The annual Braun Fellowship Award was awarded to two SVSU English professors, Dr. Sherrin Frances and Dr. Natalia Knoblock.
The Braun Fellowship, named for Ted and Ruth Braun, is awarded through the Saginaw County Community Foundation, and has been given annually to two fulltime staff members since its establishment in 2005.
The Braun Fellowship provides a total grant of $357,000, broken into three yearly grants of $12500, to support the awardees research on a field of their choosing.
Applicants must submit a six page proposal, as well as other pieces of information in mid-September, with award announcements being made in December.
The application process was described by Frances, a professor of English.
“It’s a comprehensive application that asks for details about the specific research being proposed,” she said. “It also wants applicants to contextualize their research in terms of our campus community, our local community, and our professional field.”
Frances was able to provide some insight as to what her research is to cover.
“I’ll focus on libraries built with book collections literally pulled from the trash and exploring how ‘trash libraries’ can impact a community’s perception of libraries and how they might impact literacy rates within certain demographics.” she said.
Dr. Frances also elaborated on the significance of her particular field of research.
“There is a lot of scholarship about waste and trash, a lot of scholarship about the material culture of books, and a lot of research regarding public literacy” Frances said. ”But not a whole lot about the intersection among the three fields.”
At the end of the three-year fellowship period, recipients are expected to produce either a professional or academic work for publication or presentation showcasing their research.
Grant funds may be applied to many aspects of a recipient’s potential research, including equipment, travel, and staff support. Frances noted how the grants will affect her research and allow her to overcome the obstacles posed by current world affairs.
“Two of the libraries I’m researching are located in Turkey and Columbia Frances said. “At the time the proposal was due, and now for different reasons, international travel to these countries is complicated. So, the most significant impact of the fellowship is to provide funding to support researchers already in these countries and to facilitate our collaboration on a scholarly project.”