Josaphat Kubayanda Graduate Student Scholarship


The Josaphat Kubayanda Graduate Student Scholarship celebrates the life and work of the first Chairperson of the OSU Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The award of up to $1000 is given to a deserving Ohio State graduate student pursuing research, preferably on a dissertation, in Latin American, Caribbean, and/or African literatures and cultures.


Applicants must be OSU graduate students in good standing.


Applicants should submit a brief proposal (maximum three double-spaced pages) that includes a project outline, statement of its significance to the field, any progress to date, time to completion, and qualifications for completing the project. A transcript or advising report should accompany the proposal. A letter of recommendation from the student’s advisor or project director should be sent under separate cover to Elizabeth Wigal

Applications are due March 11, 2022
Submit materials via application.


Criteria for selection include the quality of the research project; the academic record and qualifications of the student; and the recommendation of the student’s referee. The recipient will be selected by a committee of faculty from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Center for African Studies.

Josaphat Bekunru Kubayanda (1944-1991) became the first chairperson of the newly created Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University in 1989. An associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, he was the author of The Poet’s Africa: Africanness in the Poetry of Nicolás Guillén and Aimé Césaire, as well as numerous articles on Latin American literature, Afro-Hispanic literary relations, and issues of minority discourse, gender and orality. He also served as the associate editor of Research in African Literatures. In addition, Joe was a superb teacher who won every possible award for distinguished teaching at Ohio State and was the recipient of the American Association for Higher Education’s Jaime Escalante Award for Extraordinary Teaching.

Funds for The Josaphat Kubayanda Graduate Student Scholarship are provided from a permanent endowment created with gifts from family, friends and colleagues of Joe Kubayanda and established by the Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University in May 2000 and September 2009.  The Josaphat Kubayanda Fund stands as a permanent memorial to a much admired and loved husband, father, friend and colleague who left us far too soon and who is fondly remembered.

Support the Josaphat Kubayanda Fund

Alumni and friends of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese may contribute online to the Josaphat Kubayanda Fund

View past recipients here.