About the Fellowship
The McCausland Faculty Fellowship is the premier faculty fellowship program in the College of Arts and Sciences. It supports early-career College of Arts and Sciences faculty who are committed, creative teachers and rising stars in their academic disciplines.
The college established the program with a $10 million endowment from alumnus Peter McCausland (’71 history) and his wife, Bonnie. Through this fellowship, the McCauslands support innovative research and teaching, enhancing the career of faculty and the experience of students in the University of South Carolina's largest college.
Information for Faculty
Tenure-track or recently tenured faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences who are 10 years or fewer from earning their doctoral degrees may be nominated for a single three-year term. Faculty members who are more than 10 years away from earning their doctoral degrees are ineligible.
- Each fellowship begins with the academic year and has a term of three years.
- Each fellowship provides a $5,000 salary supplement during each academic year of the three-year term.
- The fellowship also provides a one-time research fund of $5,000, which is paid on a reimbursement basis and which cannot be used to provide compensation to the faculty and cannot be used for course buyout. The research fund does not carry-over and cannot be extended.
- Fellowship recipients must continue to fulfill normal expectations of teaching effectiveness, professional development, research and scholarship, and departmental and university service during the duration of the fellowship.
- Fellowship recipients are expected to participate in a limited number of special events during the duration of the fellowship, such as admitted student days, open houses, and recognition events.
Tenure-granting units may each nominate up to two eligible tenure-track/tenured faculty members from their respective departments or schools during each fellowship cycle.
Units nominating jointly appointed faculty should be sure to consult with the other unit chair/director before submitting the online nomination form, which will be completed by the Chair or Director of the tenure-granting unit.
Each chair/director should submit: 1) a brief letter of recommendation from the chair/director; 2) an up-to-date curriculum vita for the nominee using the online nomination form. A separate online form should be submitted for each candidate.
The associate deans will comprise the selection committee, chaired by Dean Samuels. Two recent McCausland Fellows will also be appointed to the selection committee: one faculty member from the natural sciences and the other faculty member representing the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Fellowship selection is a highly competitive process based on merit. Fellows will be chosen based on the extent to which the requested nomination materials demonstrate the expected combination of scholarly and pedagogical excellence.
McCausland Faculty Fellows
Select below to learn about the individual fellows selected each year.
Ray Bai, Department of Statistics
Ray Bai’s expertise in modern data science methods has made him an asset both to the statistics department and the mathematics department. Bai was instrumental in obtaining funding from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative research project. In addition to advising a number of Ph.D. students, he creates outstanding course materials for his classes, with a level of detail beyond compare.
Joshua Tebbs, statistics department chair, says, “Everything Ray does demands excellence—not only of himself but from those around him. All of my colleagues value Ray and the immediate impact he has made here.”
Jessica Bradshaw, Department of Psychology
Jessica Bradshaw’s research focuses on early neurobehavioral markers of autism spectrum disorder and developing novel behavioral interventions for infants in the first year of life. Bradshaw directs USC’s Early Social Development Lab and is one of very few clinical scientists who have piloted behavioral interventions for infants as young as six months old.
Internationally known for her work, Bradshaw serves families in the community through free public lectures, workshops and events. Amanda Fairchild, an associate department chair, calls Bradshaw, “a rising star in her field,” and “among the most productive and high-achieving early career scholars” in the department.
Besim Dragovic, School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment
Besim Dragovic’s research on plate tectonics and fluid-rock interactions extends beyond traditional geochronology to uncover new knowledge of Earth’s processes that are more important now than ever before. His focus on geothermal path ways and rates of change is key to understanding Earth’s continued evolution, particularly in the face of climate change.
Dragovic has brought an impressive amount of external funding to the university, while simultaneously exceeding research productivity, publication and impact goals. His students consistently provide excellent feedback on his classroom and mentoring presence. Peter Chametzky, interim director of SEOE, noted that Dragovic’s accomplishments are a “remarkable contribution from an early-career researcher.”
David Fuente, School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment (SEOE)
David Fuente’s research brings together sanitation, economics and urban planning. His work on the water infrastructure of sub-Saharan Africa has had global ramifications. His recent work in Alaska included data from nearly inaccessible people groups, which he could obtain only by building long-term trust. His gift for working with people, communities and governments has made him an influential voice in his field.
Peter Chemetsky, Interim Director of the SEOE says: “His work produces practical results that draw serious interest from such organizations as the World Health Organization and the World Bank. This breadth is extraordinary, and he has an extremely bright future.”
Hyunji Kwon, School of Visual Art and Design
Hyunji Kwon’s work in community-based art education has positively impacted local communities while producing exemplary scholarship. Kwon’s research expertise lies in developing programs that support people who have experienced trauma. Most recently, Kwon and her art education students developed community-based art workshops for adults in underserved communities in Columbia.
