Naminata Diabate, associate professor of comparative literature, has been awarded the 2020 Robert and Helen Appel Fellowship for Humanists and Social Scientists.
The Appel fellowships have recognized faculty excellence since 1995, giving each recipient a semester’s study leave at full salary to write, develop new courses, conduct research or otherwise enrich their teaching and scholarship.
“Our instructors have shown extraordinary dedication and leadership this year, teaching, advising and inspiring our students despite unprecedented challenges,” said Ray Jayawardhana, the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences. “This award honors exemplary teachers and advisors for making a difference to our students when it matters most. We are grateful for the forethought of the Appel family in establishing an award to support our faculty and emphasize the importance of advising and teaching.”
Diabate is a scholar of sexuality, race, biopolitics and postcoloniality. Her research explores African, African American, Caribbean and Afro-Hispanic literatures, cultures, cinema and new media. Her current teaching and research interests focus on forms of gendered, sexual, and racialized agency in cultural products such as oral tradition, literary fiction, film and social media. She is known for outstanding scholarship and for the exceptional teaching and guidance she provides students.
The College of Arts and Sciences has also honored the following graduate students:
• The Stephen and Margery Russell Distinguished Teaching Awards went to graduate students Elizabeth Lombardi, ecology and evolutionary biology; Renee Sifri, chemistry and chemical biology; and Brianna Zgurich, philosophy.
• The Deanne Gebell Gitner ’66 and Family Annual Prize for Teaching Assistants went to graduate students Caitlyn Finton, psychology; Kyle Howard, government; Ana Sandu, math; Bojan Srbinovski, English; and Jonathan Warner, classics.
• The Advancement of College of Arts and Sciences Women Faculty award went to graduate student Grace Greiner, English.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the College of Arts & Sciences followed the university’s decision to suspend other faculty awards this year, but plans to recognize faculty in the coming year.