Three teacher-scholars have been named Lilly Fellows in Humanities and the Arts and will begin two-year terms on the Valparaiso University faculty in the fall.

Dr. Joe Creech, Director of the Lilly Fellows Program, announced that Katherine Calloway, English, Robert Elder, history, and Charles Strauss, history, have been selected for the program designed to help prepare teachers for church-related institutions of higher education.

During their two-year residencies at Valparaiso, each Lilly Fellow will teach in the College of Arts and Sciences and Christ College, participate in a weekly colloquium on Christianity and the academic vocation and conduct scholarly or creative research.

The Valparaiso-based national Lilly Fellows Program began in 1991 and provides postdoctoral fellowships for teacher-scholars who seek to enrich their intellectual and spiritual lives while preparing for leadership roles in church-related higher education. The Lilly Fellows Program also oversees a network of 96 colleges and universities which are members of the Lilly Fellows Program National Network, which is headquartered at Valparaiso University. The Lilly Fellows Program also sponsors a national Graduate Fellows Program that currently supports 47 Lilly Graduate Fellows, which is also headquartered at Valparaiso University.

Katherine Calloway received her BA in University Scholars and MA in English from Baylor University, and her PhD in English from the University of British Columbia in 2010. She is interested in the interaction between poetry and theology in seventeenth-century England and particularly in the poetry of John Milton. Her dissertation, “God’s Scientists: the Renovation of Natural Theology in England, 1653-1692,” demonstrates how scientists and philosophers dealt with the challenges to Christian faith posed by the Scientific Revolution. Currently she is investigating the ways these natural theologians incorporated (or pointedly did not incorporate) poetry into their projects, as well as studying “Paradise Lost” as an example of narrative, or “poesy,” that can function as natural theology.

Robert Elder received his BA summa cum laude in history and English from Clemson University, where he also received his MA. He expects to receive his PhD in history from Emory University in May 2011. His doctoral dissertation, “Southern Saints and Sacred Honor: Evangelicalism, Honor, Community, and the Self in South Carolina and Georgia, 1784-1860,” examines the influence of honor culture on the rise of evangelical religion in the American South in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His interests center on American cultural and religious history, including the American South, evangelicalism, slavery, gender, violence, and the influence of the sacred in historical experience.

Charles Strauss received his BA in History and Peace and Conflict Studies at the College of the Holy Cross. He received graduate degrees in history at the University of Cape Town and the University of Notre Dame and expects to receive his PhD in history at Notre Dame in 2011. Strauss is interested in transnational approaches to the study of U.S. history. His undergraduate thesis analyzed the impact of the South African War on Irish-American nationalism. His doctoral dissertation focuses on the role of Catholic and Protestant missionaries in debates on U.S.-Latin American policy during the Cold War. Strauss looks forward to revising his dissertation into a book and continuing to explore U.S. history within international contexts, particularly in regard to religion and politics, in his research and teaching.

The new postdoc fellows will be actively engaged in teaching in Christ College and the College of Arts and Sciences. Each will also meet regularly with a senior mentor—a faculty member at Valparaiso University. For the next two years, Katherine Calloway will be mentored by Sara Danger, Assistant Professor of English; Bob Elder will be mentored by Alan Bloom, Associate Professor of History; and Charles Strauss will be mentored by Mel Piehl, Dean of Christ College and Professor of Humanities and History.

The three teacher-scholars form the twentieth cohort to join Valparaiso’s faculty. Previous Lilly Fellows are now teaching at colleges and universities throughout the country.

Entering their second year as Lilly Fellows at Valparaiso are Jennifer Miller, English and Mina Suk, Political Theory.

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