As a core faculty member serving the Women’s Well-Being Initiative at USC, Kwon has provided art workshops for women in transitional homes and sexual violence survivors on campus. Such prolific service work is mirrored in her dedication to teaching. Kwon’s students regularly praise her as a “motivating” instructor who consistently creates a “safe space” and inspires their career goals.
Seulghee Lee, Department of English Language and Literature, Joint appointment in the Department of African American Studies
Seulghee Lee’s research brings together Black studies, Asian studies and gender studies. He currently has two book projects in progress and has published numerous articles since he came to USC for a joint tenure-track position in 2017. His teaching has also been exemplary, with often perfect reviews by his classes. As one of his recent students says:
“My most glowing praise for Dr. Lee would not come close to adequately describing the absolute gift this man is to the university and the lives of his students. His wisdom is only outdone by his kindness. His class offered me a world class introduction to these topics.”
Cory Schnell, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Cory Schnell’s research focuses on improving the policies and practices of police agencies so they may better serve their communities. He has applied his expertise in spatial analysis to topics including police use of force, violent crime hot spots and place-based policing strategies, allowing him to build key partnerships with criminal justice agencies. Schnell has received contracts and grants to support his research and collaborations with local law enforcement agencies, including the Columbia Police Department and Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
“Dr. Schnell is not only a gifted young scholar and committed teacher, he is also a warm, kind, spirited person who brings a great deal of positive energy to our department,” says department chair Wendy C. Regoeczi.
Magdalena E. Stawkowski, Department of Anthropology
Magdalena Stawkowski specializes in cultural and medical anthropology, focusing on militarized and nuclear spaces and the political economy of health. Her current research examines the socio-cultural legacies of Soviet-era nuclear testing in Kazakhstan and how people navigate everyday life in an environment polluted with residual radioactivity.
Closer to home, Stawkowski is introducing more students to the field of anthropology through her co-created medical anthropology minor program, which is available to all non-major students at USC. Anthropology department chair Jennifer Reynolds notes that Stawkowski continues to generate excitement for anthropology research at USC among undergraduate and graduate students alike.
Jaclyn Wong, Department of Sociology
Jaclyn Wong’s research focuses on the intersections of gender, family, work, aging and the life course. Wong has received praise from her colleagues and department leadership for her highly-creative research, as well as going above and beyond in her service work to the university, even beyond her own department. She serves as a faculty affiliate for both the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and Carolina Consortium on Health, Inequalities, and Populations at USC.
Students, both undergraduate and graduate, routinely praise Wong’s commitment in her mentorship capacities. In her research, teaching and mentorship, department chair Brent Simpsons says Wong is “exceptional at every level.”
Annie Bourbonnais, School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment
Annie Bourbonnais is an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, where she leads the Marine Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory in the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment. Her research is focused on the biogeochemical processes that affect climate, particularly the cycling of nitrogen. Since coming to USC in 2018, she has built a state-of-the-art stable isotope research facility and obtained funding from diverse sources to support her research. Her current research investigates the sources and sinks of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, using concentration and stable isotopic data from different oceanic environments. She is also involved in a project using computational methods and autonomous robotics systems for modeling and predicting harmful cyanobacterial blooms in South Carolina lakes. She has authored 28 peer-reviewed publications in top-tier journals in her field and is passionate about teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses to all students.
Liz Countryman, Department of English Language and Literature
Liz Countryman is an assistant professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, where she teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing. She is the author of one collection of poems, A Forest Almost. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. She edits the annual poetry journal Oversound with Samuel Amadon. Countryman’s current project is a collection of poems entitled Green Island, which delve into the relationship between place and imagination, examining the ways in which physical places determine the speaker’s understanding of self. Since coming to USC, she has also served as coordinator for Split P, the English Department’s outreach initiative, which sends MFA students to local public schools to lead creative writing workshops. Split P is a unique opportunity for MFA students to hone their teaching skills while giving local school children the chance to learn directly from emerging writers in their own city.
Jennifer Frey, Department of Philosophy
Jennifer A. Frey is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America. She was previously a collegiate assistant professor of humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. She earned her doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh and her Bachelor of Arts at Indiana University in Bloomington. In 2015, she was awarded a multi-million-dollar grant from the John Templeton Foundation, titled “Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life.” She has published widely on virtue, moral psychology, and responsibility, and she has edited several academic volumes. Her writing has been featured in Breaking Ground, First Things, Fare Forward, Image, Law and Liberty, The Point, and USA Today. She is the host of a popular philosophy, literature, and theology podcast, titled “Sacred and Profane Love.”
