URI professors win distinguished fellowships
KINGSTON, R.I. -- June 9, 2000 -- Two faculty members of the University
of Rhode Island's College of Arts and Sciences have won prestigious fellowships.
The fellowships will provide support for two assistant professors to
enhance their scholarship and teaching. The first will help a history professor
write a book about the role religion had in forming a national identity
from 1840 to 1940. The other fellowship will help a journalism professor
enhance his teaching skills in writing and reporting.
"We have a number of award-winning scholars and teachers in the
humanities at the University of Rhode Island, and I am pleased to see these
two promising young professors receive support and recognition through these
prestigious fellowships. Our students will benefit considerably when these
talented professors disseminate the results of their work in the courses
they teach," said Dr. Winifred Brownell, dean of the College of Arts
Protestantism played a critical role in defining national identity during
this country's early history and the religious right appears to have an
influence on contemporary politics. During the 150-year or so gap between
antebellum and present day, however, historians tend to relegate religion
to the private or social sphere or dismiss it as a distraction to more political
forms of activism.
That all could change. Dr. Evelyn Sterne of Newport, URI assistant
professor of history, argues that during those 100 years of mass immigration,
religion was central to the debate over national identity. Funded by a $34,000
highly competitive postdoctoral fellowship from the Institute for the Advanced
Study of Religion at Yale University, Sterne will expand her dissertation
on immigration, religion, class and politics in Providence, Rhode Island
and show that Catholic politics in Providence intersected with a nationwide
movement to reshape Americanism in a way that reflected Catholic values
This summer, Sterne will examine records of selected local parishes in
Providence. She will also research records at the Catholic University archives
in Washington, D. C. to place Providence in the context of the larger Catholic
world. Sterne received a Faculty Development Grant from the URI Council
for Research to pay for the trip to the nation's capital.
The URI historian will then devote the next 12 months to incorporating
her research and reshaping her dissertation from a local study into a book
with broad national implications.
Anthony Fargo of Kingston, assistant professor of journalism,
will get a chance to hone his skills when he attends the weeklong Freedom
Forum Teaching Fellows Workshop for beginning journalism teachers in July
at Indiana University. Fargo was one of 15 Fellows selected by the Freedom
Fargo expects to earn his Ph.D. in mass communication from the University
of Florida, Gainesville this August.
The Freedom Forum has funded a summer workshop at Indiana University
for beginning teachers of writing and reporting for the last two decades.
The content of the workshop offers a solid foundation in the fundamentals
of effective teaching as well as responding to the needs and wants of new
Fargo has just concluded his first year of teaching media writing, First
Amendment issues, and literary journalism courses at URI.
Fargo was a working journalist from 1980 to 1993.
URI's Journalism Department has a rich heritage with the Freedom Forum,
having hosted, in 1998-99, a Freedom Forum Visiting Professional in Residence.
For Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116