April 27, 2020

Dear Spelman Community,

I am honored to announce the inaugural recipients of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Rockefeller Foundation Distinguished Research/ Creative Scholars award: Abayomi Ola, Ph.D., associate professor of art history, Division of Arts; Tiffany Oliver, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Shay Welch, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy and religious studies, Division of Humanities; and Erica Williams, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of anthropology and sociology, Division of Social Sciences and Education.

Our first cohort of award winners were selected for their innovative scholarship and their dedication to exploring new ideas and creative practices. It’s our hope that this award allows them to develop stellar research that will help them enrich their teaching at Spelman and advance the development of new knowledge.

Faculty are the heart of a liberal arts education. At historically Black colleges and universities, heavy teaching loads often get in the way of professional development, time for research and/or creative production. Yet, time for these activities not only keeps faculty current in their fields, but provides undergraduate research opportunities for our students. This award inspires the growth of these talented faculty members with a $10,000 stipend and fewer teaching responsibilities, in order to focus on writing and research projects.

You may recall that in November, we notified the community that Spelman was the recipient of a $1 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and The Rockefeller Foundation to support faculty development. A significant portion of these resources were designated for faculty plans to grow curriculum in areas of emerging importance, and nurture their trajectories as leaders on campus and in their respective fields.

Each of these faculty members have made significant contributions to Spelman's academic community and to their own disciplines with important research that they will be able to elevate.

Drs. Ola, Oliver, Welch and Williams, we salute you!

Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.
President, Spelman College


Office of the President
Phone: 404-270-5001

Fax: 404-270-5010

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