Rebecca Janzen, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Rebecca Janzen is an associate professor of Spanish and comparative literature at the University of South Carolina. A scholar of gender, disability, and religious studies in Mexican literature and culture, Janzen’s research focuses on excluded populations in Mexico. Her first book, The National Body in Mexican Literature: Collective Challenges to Biopolitical Control (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2015), explores images of disability and illness in 20th century texts. Her second book, Liminal Sovereignty: Mennonites and Mormons in Mexican Culture (SUNY, 2018), focuses on religious minorities. Her recent book, Unholy Trinity: State, Church and Film in Mexico (SUNY, 2021), deals with film and religion in Mexico; and her forthcoming book, Unlawful Violence: Law and Cultural Production in 21st Century Mexico (Vanderbilt, 2022), looks at human rights, law, and literature. Janzen’s work has garnered the support of the Plett Foundation, the Kreider Fellowship at Elizabethtown College, and the Newberry library in Chicago, among others.
Samuel McQuillin, Department of Psychology
Samuel McQuillin is an associate professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina. McQuillin studies how schools and communities can work together to promote emotional, behavioral, and academic wellness in children who are environmentally or developmentally at-risk. His work focuses on translating theories of child development to pragmatic prevention and intervention strategies. He is particularly interested in how and why supportive relationships between young people and adult helpers (e.g. mentors) promote positive youth development. In this work, McQuillin’s aims to improve the positive influence of these relationships by equipping helpers with skills and knowledge gleaned from research evidence. As faculty in the School Psychology Ph.D. program, he helps prepare future scientist-practitioners who want to work with school-aged children and their caregivers. McQuillin is also affiliated with the department's quantitative psychology area of emphasis and serves as a quantitative methodologist on a broad range of research projects.
Carolyn Wessinger, Department of Biological Sciences
Carolyn Wessinger is an evolutionary biologist with the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on determining the genetic basis of adaptive evolution. Wessinger has worked to develop a new plant model system (the wildflower genus Penstemon) as a useful model for understanding the genetics of complex trait evolution. She has used this study system to show that repeated evolution of the same trait in different lineages involves similar types of genetic changes, suggesting evolution can involve repeatable genetic mechanisms. Wessinger has published her work in peer-reviewed journals such as Evolution, The American Naturalist, Evolution Letters, and Molecular Biology and Evolution, among others, and has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. An assistant professor, Wessinger mentors graduate and undergraduate students in independent research projects and she teaches Ecology and Evolution as well as an advanced seminar on Speciation.
Guillermo Wippold, Department of Psychology
Guillermo M. Wippold is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina. His work is anchored in community-based participatory research and seeks to promote holistic health among underserved communities by leveraging peer influences. With funding from the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health, Wippold is working to develop, implement, and evaluate a theoretically based peer-to-peer program to promote health-related quality of life among African American men in South Carolina. He is also identifying strategies community health workers can implement to improve preventative healthcare use by the same community, funded by the Medical University of South Carolina’s Clinical and Translational Research Institute. In addition, Wippold has made connections with several statewide organizations that promote health among underserved communities, such as the South Carolina Community Health Worker Association and the South Carolina Free Clinic Association, leading to tangible results.
Amanda Dalola, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Amanda Dalola earned her doctorate in French linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. She also spent two years teaching English at the Université de Strasbourg in France. At the University of South Carolina, she teaches courses on all aspects of French linguistics and culture. Dalola’s current research projects include a study of the sociophonetic conditioning of French final vowel devoicing, a phenomenon in which vowel sounds are pronounced with a high pitch at the end of a word, and how this devoicing manifests in digital and spoken French media. She also explores social media applications in foreign language classrooms, the acquisition of definiteness among second-language French speakers, and the use of translanguaging, in which speakers make full use of their skills in multiple languages. Dalola has served her department in various capacities, and she actively organizes social programming.
Sherina Feliciano-Santos, Department of Anthropology
Sherina Feliciano-Santos is a Puerto Rican linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in anthropology from the University of Michigan. Her research explores the relationship among language, identity, history, and social action among differently racialized groups and persons. She focuses on Indigenous cultural reclamation in Puerto Rico; on traffic stop arrests and policing in the American South; and on migration, citizenship, race, and ideologies of language and the nation among Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico, St. Croix, and the United States. Her work examines the interactional and positional strategies that social actors use to negotiate, reinforce or interrupt how they are racialized and ethnically positioned. She is the author of the book A Contested Caribbean Indigeneity, several peer-reviewed articles, and several shorter pieces that address issues of contemporary importance, ranging from popular media to Hurricane Maria.
Andrea K. Henderson, Department of Sociology
Andrea K. Henderson researches the relationships between religion, race, health, and family, with a particular interest in how religious activity influences the lives of Black Americans in the face of social and race-related stressors. She has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on several intermural and extramural grants, including grants from the National Cancer Institute, the Carolina Center on Alzheimer’s Disease and Minority Research, and ASPIRE-I and -II. She has had peer-reviewed publications featured in such journals as the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Journal of Family Issues. She received her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 and joined the Department of Sociology at the University of South Carolina in 2013. Henderson teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the sociology of religion, sociology of health, and social problems.
