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The scholarship of CLASS faculty recognized with major awards

Major grant-making institutions and research-intensive universities have recognized the scholarship of several faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. These major awards and honors will allow our faculty to broaden their research and share their knowledge with new audiences.

Fulbright Foundation

2013 – 2014 U.S. Fulbright Scholar Grant

Dr. Anadeli Bencomo

Dr. Anadeli Bencomo, associate professor of Latin American Literature and chair of the Hispanic Studies Department.

She will study and teach for one year in Guadalajara, Mexico Guadalajara, one of the epicenters of narco-violence since the late 1980s. Her research has found that Mexico is portrayed by national and international journalists as a country devastated by drug trafficking, organized crime and corruption of elected and law enforcement officials. She will study journalistic and literary writings published in the Mexican Chronicle and other primary news sources to separate urban legend from fact.

2013 – 2014 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair

Dr. Cedric Tolliver

Dr. Cedric Tolliver, assistant professor of English

His research project considers African diasporic intellectuals who traveled across geographical and ideological boundaries as they sought to define the meaning of freedom in the wake of World War II.

2013 – 2014 Fulbright German Studies Seminar

Dr. Susan Scarrow

Dr. Susan Scarrow, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political

Professor Susan Scarrow was recently awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to attend the 2013 Fulbright German Studies Seminar in Berlin, Germany.  Participants in this seminar discuss recent changes in German political and cultural life, and have opportunities to engage in substantive dialogue with political, academic, scientific, and cultural leaders.  In Fall 2013 Professor Scarrow will teach a course on German Politics as the University of Houston that will draw on what she learns at the Fulbright Seminar.  This class will use the German national elections of September 2013 as a tool for understanding Germany’s political and economic system and social conflicts.   Professor Scarrow is an expert on European political parties and elections who sits on the editorial boards of the journals German Politics and German Politics and Society.

2013 Fulbright Greece Summer Classics Seminar

Dr. Sarah Costello

Dr. Sarah Kielt Costello, Instructional Assistant Professor, Art History

Dr. Costello was awarded a fellowship for the 2013 Greece Summer Classics Seminar by the Fulbright Foundation in Greece. She will participate in an intensive travel and study program designed to familiarize the participants with Greece from antiquity through the modern period, and to develop materials for teaching. Dr. Costello will integrate the results of the summer seminar into her classes on Bronze Age and Classical art.

National Endowment for the Arts

2013 Spring Art Works Grant

Claudia Schmuckli - Director of Blaffer Art Museum

Photo: Jenny Antill,
Paper City

Claudia Schmuckli, director of the Blaffer Art Museum

The Blaffer Art Museum was awarded $50,000 to support projects by contemporary artists and related public programming to complement the exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art. Artists such as Michael Rakowitz, Mary Ellen Carroll, Theaster Gates, Tom Marioni and others will present projects around the exhibition Feast, which addresses the contemporary art practice of the artist -orchestrated meal.

Houston Arts Alliance

2013 Established Artists Awards

Dr. Alexander Parsons

Alexander Parsons, associate professor of Creative Writing in the Department of English

Alexander Parsons’ first novel Leaving Disneyland was published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press after winning the 2001 A.W.P. Series Award for the Novel. His second novel, In the Shadows of the Sun, was published by Nan A. Talese Books and was chosen a 2005 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.

Dr. Stephan Hillerbrand


Stephan Hillerbrand, associate professor of Photography and co-owner of the Hillerbrand+Magasamen design studio

Hillerbrand+Magsamen are a collaborative husband and wife visual artist team made up of Stephan Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen. Based in Houston, Texas their work draws upon the rich Fluxus practice of incorporating humor, performance, video art and everyday objects. Expanding their personal family life into a contemporary art conversation about family dynamics, suburban life and American consumer excess which they call “suburban fluxus”.

White House Appointment

2013 Council of Economic Advisers

Dr. Chinhui Juhn

Chinhui Juhn, professor of Economics.

Chinhui Juhn is a senior economist specializing in labor policy as a Council staff member. She took a leave of absence for the 2013-2013 academic year to work in the federal executive branch.

Visiting Scholar Awards

2013 Killam Visiting Scholar Award at University of Calgary

Dr.Matthew Dirst

Matthew Dirst, associate professor of Musicology and director of Collegium Musicum

Dr. Dirst will spend four months as a distinguished scholar in the Department of Music making significant contributions to the academic life of the University of Calgary through his research and teaching.

2013-2014 Computational Social Science Fellowship at Northeastern University and Harvard University

Dr.Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy, assistant professor of political science

Dr. Kennedy will be taking a visiting research fellowship in computational social science for the 2013-2014 academic year. The fellowship is jointly sponsored by Northeastern University and Harvard University's Program on Networked Governance. While there, he will be continuing his research on the application of machine learning techniques for political forecasting among other projects.