Six Sophomores Selected for Prestigious Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

April 18, 2013
New MMUF scholars Credit: Peter Goldberg

The Dean of the College office is pleased to announce the 21st cohort of Brown Mellon Mays Undergraduate scholars. Edward Cleofe, Patricia Ekpo, G. Maris Jones, G. Emilio Leanza, Keil Oberlander, and Ana Ramirez will conduct research under the guidance of faculty mentors, and receive stipends during their junior and senior years to support their research and preparation for graduate school.

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mellon Mays Program aims to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in faculty positions at colleges and universities. Successful applicants demonstrate exceptional intellectual ability and motivation for graduate study. Fellows continue to receive support in graduate school and throughout their academic careers. Each scholar’s area of study is described below.

Edward Cleofe is an anthropology concentrator who hopes to pursue a PhD in bio-archaeology. This summer, Eddie will investigate human and faunal remains in Alaska's Kobuk Valley under the guidance of Professor Douglas Anderson. His larger project will examine the effects of settler colonialism on indigenous foodways.

Patricia Ekpo is concentrating in American studies and gender and sexuality studies. Under the guidance of Professors Françoise Hamlin, Wendy Chun and the Center for Digital Scholarship staff, Patricia will use cyberethnography to investigate the role of social networking sites on black women's lives and black feminist discourse. Patricia plans to pursue a PhD in American studies.

G. Maris Jones is an anthropology and Portuguese and Brazilian studies concentrator. Her research will examine the role of Afro-Brazilian percussion in political activism and youth and community development. Maris' advisors are Professors Keisha-Khan Perry and Josh Tucker.

G. Emilio Leanza is a history concentrator interested in the 1960s Naxalite movement in West Bengal. This summer, he will travel to India to conduct archival research and oral histories with surviving members of this Marxist-Leninist social movement. Professors Naoko Shibusawa and Vazira Zamindar will serve as faculty advisors.

Keil Oberlander, an ethnic studies concentrator, will work closely with Professor Elizabeth Hoover on a project examining German appropriation of Lakota cultural forms. Keil hopes to pursue a PhD in Ethnic or American studies.

Ana Ramirez is an anthropology concentrator interested in the transnational identities of indigenous Mayans. Professor Kay Warren will advise her ethnographic research in Guatemala and Indiantown, Florida. Ana hopes to pursue a PhD in anthropology.

For more information about the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, contact Dean Besenia Rodriguez.