Katherine Ryker, School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment
Katherine Ryker is an assistant professor of geoscience education in the School of the Earth, Ocean, and Environment. She studies how people teach and learn in introductory college geoscience environments. Her primary research interests revolve around interventions in introductory geoscience courses, especially labs, to improve cognitive and affective learning goals and teaching professional development to faculty and graduate teaching assistants. This includes exploring connections between reformed teaching practices, student learning, teaching beliefs, and the implementation of inquiry-based geoscience labs. Her research has been published in the Journal of Geoscience Education, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, the International Journal of STEM Education, and the Journal for STEM Education Research, among others. In 2021, she also received the Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award and was named a fellow of the Geological Society of America for her “innovative and effective teaching in college-level Earth science.”
Dexin Shi, Department of Psychology
Dexin Shi is an assistant professor of quantitative psychology. His research primarily focuses on developing, improving, and applying statistical methods for modeling psychological data. He has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, many of which have appeared in top-tier journals in his field, including Psychological Methods, Multivariate Behavioral Research, Structural Equation Modeling, and Educational and Psychological Measurement. In 2021, Shi received the Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science, which “recognizes researchers whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions.” Shi is also passionate about teaching quantitative methods courses to undergraduate and graduate students. He received the Innovative Pedagogy Grant from the University of South Carolina’s Center for Teaching Excellence and the SC Open Educational Resources Faculty Award from the University Libraries and Student Government.
Matthew Wilson, Department of Political Science
Matthew Wilson holds a doctorate in political science from Pennsylvania State University. He joined the Department of Political Science at the University of South Carolina in 2019. He is also a research fellow at the Varieties of Democracy Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he explores patterns in democratization. Some of his ongoing research projects focus on the mechanisms that support legislative strengthening and how elections allow parties in less democratic regimes to establish dominance. He has published in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, International Interactions, Political Science Research and Methods, and Comparative Political Studies. He has taught classes such as Dictatorship and Democratization, Latin American Politics, Advanced Quantitative Methods, and Comparative Politics. He is currently an Innovative Teaching Associate with the Incubator for Teaching Innovation in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Samuel Amadon, Department of English Language and Literature
Samuel Amadon is the author of four books of poems and the co-editor of Oversound, an annual poetry journal and chapbook publisher. His first book, Like a Sea (University of Iowa Press, 2010), received the Iowa Poetry Prize and was named the best debut book of the year by Coldfront. His second book, The Hartford Book (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012), won the Believer Poetry Award and was listed by the Academy of American Poets as a notable book of 2012. His books also include Listener (Solid Objects, 2020) and Often, Common, Some, and Free (Omnidawn, 2021). He has published individual poems in many prominent national outlets, including The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry, the Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, and others. At the University of South Carolina, he teaches courses in creative writing and poetry and directs the MFA program.
Tia S. Andersen, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Tia Andersen explores the intersection of service learning, mentoring, and the prevention of juvenile delinquency. In 2017, she developed the University of South Carolina Adolescent Mentoring Program, a course that matches trained university students to adolescents attending a local disciplinary alternative school. Informed by the positive youth development framework and resiliency theory, students work with mentees on individualized goal-setting and the development of youth competence, confidence, character, caring, and connection. Andersen’s current research projects document the impact of the service-learning experience on University of South Carolina students’ development, learning outcomes, social outcomes, career development, and relationships, as well as the impact on the mentees. Dr. Andersen’s work has appeared in Justice Quarterly, Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, Criminal Justice and Behavior, and Crime & Delinquency.
Joshua Grace, Department of History
Joshua Grace’s work explores the intersection of technology and development in African history. It debunks a common stereotype about the continent’s past — that its societies lack development due to a lack of technology or knowledge — using hundreds of oral histories in Kiswahili, his apprenticeship in an automobile repair shop in Dar es Salaam, and archives in East Africa and the United Kingdom. His book, African Motors: Technology, Gender, and the History of Development in Tanzania (Duke University Press, 2021), demonstrates that Africans have shaped car designs and motor vehicle culture since the early 1900s. His next book-length project, Cars After African Socialism: Sustainability and Skill in Tanzanian Repair Shops, will examine the impact of privatization policies on Tanzanian repair shops since the late 1970s and will highlight the more sustainable worlds Tanzanian mechanics created during shortages through reuse and modification.
Conor Harrison, Department of Geography, School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment
Conor Harrison researches the relationship between energy and society, with a particular focus on how economic, political, and cultural forces drive energy system transformation. His current research, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, investigates how financial actors and institutions are changing the U.S. electricity sector. His past research traced the flows of investment capital, expertise, and technology in the ongoing shift to renewable energy in the Caribbean. He also has studied the historical development of electricity supply systems and markets in the American South. He has published research in Energy Research and Social Science, the Journal of Latin American Geography, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and other journals. Harrison’s teaching focuses on energy, the environment, and sustainability, and he was awarded the 2019 Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award at the University of South Carolina.
