External Honors and Awards

Shoemaker wins fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Studies, National Humanities Center

Religious studies professor Stephen Shoemaker was recently awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at the National Humanities Center and membership in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University. He was also awarded a senior fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at the Central European University in Budapest, but has declined that honor in order to spend the fall at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the spring at the National Humanities Center. He is the first University of Oregon faculty member to hold a fellowship at the National Humanities Center.

Shoemaker teaches courses on the Christian traditions. His primary interests lie in the ancient and early medieval Christian traditions, and more specifically in early Byzantine and Near Eastern Christianity. His research focuses on early devotion to the Virgin Mary, Christian apocryphal literature, and the relations between Near Eastern Christianity and formative Islam.

His fellowships will allow him to take a sabbatical leave for two terms in order to write a book on the origins of Christian devotion to the Virgin Mary, one that he is hoping will reach a broad audience. The book will be the first historical study of devotion to Mary in early Christianity, one that seeks to transcend the fault lines in the historic debates between Protestants and Catholics that earlier studies of her veneration have followed.

“In addition to affording me the time to complete this project, the opportunity to visit these two research centers will allow me to interact with the highly accomplished scholars that these institutions bring together. It’s a wonderful opportunity for exchanging ideas, and for developing new ones. Princeton, Duke, and the University of North Carolina all have significant concentrations of scholars working on early Christianity.”

Shoemaker is the author of The Death of a Prophet: The End of Muhammad’s Life and the Beginnings of Islam, a study of the “historical Muhammad” that focuses on traditions about the end of his life.

National Science Foundation Career Awards

The Career Award is the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty members. The NSF grants successful applicants a minimum of $400,000 for exemplifying the role of the “teacher-scholar,” demonstrating both outstanding research and innovative approaches to education. This past year, three UO faculty members were recipients of NSF Career Awards. For more information on these and other awards, go to uoresearch.uoregon.edu.

Jessica Green Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

University of Oregon biologist Jessica Green was named a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow, selected because of her prior achievement and exceptional promise. Green is codirector of the Biology and the Built Environment Center, a national research center funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Guggenheim Fellowship allows Green to work at the Ecole Polytechnique in France on two closely related efforts: the development of microbial community assembly theory for urban environments and the production of a graphic novel, Cities Unseen, about microbes in the built environment.

Developing New Treatments for STH Infections

Thanks to a Grand Challenges Explorations Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Janis Weeks, a member of the Department of Biology, the Institute of Neuroscience, and the African Studies Program, will pursue a global health and development research project titled “Neurophysiology-Based Platform for STH Drug Discovery.” Grand Challenges Explorations funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that develop innovative approaches to persistent global health and development challenges. For more information on this and other awards, go to uoresearch.uoregon.edu.

$9 Million Grant Funds Drug Abuse Prevention Center

Phil Fisher, UO psychology professor and Prevention Science Institute member, and Patricia Chamberlain of the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC) will lead the newly launched Translational Drug Abuse Prevention Center, made possible by a $9 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. OSLC is a nonprofit, collaborative, multidisciplinary research center with a long history of collaboration with UO scientists. The grant is one of the largest ever received by the organization. The project includes ten other scientists from OSLC and its partner organizations. Researchers will collaborate to create a national resource for cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research with studies spanning from basic science to implementation research in U.S. child welfare systems.