Published August 1, 2022

We are pleased to announce nineteen new fellowships that have been awarded to individuals across the Commonwealth through three different fellowship opportunities between February and July 2022.

“In recent years, we’ve reimagined our Fellowship Programs to better meet the needs of historians, educators, and community scholars,” said Matthew Gibson, Virginia Humanities’ executive director. “We’re meeting fellows where they are and giving them the tools, time, and financial support they need to tell the complicated stories at the heart of Virginia’s history and culture.”

The HBCU Scholars Fellowship opportunity funds the humanities research of scholars affiliated with Virginia’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in service of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) heritage, stories, and communities. “The HBCU Scholars Fellowship creates a more equitable space for underrepresented voices in the world of academic scholarship,” said Yahusef Medina, Virginia Humanities’ associate director of Community Initiatives. “Their work will enrich the Commonwealth of Virginia and we are grateful to be involved in that process.”

We are pleased to announce the following HBCU fellows.

  • Ima Hicks – Assistant Professor of Languages and Literature at Virginia Union University
    “Gendered Injustice: Uncovering the Lived Experience of Women in New World Slavery”
  • Janira Teague – Assistant Professor of History at Norfolk State University
    “Virginians and the Global Great Migration”
  • Derrick Lanois – Assistant Professor of History at Norfolk State University
    “Black Freemasonry in the Jim Crow South”

These fellowships are made possible by a major grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.

The K-12 Educator Fellowship opportunity gives educators, with a wide range of humanities curriculum focuses, the resources to design new learning experiences that are easily accessible for both physical classroom and remote use by teachers across Virginia. “I have been thrilled and grateful to work with twelve, incredible educators from across the state,” said Emma Ito, Virginia Humanities’ director of education. “The intention of the Virginia Humanities K-12 Fellowship was to support K-12 educators in the work they are already doing, and it was clear from the beginning that the conversations, questions, and thoughts of this cohort are beyond excellent.”

We are honored to be working with the following twelve K-12 educator fellows.

  • Alfonso Perez Acosta – Artist and Art Educator in Richmond
  • Catherine Breese – Elementary Lead Technology Resource Teacher in Montgomery County
  • Kara Canaday –  Statewide Educator/Liaison with Virginia Tribal Education Consortium
  • Hashim Davis – High School History Educator in Albemarle County
  • Lorraine Dresch – High School History Educator in Waynesboro
  • Tammy Layne – High School Library Media Specialist in Bath County
  • Lewis Longenecker – Middle School Educator in Cumberland County
  • Sarah Medukas – Assistant Principal and Gifted Coordinator in Scott County
  • Lynn Moore – Middle School Educator in Prince William County
  • Shannon Outlaw – Middle School Educator in Fairfax
  • Melissa Politan – High School History Educator in Chesapeake
  • Taylor M Snow – Secondary Social Studies Specialist in Henrico County

These fellowships are made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal American Rescue Plan. The learning experiences created by the K-12 Fellows will be shared on a new website specifically for educators currently in development by Virginia Humanities.

Public Humanities Fellowships help writers, independent scholars, community historians, and college and university faculty members share meaningful research, stories, and cultural expressions that are relevant to Virginia’s diverse communities and that connect audiences to wider regional, national, and global contexts.

We are pleased to announce four new public humanities fellows. 

  • Melissa Ooten – Henrico, VA
    “A People’s Guide to Richmond and Central Virginia”
  • Jordy Yager – Charlottesville, VA
    “The Mapping Cville Racial Covenant Exhibition Project”
  • Abraham Gibson and William Gibson – San Antonio, TX, and Ferrum, VA
    “More than Just Moonshine: Public Education in Franklin County, Virginia, 1900-1950”
  • Stephen Hitchcock – Barboursville, VA 
    “Radical Hospitality: Autobiography of The Haven”

To learn more about Virginia Humanities’ fellowship programs, visit VirginiaHumanities.org/fellowships.

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.