Deena A. Isom, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Deena Isom is a critical scholar guided by feminist, Black feminist, and critical race traditions. Her research broadly focuses on the causes and consequences of inequities and injustices for marginalized people. In particular, her work has assessed how distinctly racial and gendered experiences influence people’s likelihood of engaging in criminal behaviors as well as how internalized beliefs may provide resilience against such outcomes. Her research has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Criminal Justice, Social Science & Medicine, Youth & Society, the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, and Race and Justice. She teaches courses on criminological theory, race and crime, and critical perspectives at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Her current research endeavors include a series of investigations into the associations between whiteness and violent attitudes and behaviors. Through her research and teaching, she aims to bring marginalized and oft-forgotten experiences and voices to the forefront to promote equity and inform socially just change.
Zhenlong Li, Department of Geography
Zhenlong Li researches geospatial big data analytics, high-performance computing, and spatiotemporal modeling within the area of data- and computational-intensive geographic information science. In 2015, he established the Geoinformation and Big Data Research Laboratory, a collaboration with faculty and students conducting research with applications in disaster management, human mobility, climate analysis, and public health. Dr. Li has authored more than 70 publications, and he has held multiple leadership positions in national and international professional associations, most notably as the chair of the AAG Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group and the co-chair of ESIP Cloud Computing Group. He also sits on the editorial board of three international journals. He was named a Breakthrough Star for research excellence at the University of South Carolina. His students have won various awards, including the AAG Robert Raskin Student Competition, the SPARC Graduate Research Grant, the Magellan Scholar Award, the USGIF/NVIDIA GPU Essay Challenge, and the National Science Foundation travel award.
Nicole Maskiell, Department of History, African American Studies Program
Nicole Maskiell is an active member of the University of South Carolina community, serving as a faculty associate in the African American Studies Program and the Walker Institute. In 2019, she was a featured faculty member of the Gamecock Teaching Days. She has received numerous international fellowships and awards for travel and research. Her current book project, Bound by Bondage: Slavery and the Creation of a Northern Gentry, examines the dense slaveholding ties that knit together Anglo-Dutch slaveholding families and spanned the colonial boundaries of the Atlantic, connecting the estates and manors of the Northeast to the plantations and great houses of the Southern colonies, the Caribbean, and European metropoles. Cornell University Press will publish her book in Spring 2022.
Hannah Rule, Department of English Language and Literature
As a scholar and an educator, Hannah J. Rule counters conventional approaches to the teaching of writing. While traditional process teaching tends to be grounded in abstractions like drafts and freewriting, Rule demonstrates how attunement to physical bodies, contexts, and environments increases access, engagement, and efficacy in the teaching of writing. Her recent book, Situating Writing Processes (WAC Clearinghouse/University Press of Colorado, 2019), makes this case as it reimagines contemporary process teaching as embodied, situated, and improvisatory. In her undergraduate and graduate teaching, Rule brings her curious questioning of writing pedagogies to courses including first-year writing, writing and the body, and the teaching of writing. Her scholarly attentions now focus on genre pedagogies, and the urgent social need for critical instruction in information and digital literacies — practices that might stand a chance against misinformation, conspiracy, and information overload.
Michael Gavin, Department of English Language and Literature
Michael Gavin is author of The Invention of English Criticism, 1650-1760 (Cambridge University Press, 2015) as well as numerous articles. His primary area of research is the digital humanities, a field of inquiry devoted to understanding how new computational technologies affect knowledge in traditionally book-based disciplines such as literature. He regularly teaches courses in the digital humanities, Enlightenment literature, and British literature, as well as courses in writing and research methods. His current book project, Language of Place: A Digital History, uses the methods of the digital humanities to study the history of geographical discourse from the Renaissance to the present.
Courtney Lewis, Department of Anthropology
Courtney Lewis is a sociocultural economic anthropologist with research specialties in American Indian entrepreneurialism and small business ownership, Native Nation economic sovereignty, and Native Nation economic development. Her broader research areas of indigenous rights, economic justice, political economy, food sovereignty, and settler colonialism also span American Indian studies, American studies, and Southern studies. She earned her doctorate at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Department of Anthropology in 2012. This followed two degrees in economics (B.A., University of Michigan; M.A., Wayne State University). She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
Mercedes Lopez Rodríguez, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Originally from Colombia, where she studied anthropology, Dr. Lopez-Rodriguez holds a doctorate in Spanish literature and cultural studies from Georgetown University. Her scholarly research lies at the intersection of literary studies, ethnography, history, and art history, combining textual analysis and anthropological methods and theory. She is the author of two books: Blancura y otras ficciones raciales en los Andes colombianos del siglo XIX (Whiteness and Other Racial Fictions in the Nineteenth-Century Colombian Andes) (Iberoamericana Veuvert, 2019); and Tiempos para rezar y tiempos para trabajar (ICANH 2001). She is working on a new book, Sensing and Feeling the Other: Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching Emotions in Colombia 1850-1970.
