posted December 20, 1999

Profs Receive Fellowships

Two members of the Hope College faculty have received prestigious fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts for 2000-01.

          Dr. Joseph LaPorte, assistant professor of
  philosophy, received one of 172 fellowships awarded by the
  National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to college
  teachers, university professors and independent scholars for
  research on topics in the humanities.  Dr. Heather Sellers,
  associate professor of English, received one of 41 grants
  awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to
  writers creating original work or translating work.
          "I think that it's a sign of the strength of the
  Hope College faculty that we have had professors from two
  departments honored with such highly-competitive
  fellowships," said Dr. William Reynolds, who is dean for the
  arts and humanities and also a professor of English at Hope.
          "The awards that each of them received are the
  largest that are available to individual scholars from the
  two national endowments," he said.  "In both cases the
  competition is very, very strong."
          LaPorte was one of only six scholars from Michigan
  to receive one of the $30,000 NEH fellowships.  The award
  will support him in his research project titled "Natural
  Kinds from Chemistry and Biology:  Reference, Theory Change,
  Meaning Change, and the Discovery of Essence."  He is
  considering how science's experience with kinds and their
  classification might inform philosophical discussion
  concerning meaning change and theory change.  His work will
  lead to a book on the subject.
          Sellers is the only Michigan recipient of one of
  the $20,000 NEA fellowships.  She is a regionalist, a
  Southern writer whose influences include Edward Hopper,
  Georgia O'Keefe, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor and
  Anne Tyler.  The NEA award will support her as she completes
  a novel that has been in-progress for two years.  The book,
  which she describes the book as set "in the fiberglass and
  neon worlds of Florida," focuses on a woman's coming-into-
  knowing.
          LaPorte joined the Hope faculty in the fall of
  1998.  He graduated from the Franciscan University of
  Steubenville in 1991 with a bachelor of arts degree; earned
  his master's from University College London in 1993; and
  earned his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at
  Amherst in 1998.
          Sellers has been a member of the Hope faculty
  since 1995.  She earned her bachelor's, master's and
  doctorate at Florida State University, in 1985, 1988 and
  1992 respectively.  Her stories and poems have been
  published in many journals and magazines, and have received
  numerous awards and honors.  Most recently, her book
  "Georgia Underwater," a collection of short stories, has
  been accepted for publication in the spring of 2001 by
  Sarabande Books of Louisville, Ky.