PIKSI-Rock is a week-long summer institute held at the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State University Park. Cosponsored by the Iris Marion Young Diversity Scholars Fund and Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts, PIKSI-Rock brings together a cohort of undergraduate students from groups underrepresented in the discipline of philosophy — African Americans, Chicano/as and Latino/as, Native Americans, Asian Americans, LGBTQIA persons, economically disadvantaged communities, women, and people with disabilities — in order to support them in their pursuit of future study in the field of philosophy. While at the PIKSI-Rock institute, they participate in seminars with prominent and up-and-coming philosophers from similarly marginalized backgrounds, attend public talks, engage in networking and mentoring opportunities, and develop sustaining connections that will support them throughout a career in philosophy. All admitted students are given a stipend, and all expenses are paid. If you have questions about PIKSI-Rock, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each applicant should be prepared to submit the names of two recommenders, current transcripts, and a 10–12 page writing sample. In addition, you will be asked to draft two short essays (not exceeding 300 words) in response to the following prompts:
1. Identify a piece of philosophical writing that you read in a class or on your own that was especially meaningful to you, and explain why.
2. What would you hope to gain from, and to contribute to, this Institute, and how do you envision philosophy fitting into your life in the future?
PIKSI-Rock Graduate Assistantships
PIKSI-Rock 2023 will take place on the campus of Penn State University Park from June 4–11, 2023. PIKSI-Rock’s two-day graduate assistant (GA) orientation and graduate seminar will occur during the week before the institute itself. Three graduate students will assist the institute director. In addition, one graduate assistant will come from the Penn State Department of Philosophy. The home institution of each graduate assistant must fund their positions directly to the GA (approximately $2,500 total, including travel and housing for the two-day GA orientation and the ten-day undergraduate institute, and a recommended $1,500 stipend).
Applications will be screened according to the graduate student’s accomplishments as a researcher, a teacher, and a mentor; the relevance of their research to the topics of the institute; and the home institution’s willingness to fund the student. All offers of GA positions are contingent upon the successful completion of background checks that verify that the student has no criminal or other record that would preclude employment and that the student’s educational credentials are valid. Information about Penn State’s procedures for background checks for employment will be emailed to accepted GAs and must be completed, with all required approvals obtained, prior to arriving on campus.