6 A&L doctoral students chosen by NDIAS for Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Class

Author: J'Nese Williams

The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) has selected six Notre Dame Ph.D. students for its second year of the Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Program. After a rigorous application and interview process, these students were selected on the basis of their research profile, commitment to interdisciplinary engagement and community participation, and potential for contributing insights to the NDIAS research theme for the 2022-2023 academic term, The Public.

“These six doctoral students impressed our committee this year with their exceptional research promise and their clear commitment to building an inclusive research community,” said Meghan Sullivan, director of the NDIAS and the Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy. “We are thrilled to welcome them alongside our faculty fellows next year and to sponsor work that will give us crucial insight on the nature of public life.” 

The 2022-2023 Distinguished Graduate Fellows are:

  • Jennifer Dudley, Department of Sociology, “The Cultural Capital of Political Incivility: Do Jerks Join Congress or Does Joining Congress Turn People Into Jerks?”
  • Jacob Kildoo, Department of Theology, "The Qur'an's Epistemology: A Scriptural Approach to Human Knowledge"
  • Arpit Kumar, Department of English, "Sociability and British Imperialism in Literature and Culture of the Long Eighteenth Century"
  • Eileen Morgan, Medieval Institute, “Structuring Nature: Peacocks, Food, and the History of Science, 1250-1550”
  • Bethany Wentz, Department of Psychology, “Impact of Emotional Security on Youth Engagement in Sectarian Antisocial Behavior and Youth Participation in Prosocial Behavior”
  • Greg Wurm, Department of Sociology, “Depolarization Nation: Why and How Americans Bridge Political Differences”

The graduate fellows will spend the year making progress on their dissertation projects, all of which illuminate some aspect of public life. As part of an interdisciplinary cohort, the graduate fellows will gain exposure to the ways that other disciplines approach questions that are central to their own research. 

“The complex problems facing humanity today require integration of perspectives from multiple disciplines to find solutions, and the Distinguished Graduate Fellowship program aims to increase the interdisciplinary literacy of top Notre Dame graduate students and give them the opportunity to consider how they might pursue interdisciplinary work in their own careers,” Sullivan said.

Graduate fellows will receive financial support for their dissertation research in the form of a $30,000 stipend and a $1,000 research fund. In joining the larger NDIAS community, graduate fellows will take part in a roster of activities designed to facilitate their scholarly and professional development. NDIAS programming includes annual presentation and writing retreats, weekly research seminars, a conference, and public events, which have included a theatrical performance, book talks, and a film series based on the yearly research theme. Graduate fellows also take part in a weekly graduate seminar, which allows them to workshop their own research in a supportive community and take part in workshops and training to prepare them for the job market and academic careers.

The Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Program is made possible with support from Michael Wilsey (’65), who helped fund the pilot program for Ph.D. students in the College of Arts and Letters.

The NDIAS convenes an interdisciplinary group of faculty fellows, top doctoral candidates, and undergraduate scholars to study questions that require a joint focus, benefit from sustained research and discussion, and advance our understanding on core issues that affect our ability to lead valuable, meaningful lives. To learn more, visit ndias.nd.edu.

Originally published by J'Nese Williams at ndias.nd.edu on May 09, 2022.