January 24, 2020

Francis Marion University’s Venters awarded distinguished fellowship

Francis Marion University’s Venters awarded distinguished fellowship

Dr. Louis Venters, associate professor of history at Francis Marion University,  has been awarded a prestigious Brandeis University ENACT Faculty Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation (ENACT) is a program designed to engage young people in a higher level of engagement in state-level legislative issues. 

As a part of the fellowship, Venters will serve as the instructor for a new hands-on course at FMU in which students will focus on select legislative issues, and determining, as part of their classwork, the best means to engage with and transform legislation. Students will also have the opportunity to experience the inner workings of state government through practical interactions with legislators in Columbia.

Students will be paired with mentors — either members of the South Carolina General Assembly or community organizations with State House influence and experience — for counsel in working to advance change policy within the legislature. 

The course will be offered at least twice over the next four years.

To prepare for the course, Venters will also participate in a week-long workshop at Brandeis University in June.

The course is a natural fit for Francis Marion and its student body, and will provide an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience in affecting change within the legislative process says Venters.

“Given the unique make-up of our student body, with such a high proportion of African Americans and so many first-generation college students, it really seems like this can be one way to help expand the democratic process among those who haven’t always had a seat at the policy-making table in South Carolina and raise our capacity to shape the future,” Venters says.

Venters came to Francis Marion University in 2007. His academic specialties include the African diaspora, African history, and U.S. history.