC students, not only in his courses but also helping students travel to Washington D.C. and Africa.   

The Summer 2015 Award Cycle
Application Deadline: April 25th, 2015 (to apply, download application information below)

 You should also be aware of other opportunities that will help you build on the Bender Africa Award and the USC Africa Fund Student Award experience, for example:
Boren Language Scholarships

Fulbright US Student Program


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Please contact Dr. Christina Gray with any questions about supporting the Bender Award.


 Be sure to select Jerry Bender Africa Fund when you give online. Contact us with any questions.

The 2013 Bender Award Recipient, Francesca Bessey, was an intern with Search for Common Ground In Burundi, where she worked on social media strategies, published an article on a Great Lakes regional conference for women journalists, and more.
A participant at the Great Lakes Conference
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