Professors awarded NOVA FuTUre Fund innovation prizes -
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Professors awarded NOVA FuTUre Fund innovation prizes

Associate Professor of English Grant Jenkins and Chapman Associate Professor of Anthropology Miriam Belmaker are the latest recipients of University of Tulsa NOVA Fellowship innovation prizes from the FuTUre Fund in support of their development of innovative new courses.

“The NOVA innovation prizes are a simple way to encourage those who want to create and implement innovative projects at TU,” said Professor of Marketing Charles Wood, the director of the NOVA Fellowship at TU. “Recognizing Jenkins and Belmaker as NOVA Faculty Fellows celebrates interdisciplinary innovation, something TU is known for and which is a key part of our new strategic plan.”

Black Women’s Poetry

Man with a silver beard and grey hair wearing an open-collar blue shirt and a grey blazerPoet, novelist and literature scholar Jenkins plans to use his NOVA funding to develop a course on Black women’s poetry. Jenkins has been publishing on African American poetry for the past decade and has a manuscript nearly completed on Black poetry since the end of the Civil Rights era. In fact, his essay “’re: Source’: African Contexts of Nathaniel Mackey’s Ethics” won the Joe Weixlmann Prize for best essay on a twentieth- or twenty-first century topic in the African American Review in 2017.

“My new course will examine the work and cultural/historical context of contemporary Anglophone writers from North America, including the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, who share common cultural history as well as innovative approaches to their poetics, both in terms of style, artistic process and content,” Jenkins explained. “To my knowledge, having taught at TU now for 18 years, no course on this topic has been taught before.”

Humans as Environmental Engineers: Agriculture to Energy

Woman posing for a selfie-photo in a forest while wearing a green topA specialist in the areas of climate change and human-environment interactions, Belmaker received funding to develop a new 4000- and 6000-level course entitled Humans as Environmental Engineers: Agriculture to Energy.” This course will empower students to explore the complex ways human culture, economy and demographics affect ecology, climate change and global sustainability challenges.

“I want to challenge students to integrate studies from a wide range of disciplines, social, historical and geographical sciences,” said Belmaker. “Doing so will enable them to gain an overview of the ecological dimension of global economic processes, with a long-term, historical perspective.” In order to promote innovation, Belmaker’s new course will present a highly interdisciplinary topic emphasizing debate, discussion and critical thinking of a controversial topic through extensive audio-visual materials and digital resources. Belmaker anticipates that her course will have a wide appeal to various university programs within TU’s strategic plan. She also foresees an associated public symposium to present the topic to a wider audience on campus and beyond.

Do you have an idea for a project within your field of study? Visit the NOVA Fellowship’s page to learn more about the NOVA Innovation Fund program and fill out your application!