Two Faculty Members Receive Fellowship to Complete Research

March 18, 2011

Assistant Professors Rosamond S. King and Sophia N. Suarez have been awarded the Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, an award from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation that comes with a year's release time to focus on research.

Suarez has spent the bulk of her three years at the college setting up her physics lab. "I have also had to teach and write proposals and request funding for my research. All of this takes a lot of time," she says. "A year without teaching is much needed."

Suarez conducts research on materials that can be used in fuel cells — energy-storing devices somewhat similar to batteries. She plans to completely immerse herself in her research and has chosen a mentor at the U.S. Naval Academy. She intends to divide her time between her lab on campus and the Naval Academy and hopes to publish at least two journal articles about her research.

King, a professor in the English Department, focuses her research on analyzing sexuality in Caribbean literature. She plans to use the time off to complete a book she has been working on titled Island Bodies: Transgressive Caribbean Sexualities, which will explore transgender issues, women who use sex as a form of rebellion and the phenomenon of Caribbean men of color who date white women. "I want to examine how people in the Caribbean try to subvert their patriarchal structures," she says. She plans to travel to Curacao in June to look for self-published texts.

"I was extremely happy to find out I'd received the fellowship," she says. "During the semester I am totally engaged with my classes and students, which is wonderful, but it doesn't leave very much time for research. I look forward to being able to devote time to writing my book and then returning to Brooklyn College refreshed, ready to teach and a bit less stressed."

The fellowship is for junior faculty members who have completed at least three years in a tenure-track position. It is given to 20 professors across the country every year. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation, which gets some financial support for the program from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, gives the faculty member $30,000 toward their annual salary, and their college or university has to agree to pay the faculty member the difference. Each fellow also receives a $1,500 travel stipend.


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