Matthew Melvin-Koushki, Department of History
Matthew Melvin-Koushki specializes in early modern Islamicate intellectual and imperial history, with a focus on the theory and practice of the occult sciences in Iran and the wider Persianate world from the 14th to the 19th century. He comes to the University of South Carolina by way of the University of Virginia and Yale University, and he has held postdoctoral positions at Oxford University and Princeton University. His three forthcoming books, all based on his award-winning dissertation, pivot on the theme of science and empire. He is also the co-editor (with Noah Gardiner, also at the University of South Carolina) of the volume Islamicate Occultism: New Perspectives, the first such in the field to treat post-Mongol Persianate occult developments.
Natalia Shustova, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Natalia Shustova is the co-author of more than 70 papers and two book chapters, and she has delivered more than 80 scientific talks. Since 2016, Natalia has also served as an associate editor of Materials Chemistry Frontiers. In 2019, she was awarded a very prestigious University of South Carolina Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor Award for her involvement in training and mentoring 28 undergraduate students.
Dewei Wang, Department of Statistics
The primary focus of Deiwei Wang's research is developing new statistical tools for analyzing pooled testing data, which often arises in biomedical applications. His current research in this area has resulted in a National Institutes of Health grant. Dr. Wang's other research interests include quantile regression, order-restricted inference, and complex data analysis. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Annals of Statistics, Biometrika, Biometrics, Biostatistics, Environmetrics, and Statistics in Medicine. In addition to research, Dr. Wang is also passionate about cultivating his students’ statistical thinking skills. He teaches undergraduate and graduate students about fundamental theories of statistics in courses such as Probability, Mathematical Statistics, and Large Sample Theory.
Alissa Richmond Armstrong, Department of Biological Sciences
Alissa Richmond Armstrong joined the Department of Biological Sciences in 2016 after
postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The
Armstrong Lab uses the model organism Drosophila melanogaster — commonly known as the fruit or vinegar fly — to investigate how distinct nutrient
sensing pathways function in fat cells to regulate the well-characterized stem cell-supported
ovary. Given the current obesity epidemic and the link between obesity and increased
risk for several diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cancer, Armstrong hopes that
the research performed in her lab provides a better understanding of the role adipocytes
and adipocyte-dysfunction play in controlling normal and abnormal physiologies.
In addition to her research, she teaches fundamental genetics and a seminar-style course on adult stem cells and physiology. As part of her personal and professional commitment to recruiting and retaining underrepresented groups to the sciences, Armstrong participates in several outreach activities involving students from elementary to graduate school.
Lydia Mattice Brandt, School of Visual Art and Design
An architectural historian and historic preservationist, Lydia Mattice Brandt is known
nationwide for her expertise on George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the remembrance
of America’s early history through material objects and architecture. Her book First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in the American
Imagination was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2016.
Fellowships from the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library and the Henry Luce Foundation have supported her research. Her 2016 monograph received the Henry-Russell Hitchcock Award from the Victorian Society in America. The University of South Carolina recognized her outstanding teaching and awarded her the Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Brandt is also a dedicated advocate for local history and preservation. She has authored or co-authored National Register of Historic Places nominations in Virginia, South Carolina and Illinois. She is one of three professors at the University of South Carolina who led the campaign for a monument to the university’s first African American professor, Richard T. Greener, erected in early 2018.
Eli Jelly-Schapiro, Department of English Language and Literature
Eli Jelly-Schapiro writes about and teaches contemporary literature within a global
and historical frame. His first book, Security and Terror: American Culture and the Long History of Colonial Modernity, was published by the University of California Press in May 2018. His articles and
essays have appeared in a variety of scholarly and popular venues, including Critique, Mediations, the Journal of American Studies, Transforming Anthropology, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, The Chronicle Review, Transition, and The Nation.
He has begun work on a second book project, which explores how the multiple temporalities of contemporary capitalism are figured in fiction and theory.
Christi Metcalfe, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Christi Metcalfe’s research focuses on criminal case processing, developmental patterns
of crime from adolescence to adulthood, and public attitudes toward crime and the
criminal justice system. Specifically, her work has explored the influence of court
room workgroup familiarity and similarity on the plea-bargaining process, the intermittent
nature of offending behavior, and the correlates of support for punitive policy approaches
and policing initiatives. She has also conducted research in Israel regarding ethnic
threats, support for conciliatory solutions, and perceptions of the police.
Her work has appeared in journals such as Justice Quarterly, Law & Society Review, the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, and Criminal Justice and Behavior. She co-authored an anthology titled Criminal Courts in Theory, Research, & Practice: A Reader. Metcalfe enjoys working with undergraduate and graduate students on research projects and teaches courses on criminal courts, crime over the life course, and criminological theory.
Steven Rodney, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Stevem Rodney’s research centers on the use of gravitational lensing to study distant
stars that are magnified by the curvature of space. He was part of an international
team of astronomers who used this technique with the Hubble Space Telescope to study
the most distant star ever seen. Rodney is now part of a NASA-funded project aiming
to locate stellar explosions so far away that their light has taken 10 to 13 billion
years to reach Earth. He is working with University of South Carolina undergraduates
and doctoral students to build software and design survey strategies for the James
Webb Space Telescope, which launches in 2020, and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope,
scheduled for the mid-2020s.
