Fulbright College Awards 2021 Summer Stipends in Support of Humanities Research

Clockwise from top left: Mengfei Guan, Fernando Riva, Bret Schulte and Valandra.
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Clockwise from top left: Mengfei Guan, Fernando Riva, Bret Schulte and Valandra.

Four talented and dedicated humanities scholars in the  Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences recently competed for and earned 2021 Summer Research Stipends to support their research and publication efforts.

Each awardee will receive $5,000 this summer, and the awardees include Mengfei Guan, Fernando Riva, Bret Schulte and Valandra. 

About the 2021 Summer Research Stipend awardees and their projects: 

Mengfei Guan, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, is researching COVID-19 message fatigue and its effects on health beliefs and behaviors. This project will advance theory development and expand the understanding of unintended effects of overexposure to health messages in a media-saturated society; extend the existing research that focuses on enhancing message effectiveness, promoting behavioral change, and identifying obstacles to achieving intended persuasive effects; and has broader practical implications for public health promotion, helping health practitioners to improve future message design. 

Fernando Riva, assistant professor in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, is working on his second book project, entitled Books of Secret Wisdom. The Development of Magic in the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages (Aragón and Castile, 1106-1434). This book, currently under contract with the University of Toronto Press, will analyze the process of absorption and assimilation of the concept of magic and its relationship to political power in the Iberian Peninsula from the beginning of the 12th century until the first third of the 14th century.   

Bret Schulte, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, is working on the manuscript for Flanagan: The Untold Tale of the World's Greatest Orphanage and America's Last Celebrity Priest. This book won the 2020 manuscript contest at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference and will be published by the University of North Texas Press. It aims to shed light on Father Edward Flanagan and his creation of a village for orphaned boys that strove toward a utopian ideal, even as it was beset by complicated social, racial, religious and economic forces. 

Valandra, associate professor in the School of Social Work and the African and African American Studies Program, is researching the legacy of Black place-making in Washington County, Arkansas in conjunction with the Washington County Community Remembrance (WCCR) historical marker project. This ethnographic research project includes locating Black residents with long term ties to Fayetteville to learn about and document the culture of Black place-making, to document shared and individual experiences of agency, resilience, and the ongoing remaking of place needed to sustain and maintain their longevity in socio-spatial relations that can both embrace and oppress Black bodies.  


Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, liwag@uark.edu


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