Michigan Society of Fellows names latest cohort of new members


The Michigan Society of Fellows has selected four new members from more than 900 applications to serve three-year appointments as postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors, beginning this fall.

The fellows were chosen for the importance and quality of their scholarship and for their interest in interdisciplinary work.

During their tenure at the University of Michigan they will teach selected courses in their affiliated departments and continue their scholarly research.

The new fellows, with their affiliated department at U-M, their degree-granting institution, and their research project are:

  • Roberto Márquez — Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, LSA; University of Chicago; Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Márquez is an evolutionary biologist whose research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that drive the origin of biological diversity.
  • Vyta Pivo — A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; George Washington University; “The Gospel of Concrete: American Infrastructure and Global Power”; Visual Culture of Climate Change. Pivo studies the intersecting histories of architecture, mineral extraction and capitalism.
  • Jessica Ruffin — Department of Film, Television, and Media, LSA; University of California, Berkeley; A World Divided: Schopenhauer, Aesthetics, and Cinematic Experience; “The Will-to-Breathe.”Ruffin is completing her Ph.D. at UC, Berkeley in film and media, with designated emphasis in critical theory.
  • Jeff Sheng, School of Information; Stanford University; Social Movements and the Internet. Sheng is a sociologist who focuses on the role that online technologies have on interpersonal interactions, particularly how social media and online connectivity shape social movements, culture, organizations and individual outcomes.

Fellows appointed in previous years who will continue as members of the Society of Fellows are: Ania Aizman, slavic languages and literatures; Shane DuBay, ecology and evolutionary biology; Joseph Feldblum, anthropology; Blake Gutt, romance languages and literatures; Mitchell Newberry, complex systems; Carlos Peredo, earth and environmental sciences; Heath Pearson, Afroamerican and African studies; Merel van’t Hoff, astronomy; Juan Ospina Velásquez, music; Aaron Blanchard, biomedical engineering; Amy Clark, English language and literature; Ben Green, public policy; Ellen Quarles, molecular, cellular and developmental biology; Michaela Rife, history of art.

The Michigan Society of Fellows was founded in 1970 with grants from the Ford Foundation and Horace H. and Mary Rackham Funds. It provides financial and intellectual support to individuals selected for professional promise and interdisciplinary interests.

Competition for the fellowships is open to eligible candidates in the physical and life sciences, engineering, social sciences, education, the humanities and the arts.


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