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College of Arts and Science announces newest cohort of Dean’s Faculty Fellows

Posted by on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 in News Story.

The College of Arts and Science has announced the recipients of the 2021-2023 Dean’s Faculty Fellowships. Seven junior faculty members from diverse areas of expertise were recognized by the dean for their extraordinary promise in their respective fields. They join the existing group three faculty members who were awarded 2020-2022 Dean’s Faculty Fellowships in August 2020.

The fellowship, which welcomed its first cohort in 2019, represents the college’s investment in untenured faculty across the College of Arts & Science through support of their research, scholarship, and creative expression during their probationary period. Recipients of the Dean’s Faculty Fellowship hold the title for two years and receive $15,000 annually to support their research.

“These talented faculty are trailblazers in their fields and represent an exciting range of subjects, perspectives, and backgrounds,” said John Geer, the Ginny and Conner Searcy Dean of the College of Arts and Science. “We’re proud to support their innovative work at this early stage in their careers and help them make a profound impact on their respective fields and on the world. And I’m grateful to Bonnie Dow, Dean of Academic Affairs, for leading this important effort for the college.”

Through a highly competitive process, candidates for the fellowship were recommended by their department chair or program director. Their nominations were anchored by their records of scholarly work and creative accomplishments during their time at Vanderbilt. The College of Arts and Science Dean’s Office reviewed the candidates and selected seven for the 2021-23 cohort. Several generous donors also endowed fellowships in specific departments to show support for their work.

The areas of research represented by the fellows span the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. From Ann Tate’s study of the temporal and evolutionary dynamics of host-microbe interactions and how they shape the immune system, to Bradley Smith’s questions about military aid at the intersection of international conflict and international cooperation, to Raisa Rexer’s work on the intersection of the visual arts and literature and the early history of photography in France—the fellows represent the innovative faculty research underway in the College of Arts and Science that is changing the way we understand our world.

The 2021-2023 Dean’s Faculty Fellows are:

  • Lars Plate, Cornelius Vanderbilt Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Chemistry and Biological Sciences
  • Raisa Rexer, Dean’s Faculty Fellow in French
  • Tasha Rijke-Epstein, Dean’s Faculty Fellow in History
  • Larry Rolen, Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Math
  • Akshya Saxena, Dean’s Faculty Fellow in English
  • Simone Stirner, Max Kade Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Contemporary German Studies
  • Ann Tate, Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Biological Sciences

In addition, last fall three new Dean’s Faculty Fellows were appointed to the 2020-2022 cohort:

  • Christy Erving, Steinert Family Dean’s Faculty Fellow for the Study of Race, Racial Justice, or Social Justice in Sociology
  • Eunji Kim, Carter Family Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Political Science
  • Bradley Smith, Cornelius Vanderbilt Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Political Science

a photo grid showing portraits of the 2021 DFF recipients

a photo grid showing portraits of all recipients of the 2020 fellowship

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