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2013-2014 Bilinski Fellows

Bennion headshots

Anna Bennion is a doctoral candidate in the English department here at USC.  She is originally from the state of Washington and loves this chance to study and live in South Carolina. Anna has long been a lover of literature, and her graduate studies have focused her on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novels. She has presented papers on gothic literature, Jane Austen, and Romantic-era prose. She is also interested in film adaptation and has published a paper on literature and film pedagogy.
Dissertation Abstract


Eastman headshot

Jennifer Karash-Eastman is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature. Her academic formation is in contemporary transnational literature with a focus on Latin American and the Caribbean, as well as contemporary African American and migrant writing in the United States. In addition to an interdisciplinary doctorate degree, Jennifer is also completing a graduate certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies.
Dissertation Abstract


Keller Headshot

Sandra Keller is a Ph.D. candidate in the Linguistics program, where her research areas within sociolinguistics – including interactional discourse analysis, performance studies, and linguistic ideologies in France – have been motivated by her interest in how speakers of Gallo, a regional language of France, use verbal performance to integrate local traditions into the cultural practices of modern life. Sandra earned a B.A. in Psychology and French from Rhodes College (Memphis, Tennessee), where her senior honors thesis examined the creation and circulation of storytelling motifs in two preschool classrooms. Sandra then spent an academic year working as an English language teaching assistant at a small-town high school in Brittany, France, where her interest in verbal performance and community found a new focus in the storytelling and conversational practices of speakers of the local language of Gallo. After this year of attending performances and Gallo classes and participating in daily life in Brittany, Sandra was inspired by the sociolinguistic richness of this context to study at the University of South Carolina, earning an M.A. in French and pursuing her doctorate in Linguistics. She is very grateful for USC’s Ceny Walker travel fellowship, which enabled a preliminary return to Brittany in 2012 to establish research contacts, and for the Bilinski Foundation fellowship, which has permitted her to conduct one year of ethnographic fieldwork among Gallo-speaking residents of Upper Brittany.
Dissertation Abstract

Lide Headshot

Sara Lide is a native Southerner working on her PhD in Linguistics. She attended Rice University (BA) and Lancaster University, UK (MA), before starting her doctoral work at USC. Her academic interests are in the fields of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, both of which address social aspects of language use, including how and why language varies from person to person and from group to group. Inspired by her own experience growing up in the South, Sara’s research examines the ways that language is tied to regional identity.
Dissertation Abstract


Michael Odom

Michael Odom is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of South Carolina where he studies religion and literature in the U.S. South.  After receiving a B.A. in English at Auburn University Montgomery and a M.A. in Theology at Southwestern Seminary, he taught secondary English, Philosophy, and Religion for several years.  Fascinated by the profound impact evangelical religion has upon the social, economic, and political spheres in the South, Odom came to the University of South Carolina to study under the direction of Distinguished Southern Studies scholar, Robert Brinkmeyer.  The Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship has afforded Michael Odom the opportunity to devote full attention to a cultural and literary topic that has interested him for many years, enabling him to bring his dissertation to completion and emerge into the academic job market with a compelling scholarly agenda.
Dissertation Abstract


Parry Headshot

Tyler D. Parry is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department under the advisement of Dr. Daniel C. Littlefield. He received his Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2008, and attained his Master’s degree in History at the University of South Carolina in 2011. At USC he has held positions in the History department; African American Studies Program, and the Institute for African American Research. As a doctoral candidate Parry has taught classes for the History Department and African American Studies Program that emphasize the African Diaspora and slavery in the colonial and Early Republican periods of the United States. His publication record includes book reviews on various subjects of slavery and servitude; encyclopedia entries of noteworthy African Americans; and chapter-length contributions to edited volumes that examine the cultural history of slavery and the impact of race and economics upon the transatlantic slave trade. He also served as an Associate Editor for the 2011 issue of The Southern Historian: A Journal of Southern History, published through the University of Alabama. In addition to the Bilinski Foundation, Parry’s research was funded through institutions that include Harvard University, Duke University, the University of South Carolina, and Florida International University. The funding provided opportunities to expand his work on slave marriage and the African diaspora through research trips to Senegal, the Gambia, Bermuda, Jamaica, England, and Scotland. He is currently set to defend his dissertation on April 7, 2014.

