Seven doctoral students secured Deans' Faculty Fellowships in the second year of awards. A joint pilot initiative of Brown University's Graduate School and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the fellowships are designed to allow advanced graduate students to strengthen their teaching portfolios by developing their own courses in consultation with a faculty mentor.
For Meghan Wilson, a new Deans' Faculty Fellow in the Political Science program, the opportunity provides the time to address the Flint water crisis in her dissertation on municipal takeovers. She envisions more time to publish, too, which could ease the process of turning her thesis into a book.
"It's also great to have your own class," adds Wilson, who is poised to teach Minority Political Behavior in Spring 2017. "For me and for the department, there is a psychological transition in being a Visiting Assistant Professor. During this process, I can see faculty as my colleagues."
The 2016-17 recipients, their doctoral programs, and dissertation titles are:
- Patrick Heck, Psychology, The Role of Uniqueness Motivation in Self- and Social- Judgement
- Natalie Lozinsky-Veach, Comparative Literature, Creaturely Constellations: Animals, Literature, and Critical Thought after Auschwitz
- Philip Zucker, Physics, Novel Probes Topological Orders
- Alyce de Carteret, Anthropology, The Craft of Housebuilding among the Classic Maya
- Andrew Dufton, Archaeology & the Ancient World, Processing the city: urban change and social transformation in Roman North Africa (246 BCE- 193 CE)
- Virginia-Eirini Kilikian, Applied Math, Developing Mathematical Models of Chemotaxis by Motile Bacteria
- Meghan Wilson, Political Science, City Auction: Political Implications of Municipal Takeovers
To be eligible for a Deans' Faculty Fellows (DFF), the fifth-year applicant (not including BioMed students) must have a record of excellence in teaching and scholarship and commit to completing, defending, and submitting the dissertation by January 15 of the sixth year. The DFFs are offered full fellowship support without any teaching responsibilities during the Fall semester. In the Spring semester, those who meet the thesis deadline are appointed as Visiting Assistant Professors with assignments to teach or co-teach a course in their areas of expertise.
In the first year of the program, all 10 2015-16 Deans' Faculty Fellows met the completion deadline and are currently teaching at Brown University as Visiting Assistant Professors. "Through their courses, Brown undergraduates are getting access to some of the University's best new PhD's," said Peter M. Weber, Dean of the Graduate School.
The program is "a good match for me," says Kilikian, who plans to teach Introduction to Scientific Computing next year. She has already taken advantage of teacher training courses at the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, has been a teaching assistant, and co-taught a class last summer. "This is the natural next step."
Lozinski-Veach calls the teaching opportunity a "great capstone" for her education, and she thinks the fellowship provides her with a competitive advantage: "Having a PhD in hand at job interviews will be such an advantage in a precarious market."
Credits: Story by Beverly Larson; photo by Susan Ely.