Program encourages connecting gender and sexuality across academic disciplines
AUGUST 15, 2023 BY CLARA TURNAGE
The two-year fellowship provides $4,500 per year to support recipients’ research. The initiative is a particular boon to younger faculty members seeking their tenure or to those whose research may not be supported by other grants, said Kevin Cozart, Isom Center operations coordinator.
“About 75% of the fellows are instructors or assistant professors whose work could support their tenure track,” Cozart said.
The fellowship was designed in 2017 to support faculty research, said Jamie Harker, the center’s director.
“I went to meet with Provost Noel Wilkin to discuss the idea of the Isom fellows program, and he generously agreed to fund it; he has been a staunch supporter ever since,” she said.
“The Isom fellows program aims to provide initial seed money for exciting research projects focused on gender and/or sexuality. The hope is that this initial support will give faculty members the time to work on their research and develop projects that will lead to greater support from additional sources over time.”
This year’s cohort features:
- Vanessa Charlot, assistant professor of creative multimedia
- Ty McNamee, assistant professor of higher education
- Sudeshna Roy, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry
- Erika Schmit, associate professor of leadership and counselor education
- Asmaa Shehata, assistant professor of Arabic
- Ana Velitchkova, associate professor of sociology and international studies
- Marc Watkins, lecturer in composition and rhetoric
- Brooke White, professor of art
The cross-disciplinary approach has led to interesting research opportunities, such as Roy’s upcoming research into how tuberculosis and HIV treatment affect women and children, Cozart said. Other project themes in the 2023-25 cohort include gender bias in AI generative language models, the representation of motherhood in art, visual representations of black women and queerness in photography, and the role of gender in violent extremism.
“We want you to connect gender and sexuality to your field of study,” he said. “A part of our mission is to support research in the fields of gender and sexuality, and this is one way of doing that.”
The cohort will present their ideas at 3 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Butler Auditorium at the Triplett Alumni Center as a part of the fellowship’s annual poster session. Current and former fellows will provide updates or speak on the results of their research projects.
“The provost always attends this reception and talks with every faculty member about their research project,” Harker said. “We invite all members of the university community to come and learn about the remarkable research projects of our Isom fellows and encourage faculty to apply for the 2024-25 academic year.”