In 2018, Rodney was recognized with the university’s Garnet Apple Award for teaching excellence. Rodney earned a bachelor's degree in physics and astronomy at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and went on to graduate studies at the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii. After completing his dissertation on stellar explosions, he became a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was awarded a Hubble Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.
Sean Yee, Department of Mathematics
Sean Yee’s scholarship synergizes the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics.
His primary focus is providing seminars and courses on teaching for mathematics graduate
students who are teaching assistants or full instructors of record for undergraduate
mathematics courses. His research has resulted in multiple National Science Foundation
grants revolving around peer mentorship models for graduate student instructors.
With these grants, Yee has created and implemented professional development for experienced graduate students to mentor novice graduate students in teaching, generating a community of practice around teaching. Prior to coming to the University of South Carolina, Yee taught secondary mathematics for six years in Ohio and was an assistant professor of mathematics education at California State University, Fullerton. His scholarship has also included book chapters and journal publications focusing on mathematical proof education, educational discourse theory, conceptual metaphor theory as a means to improve teacher listening, secondary methods courses, and mathematical problem-solving.
Lori Ziolkowski, School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment
Lori Ziolkowski leads a dynamic lab of graduate and undergraduate students on research
topics related to climate change in the polar regions and life in extreme environments.
Her efforts have included field work in Antarctica and several Arctic locations.
Ziolkowski is passionate about broadly sharing her knowledge of climate change and
teaches science majors and non-major classes alike.
Her research has garnered international recognition. She was named the Baillet Latour Fellow, a Belgian initiative that provides young scientists with opportunities to conduct research in east Antarctica. She also was named a University of South Carolina Breakthrough Rising Star.
Ziolkowski completed postdoctoral research at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where she was a National Science and Engineering Research Council postdoctoral fellow.
Jennifer Augustine, Department of Sociology
Jennifer Augustine joined the Department of Sociology in 2015 and has taught courses on the sociology of education and inequality among others. She earned her doctorate in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and was a postdoctoral fellow at Rice University. Augustine's research aims to understand the complex forces that contribute to the reproduction of inequality across generations in modern American society. She is particularly interested in the role that the historic increases in American women's educational attainment has played in this process. She has had peer-reviewed publications featured in such journals as Social Science Quarterly, Population Research and Policy Review, and the Journal of Marriage and Family.
Jessica Barnes, School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, Department of Geography
Jessica Barnes' work focuses on the culture and politics of resource use and environmental
change in the Middle East. Barnes’ first book, Cultivating the Nile: The Everyday Politics of Water in Egypt (Duke University Press, 2014), received the 2016 James M. Blaut Award from the Cultural
and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.
Other publications include Climate Cultures: Anthropological Perspectives on Climate Change (Yale University Press, 2015), which was co-edited with Michael Dove; and articles
in several academic journals, including Environment and Planning D, Geoforum, the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Social Studies of Science, Nature Climate Change, and Critique of Anthropology. In 2013, she was awarded the Junior Scholar Award of the Anthropology and Environment
Society of the American Anthropological Association. Barnes’ current project, which
has been funded by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and
the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation, draws on ethnographic and archival
work to examine food security in Egypt and the longstanding identification of security
with self-sufficiency in wheat and bread.
Barnes also teaches courses on the environment, water resources management, food politics, and international development.
Ryan Rykaczewski, School of the Earth Ocean and Environment
A former postdoctoral scholar at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Princeton University, Ryan Rykaczewski is now a biological oceanographer at the University of South Carolina, with research focusing on the sensitivity of marine biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem structure, and fisheries production to changing ocean climate and physics. The motivation behind this work is a desire to better understand the mechanisms through which climate change influences the dynamics of marine ecosystems. Such knowledge would permit better management, conservation, and exploitation of the ocean’s fish populations. Rykaczewski is active in international oceanographic organizations, most prominently the North Pacific Marine Science Organization. He teaches graduate and undergraduate students about the connections between marine ecosystems and human activity in courses such as Ocean and Society and Marine Fisheries Ecology.
Michael Gibbs Hill, Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures
Before becoming a McCausland Fellow, Professor Hill published his first book, Lin Shu Ink: Translation and the Making of Modern Chinese Culture (Oxford University Press, 2013), and regularly contributed as a Chinese translator. He recently returned to the classroom to study modern standard Arabic so that he could begin his next project, working on the history of cultural relations between China and the Middle East. In April 2016, he conducted a one-day workshop on the topic for the Center for Asian Studies in the Walker Institute.