Dissertation Abstract


Phillips Headshot

Aubrey Phillips is a PhD candidate in Linguistics specializing in Second Language Acquisition.  She has a BA in French from Francis Marion University, an MAT in French and a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of South Carolina.  As a middle school teacher and a university instructor, Aubrey has won recognition for her teaching, including commendations from the American Association of Teachers of French and the Michael Montgomery Award for Excellence in Teaching Linguistics from the University of South Carolina. Aubrey’s research interests include second language attention and syntactic processing, semantic and syntactic priming, and foreign language teacher training. Previous research projects have examined the effects of false cognates on second language processing and syntactic priming of English phrasal verbs.  Aubrey has presented at conferences of the South Carolina Foreign Language Teachers Association, the American Association of Teachers of French, the Southeast Conference of Language Teachers, the International TESOL Convention, the TESOL and Applied Linguistics Graduate Students and the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics.
Dissertation Abstract


Scripps Headshot

Sarah Scripps is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department. She earned a BA in History and French Studies from the University of Minnesota and an MA in Public History-Museum Studies from the University of South Carolina. As a trained public historian, Sarah is dedicated to interpreting history to a general audience. From 2009 to 2011, Sarah worked for Historic Columbia Foundation’s award-winning neighborhood history initiative, Retrace: Connecting Communities through History( Sarah also curated Imaging the Invisible at McKissick Museum, an exhibit that surveyed the history of scientific imaging to investigate the changing meaning of data representation. This project served as inspiration for an article she coauthored that evaluates the role of collaboration in the work of public historians and scientists that was published in The Public Historian in 2013. These projects were supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services as well as the National Science Foundation. Most recently, Sarah served as a content advisor for the Erector at 100 exhibition at the Eli Whitney Museum. In addition to her research on science fairs, Sarah is also interested in the visual and material culture of nanotechnology, the development of amateur rocketry, and the history of the Erector set. A Minneapolis native, Sarah enjoys camping, yoga, and spending time with her family.
Dissertation Abstract


Bethany Tisdale

 Bethany Tisdale is a doctoral candidate in English and holds a M.A. in American literature and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from USC.  She received an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.  While at USC, she has taught courses in English and Women’s and Gender Studies including Composition and Rhetoric, Themes in American Literature, and Sexual Diversities.  She served last year as the Assistant Director of the University Writing Center and has three years of experience as a writing tutor.  In addition to her graduate work, she is a Speakers Bureau volunteer with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands.  She is also a facilitator for the $tart $mart program, a joint effort of the American Association of University Women and the WAGE Project that promotes educating college women about fair pay.
Dissertation Abstract


Luci Vaden

Luci Vaden is a Ph.D. candidate in modern United States history at the University of South Carolina. Her research examines African American civil rights activism following the apex of America’s civil rights movement in 1965, with a particular emphasis on black student and community activism that emerged due to continued racial inequalities in public schools systems following federally mandated desegregation. Central to her research are the ways in which local activists used newly won civil rights legislation, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, to demand quality public education for black and minority students in their communities, particularly in the American South, and the processes whereby their continued activism transformed state and federal education policy in the post-Jim Crow Era. Vaden earned a M.A. in education from the University of Tennessee and a M.A. in United States history from the University of South Carolina. Her forthcoming publication,  “High School Students, The Catholic, And The Struggle For Black Inclusion And Citizenship In Rock Hill, South Carolina,” In Color and Transcendence: Contested Post-Racialism and Conflicted Churches in the U.S. and South Africa, with the University Press of Mississippi, examines the ways in which the Catholic Church in one South Carolina community supported black student activism and protest following the implementation of discriminatory policies in South Carolina’s desegregated public school system. Vaden’s research has been supported by the Bilinski Foundation and Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation.
Dissertation Abstract