DOCE and Trinity College pilot Engaged Faculty Fellowship

The Duke Office of Civic Engagement (DOCE) and the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences are pleased to announce Duke University’s first annual Engaged Faculty Fellowship, which will annually be awarded to a full-time faculty member conducting community-based research focused on Durham, North Carolina. The inaugural fellowship will be awarded to Orin Starn, a professor of cultural anthropology and a member of the DOCE’s faculty advisory board. 

The Engaged Faculty Fellowship was created to encourage new and existing faculty research projects in Durham. “We appreciate Dean Patton’s support of engaged scholarship in Durham. We believe that the support of deans, directors and department heads is crucial for providing faculty with the time and resources to develop sustainable community-based research projects,” DOCE Director Megan Granda said. This initiative is one of a number of efforts reflecting the larger institutional priority of increased academic engagement in Durham, where nearly a fifth of the population lives in poverty despite the recent growth of technology and pharmaceutical industries.

In Spring 2015, the fellowship will provide $15,000 to Starn, who will be on sabbatical for the semester to conduct research and activism related to the experiences of Latina housecleaners in the Durham area. The project, a collaboration with several other faculty researchers, was funded by Humanities Writ Large in Fall 2014 and allowed Starn to teach a class that paired Duke students with Latina housecleaners to create an exhibit on the challenges the housecleaners face. The Engaged Faculty Fellowship will permit Starn to continue working with his collaborators on a campaign of outreach and publicity to bring their findings to a wider audience. “We will be expanding our efforts in the coming months to develop, among other things, a social media campaign and other outreach efforts in support of immigrant and labor rights,” Starn said.

For more information on Starn’s project please visit http://thehousecleanerproject.org/.