Gretchen J . Woertendyke, Department of English Language and Literature
Gretchen Woertendyke published her book, Hemispheric Regionalism: Romance and the Geography of Genre (Oxford University Press, 2016), as a McCausland Fellow. The book constructs a new literary genealogy by bringing together popular culture, fugitive slave narratives, advertisements, political treaties, and fiction that centers on Haiti and Cuba. Woertendyke has begun writing and researching her next book, A History of Secrecy in the New World, which explores how Jacobin terror, slave conspiracy, and Freemasonry are perceived as threatening. Her exploration of cultural dynamics in literature expands into the classroom, where she teaches Piracy and the Atlantic World and an African American Literature course that draws on modern racial conflicts. In the English department, she started the undergraduate literary society INK!
Sharon DeWitte, Department of Anthropology, Department of Biological Sciences
Sharon DeWitte used her fellowship to publish research on the health and demographic consequences of the Black Death and the context of the emergence of this first outbreak of medieval plague. This research takes on an interdisciplinary nature. She has begun new research to examine the associations between diet, migration, death, and mortality in the medieval and early modern period in London. For the Department of Biological Sciences, DeWitte has planned online courses for Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II. She also mentored graduate students as they applied for National Science Foundation dissertation grants.
Sarah Schneckloth, School of Visual Art and Design
Sara Schneckloth is based in the School of Visual Art and Design, but through the McCausland Fellowship, she made research connections throughout the College of Arts and Sciences. Her research centers on the intersection of biology, geology, and architecture as understood through the practice of drawing. She has mounted nine exhibitions, including solo exhibitions in New York and Chicago. Schenckloth is equally dedicated to her students, spending her time advising and mentoring students on top of studio class time. She also teaches a three-week summer drawing intensive.
Federica Clementi Schoeman, Department of English, Jewish Studies Program
During her time as a McCausland Fellow, Federica Clementi Schoeman completed two manuscripts: Out of America, a memoir of her own experiences as an immigrant to the United States; and Holocaust Mothers and Daughters (UPNE, 2013), a study of Holocaust memoirs, autobiographies, and dairies by Jewish women. Her coursework and research are tied through her personal experience and the courses she develops. For the Women and Gender Studies Program and the department of English, Clementi teaches a course on women writers. She has also completed a screenplay, Pour la vie – For Life. It is based on the life of a Holocaust survivor. Because of the in-depth research and writing that Clementi has done through the McCausland Fellowship, she has been able to speak at numerous conferences and publish many articles.
Adam M. Schor, Department of History
Before becoming a McCausland Fellow, Professor Schor published his first book, Theordoret’s People (University of California Press, 2011). With the McCausland Fellowship, Schor has been able to research his second historical monograph: a broad study of the ways in which the early Christian clergy organized itself in the second to fifth centuries under the leadership of bishops and claimed influence over the hitherto diffuse Christian community. In the classroom, he has developed a half-online, half-flipped classroom format for the European Civilization course. On campus, Schor formed the Jewish Faculty and Staff Council, which is now part of the Provost’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, to increase support for Jewish students at Carolina.
Blaine Griffen, School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, Department of Biological Sciences
Blaine Griffen’s National Science Foundation-supported research explores human effects on marine life and variation between individuals within populations. He developed the Marine Conservation Biology course and has been active in mentoring students and encouraging student research. Griffen has mentored five doctoral students and two graduate students, and 22 undergraduate students have conducted research in his lab. Griffen has also contributed to the larger academic community by providing over 100 education outreach presentations to K-12 classes in South Carolina and serving as the associate editor for the Journal of Animal Ecology since 2014.
Hunter H. Gardner, Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures
Hunter Gardner has been able to expand her research because of the McCausland Fellowship. She increased her study of plague narratives and of Greco-Roman antiquity in film and popular culture. She also co-authored Odyssean Identities in Modern Cultures (Ohio State University Press, 2014), an edited volume on the reception of the Odysseus myth in the 20th century. She brought the themes from her research into the classroom and developed a new course on plague narratives that allowed students to explore everything from Boccaccio’s Decameron to the modern-day AMC show The Walking Dead. Gardner has mentored McNair Scholars and Magellan Scholars and organized the Classics Day outreach program at the University of South Carolina.
Catherine Keyser, Department of English Language and Literature
Catherine Keyser used her time as a McCausland Fellow to explore food studies and race, which inspired her current book project. The increase in her research has drawn the attention of scholars in her field, and Keyser has been invited to present her research at several major conferences. In the classroom, Keyser furthered her study of American literature by developing courses such as the graduate seminar Vehicles of Modernity, which focuses on transportation technology in modern American literature. She has directed four doctoral dissertations and served on several master of fine arts thesis committees.
Joseph A. November, Department of History
Joseph November’s research takes place at the nexus of technology and history. The McCausland Fellowship has allowed him to begin research for two books: first, a story of volunteers who used their computers to transform the relationship between science and the public; and second, a biography of Robert Ledley, inventor of the whole-body CT scanner. He has presented this research at invited talks. In the classroom, November has developed a Video Games and History course that garnered national attention.