Agnes Scott College Celebrates Faculty Accolades

The Office of Sponsored Programs recently shared a collection of good news regarding grants, awards, and proposals won by faculty and offices in the division of Academic Affairs.  Many thanks to Emily Stone `95, director of sponsored programs, for collecting all these exciting updates!  First, Liz Bagley, director of library services, and her staff have been busy submitting proposals in the last few months, and were awarded a CARES Act Emergency Operating Grant in the amount of $10,000 from Georgia Humanities. This award will allow the library to continue to provide curricular, instructional, and research support in its characteristic dynamic manner during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to serve all students equitably and flexibly. This commitment will require effort on the part of the staff, as well as an investment in additional e-resources and professional development. 


Laquita Blockson, founding faculty director of social innovation and associate professor of business management, received a $29,662 VentureWell Faculty Grant in recognition of her commitment to incorporating sustainability and environmental responsibility into her work. This funding will support graduate-level Social Innovation Program by providing new opportunities for prototyping, access to campus and community organization partners, and streamlined course structures. VentureWell’s Faculty Grants program helps faculty and staff at institutions across the country develop or sustain courses and programs that encourage STEM innovation. Blockson was one of thirteen grant recipients chosen through a competitive national review process.


Alan Koch, professor of mathematics, and his team, Lili Harvey, Doug Fantz, Stacey Dutton, Amy Lovell, Molly Embree, and LaShandra Owens, were awarded a $649,886 S-STEM grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The “Scholarships, Community, Mentoring, and Leadership Development to Support STEM Undergraduate Student Success” project is designed to remove identified barriers to STEM success through scholarships and high-impact practices. The project’s overarching goal is to address the special needs of STEM students with financial need, who often are also first-generation college students from underrepresented minorities. Most of this award will be scholarships for students. Persistence pays off- this was the third submission to this opportunity!

On top of their regular teaching and committee service, other faculty have been hard at work at proposals and research as well. Mona Tajali, assistant professor of international relations and women's studies, submitted her proposal, "The Women of Political Islam: Religion, Politics and Women’s Rights in Turkey, Iran, and Tunisia," to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) for an ACLS Fellowship. Reem Bailony, assistant professor of history, submitted her proposal, "Transnational Rebellion: The Syrian Revolt of 1925-1927," to the ACLS in the Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs competitive program.  Doug Falen, professor of anthropology, was one of our two NEH Summer Stipend proposers for 2019. His project is entitled, "Armenian Evangelicals in the Shadow of Genocide." He will conduct ethnographic research and writing about Christian denominations in the Republic of Armenia. The historic Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC) is the state religion and claims the vast majority of adherents in the country. However, new evangelical and charismatic churches are prominent in religious discourse, as they offer a striking alternative to the AAC and are feared by AAC leaders who worry about losing membership. Doug's research asks: How are new churches attracting members in the face of the AAC’S status as the symbol of national identity?  Finally, Yael Manes, associate professor of history, was our other candidate for the NEH Summer Stipend.  Her book, ""Life Before Vasari: Artist Biographies in the Italian Renaissance," recasts our understanding of Italian Renaissance artists and their social importance in Italy by examining biographies written about them between the 1450s and the 1550s. Manes examines the formation of artists’ identities in biographies written before Vasari’s first edition of Le vite. Vasari’s watershed work defined the genre of artist biographies in Early Modern Europe, and yet Le Vite, which continues to dominate our critical understanding, has also obscured a century’s worth of life-writing that looked differently at the emerging importance of artists in Renaissance Italy.