Announcing the inaugural recipients of the Royce Graduate Student Research Awards

December 5, 2023

The Swearer Center is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of the Royce Graduate Student Research Awards. A corollary to the Royce Fellowship for undergraduates, established in 1996 through the generosity of Charles Royce, '61, this new award continues to advance independent, engaged research by students while also contributing to Brown’s renewed investment in research. The Royce Graduate Student Research Awards fund community-engaged research by doctoral and master’s students at Brown University. These projects may involve the co-creation of a product, analysis, or other outcome with a community partner and/or dissemination of findings to broader public audiences. 

2023-2024 Award Winners

Sydney Giacalone
Sydney Giacalone is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at Brown University. Her research focuses on multigenerational farmers in the American south and midwest transitioning from conventional agriculture toward ecologically and socially reparative farming.

Royce Graduate Student Research Project:
Culpability, Repair, and Re-Alliance on the American Family Farm
Faculty Advisor: Myles Lennon

This research studies reckoning US farmers: rural multigenerational agrarians engaged in the social, political, and ecological work of learning about and attempting to attend to their roles in their communities—human and nonhuman, past, present, and future. Through this project, I trace these farmers’ experiences questioning their education and internalized ideologies, learning how to collaborate with multispecies life in projects of ecological repair, making intentional breaks from family and institutions, and building networks to align with other people and causes. As farmers attempt to disrupt the hierarchies constituting the American family farm, how are familial, ecological, and community relationships broken, remade, or formed anew? A core method within this project includes ethnographically following and collaborating with transitioning farmers as they move through various organizations, communities, and scales nationwide to seek community and build networks.

Michael Thompson
Michael Thompson is currently pursuing a Master in Public Health with a concentration in health services. His research focuses on the intersection of mass incarceration and mental health. Michael aspires to establish a comprehensive health system that caters to the needs of families and individuals impacted by mass incarceration, showcasing his commitment to social justice and health equity.

Royce Graduate Student Research Project: 
From Incarceration to Recovery: Empowering Mental Wellness Using Smartphone Technology
Faculty Advisor: Erica Walker

Formerly incarcerated individuals (FIIs) are a population with high rates of mental health disorders and 10% suffering from serious mental illness (Collier, 2014). These disorders are exacerbated by the challenges involved in reintegration, such as finding employment, housing, and dealing with social stigma. Mobile mental health apps have shown promise in delivering effective and accessible interventions to historically underserved populations, and we believe the same applies to those with a history of incarceration (Deslich et al., 2013; Tadros et al., 2021). Therefore, we propose the development of a wellness app specifically tailored to FIIs. Through our focus groups, our design was guided by the feedback of individuals with lived experience in carceral systems.