Faculty Fellowship Program

Community Health Workers, Stress Reduction, and Racial Equity in Infant Vitality

Dr. Justin Rex, Associate Professor of Political Science 

Venue, Date & Time: 
Way Public Library,
Thursday, Novemeber 16th, 7 pm-8:30 pm

The U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the industrialized world (OECD 2020) and Ohio has the 10th highest rate among U.S. states (CDC 2019). Infant mortality rates are unevenly distributed: according to the Ohio Department of Health the black infant mortality rate was nearly three times as high as the white one in 2019 (14.3 to 5.1 per 1,000 live births). Stress from individualized and institutionalized racism leads to risk factors like preterm birth and low birth weight, which increase the likelihood of black infant mortality. If stress is a contributor to infant mortality, how can stress be reduced? Further, from a community engagement standpoint, how can we get more community, institutional, and political support behind resources that reduce stress? These are the central questions I propose to examine in this project. To do so, I evaluate the Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB Program, which connects at-risk mothers to community health workers, who provide emotional support and help mothers access social services and resources that reduce pregnancy risks. Through interviews and surveys with mothers and community health workers, I examine whether these relationships reduce stress in ways that can reduce the risk of infant mortality.

Portraits of Older Women in The Great Black Swamp

Dr. Sandra L. Faulkner, Professor in the School of Media and Communication 

Venue, Date & Time:
Wood County District Public Library
Thursday, November 9, 7 to 8:30 pm

Women have shaped the landscape and contour of the Bowling Green area, yet we do not have many records of their contributions. Collecting oral histories is one way to preserve and celebrate the contributions of older women in our community. Oral history provides an opportunity for women to tell their story in their own words, deciding what is important to share, what stories they wish to emphasize, and how they present themselves.

Dr. Sandra Faulkner, Professor of Media and Communication at BGSU, will share Portraits of Older Women in the Great Black Swamp, a collaborative project with The Wood County Committee on Aging, the BGSU archives, and local women, which focuses on how women have contributed to Bowling Green and the surrounding community. Faulkner interviewed prominent older women in the Bowling Green area about their experiences across the life course and their contributions to our community. She will discuss the importance of oral histories and listening to older women by presenting poetic portraits of older women in the Bowling Green area that she cocreated from oral histories. A poetic portrait is a representation of a person’s life in verse that focuses on embodied aspects of their life story. The poetic portraits celebrate women’s contributions to our community. The poetic portraits and oral histories will be archived at the BGSU libraries for all of us to share.

Social Trust, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Curling Clubs

Dr. Scott Piroth, Teaching Professor of Political Science 

Spring 2024

Public Lecture: TBA

In early 2022, I conducted a survey of members of curling clubs in the United States and Canada. The survey explored the relationship between membership in a curling club and social capital. Putnam (2000) defines social capital as “connections among individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them” (19). Curling is characterized by strong norms of behavior based on trust, which curlers often refer to as the “Spirit of Curling.” My survey showed that curling club members scored very high on measures of social trust. I plan to use part of the ICS fellowship to write an article based on this survey and submit it for publication.

There is a lively academic debate about the relationship between social capital and diversity (Hooghe 2007). Curling strives to be inclusive, but most curling clubs are less diverse than are the communities they serve. As part of my fellowship, I plan to conduct semi-structured interviews with members of groups which are underrepresented in the curling community: curlers with disabilities and curlers in the LGBTQ community. The findings from these interviews will inform my paper on social capital and, more immediately, will be shared with members of the curling community in forums devoted to DEI in curling hosted by curling governing bodies (USA Curling, Curling Canada, the Ontario Curling Association, and the World Curling Federation) with the goals of improving outreach to underrepresented communities and providing higher-quality adaptive curling instruction.

Banning Reality: The Right's Attack on 'Divisive Concepts' in Public Education and the Truth about Racism in the United States

Dr. Timothy Messer-Kruse, Professor in School of Cultural and Critical Studies 

Spring 2024

Public Lecture: TBA

Banning Reality is a research project examining recent legislative bans on “Critical Race Theory” (CRT). Unlike most of the public debate swirling around the issue of CRT Banning Reality does not analyze these laws on the basis of their contradiction of liberal principles of free speech or equity, or on the potential adverse impact of such prohibitions on public education. Rather, this project compares the most frequently banned seven “divisive concepts” against the known facts underlying these concepts. In other words, this project reveals how the anti-CRT crusade is actually an assault on reality, on the actual known world. Effectively, this project observes, the anti-CRT movement is a break with the older Allan Bloom “Closing of the American Mind”-style defenses of a “Western Canon” conservatism because it doesn’t attempt to argue on the level of facts–rather it begins from what conservatives believe is right and then impose these values on reality itself.

Updated: 10/18/2023 10:15AM