University Librarian John Zenelis has announced the Fenwick Fellows for the 2007-08 academic year:
Halaevalu Vakalahi, associate professor in the Department of Social Work
Tony Samara and John G. Dale, assistant professors in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
Vakalahi’s study, “Pacific Islander Americans: Immigration and the Duality of Identity and Experiences,” will involve extensive review of journal articles, books, films and videos related to the experiences of Pacific Islander Americans as immigrants to the United States, particularly in relation to social, political, educational and economic-based factors that impact health, well-being and social functioning.
Interviews will be conducted with Pacific Islander families regarding their experiences as immigrants. Vakalahi expects she will be able to contribute to the extremely limited literature available on this subject. She also plans to submit the results of the project for a presentation at a professional conference and as an article to a peer-reviewed journal. The project will serve as a basis for future research and grant activities focusing specifically on Pacific Islander Americans and developing culturally relevant and appropriate responses to their needs.
In their joint proposal, “Transnational Justice and Legal Discourse in the Making of Extraordinary Rendition,” Samara and Dale will focus on addressing the question of human rights, specifically targeting the many ethical and legal questions that have arisen in connection with national security policies embraced since Sept. 11, 2001.
As a result of this fellowship, Samara and Dale will be organizing a Special Thematic Session on “States, Human Rights and Global Security after 9/11” for the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. In addition, they plan to write an article based on their research for a special issue of the Journal of Qualitative Sociology. Finally, they intend to use the materials they develop with the help of the fellowship toward an application for “Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum,” a grant sponsored by Mason.
The Fenwick Fellowship is awarded annually to Mason faculty members to pursue a research project that uses and enhances the University Libraries’ resources while advancing knowledge in their field. The fellowship provides each fellow with a furnished office in Fenwick Library and an award of $2,000 to support the research project. In the fall or spring of the following academic year, the Libraries sponsor a lecture in which the fellow presents the results of his or her work to the university community.
The two Fenwick Fellowships for 2007-08 were recommended by the Faculty Senate Budget and Resources Committee and librarians representing the Council of Librarians.