2020 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader Awards

Woodrow Wilson Announces 2020 Recipients Of Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader Awards

May 28, 2020

FOR RELEASE: May 28, 2020
CONTACT:  Frances Hannan | Director of Multimedia Projects | 201-587-4755

Support For Excellent, Early-Career Professors Committed To Campus Service, Inclusivity

PRINCETON, NJ (May 28, 2020)—The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation today announced the 10 recipients of the Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader (MEFL) Awards for 2020. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MEFL Awards support junior faculty whose research focuses on contemporary American history, politics, culture, and society, and who are committed to the creation of an inclusive campus community for underrepresented students and scholars.

The outstanding early-career professors among this year’s class teach at a range of institutions, from large private research universities to community colleges and public liberal arts institutions. The 2020 MEFL Award recipients are Allyson Brantley (University of La Verne), Alex E. Chávez (University of Notre Dame), Dalal Katsiaficas (University of Illinois at Chicago), Sarah McNamara (Texas A&M University), Dana Olwan (Syracuse University), Victoria Reyes (University of California, Riverside), Sonia Rodriguez (LaGuardia Community College), Piper Sledge (Bryn Mawr College), Mairead Sullivan (Loyola Marymount University), and Kathryne Young (University of Massachusetts, Amherst). (See the full list of Fellows, departments, and research below.)

Each recipient of the MEFL Award receives a 12-month stipend of $17,500 while working toward tenure. The award seeks to free the time of junior faculty on their way to tenure—including those from underrepresented groups and others committed to eradicating disparities in their fields—so that they can both engage in and build support for systems, networks, and affinity groups that make their fields and campuses more inclusive.

Established in 2015 as the Malkiel Scholars Award, the program was extended and renamed in late 2019. It has now supported nearly 50 junior faculty who represent the next generation of leaders and scholars in the humanities and social sciences, poised to play a significant role in shaping American higher education.

For more information on the Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader Awards program, visit https://woodrow.org/fellowships/facultyleaders/.


Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders, 2020

Allyson Brantley • University of La Verne, history
“Givin’ Up This Beer: The Coors Boycott and the Remaking of Consumer and Corporate Activism in Postwar America” 

Alex E. Chávez • University of Notre Dame, anthropology
Audible City: Urban Cultural History, Latina/o/x Chicago, and the Sonic Commons 

Dalal Katsiaficas • University of Illinois at Chicago, educational psychology
Hyphenated Selves of Undocumented Latinx Students under the Trump Administration: Exploring Stereotypes and Resistance through Pluralistic Narratives 

Sarah McNamara • Texas A&M University, history
From Picket Lines to Picket Fences: Latinas and the Remaking of the Jim Crow South, 1930 – 1963 

Dana Olwan • Syracuse University, women’s and gender studies
Mediated Choices: Khulu’ and the Right to Marriage and Divorce in the Arab World

Victoria Reyes • University of California, Riverside, sociology
Reputation and Empire: How Authors and Audiences Racialize and Gender Place 

Sonia Rodriguez • LaGuardia Community College, literature
Conocimiento Narratives: Challenging Oppressive Epistemologies through Healing in Latinx Children’s and Young Adult Literature 

Piper Sledge • Bryn Mawr College, sociology
Bodies Unbound: Gender-Specific Cancer and Social Intelligibility 

Mairead Sullivan • Loyola Marymount University, women’s and gender studies
One in Ten: The Racial and Sexual Politics of HSV 

Kathryne Young • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, sociology
Legal Consciousness and Cultural Capital 

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