Four highly promising professors in diverse fields have been awarded the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty. Two of the winners are in the College of Arts and Sciences.
They are Malinda Maynor Lowery, associate professor of history, and Yang Yang, associate professor of sociology in the College; and Evan S. Dellon, an assistant professor of medicine and an adjunct assistant professor of epidemiology; and Kimryn Rathmell, associate professor in the departments of medicine and genetics.
The recipients were recognized during the Sept. 7 Faculty Council meeting.
The Hettleman Prize, which carries a $5,000 stipend, recognizes the achievements of outstanding junior tenure-track faculty or recently tenured faculty. Phillip Hettleman, who was born in 1899 and grew up in Goldsboro, established the award in 1986. He earned a scholarship to UNC, went to New York and in 1938 founded Hettleman & Co., a Wall Street investment firm.
A rising star in the field of Native American history, Lowery has gained a national reputation for her innovative scholarship.
She came to Carolina in 2009, after serving four years as a tenure-track professor at Harvard University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in history and literature in 1995. After earning her master’s degree in documentary film production from Stanford University in 1997, she co-produced a documentary on American Indian sacred sites, “In the Light of Reverence,” in 2001.
Lowery also earned a master’s degree in 2002 and a Ph.D. in 2005, both in history from Carolina.
She has recently completed a project on “Digitizing Southern Indian History,” and her historical work “Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation” was published in 2010 by UNC Press.
Lloyd Kramer, chair of the history department, said Lowery’s creative pedagogy, including her continued use of documentary film to engage North Carolinians, “clearly demonstrate her ability to communicate historical knowledge to the widest possible audiences.”
Yang’s primary research interests cross demography, medical sociology, cancer and quantitative methodology.
She received her Ph.D. from Duke University in 2005 and that year was hired as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago.
She joined Carolina’s sociology department two years ago as part of an initiative with the University Cancer Research Fund and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Her overarching goal is to construct an integrative social and bio-demographic approach to better understand and find solutions to problems arising from interactions between individuals’ social and physical worlds. Yang’s recent research focuses on patterns of social inequalities in health and aging and the underlying bio-behavioral mechanisms.
“She is one of the most creative and thoughtful scholars working today in the demography of aging,” said Barbara Entwisle, vice chancellor for research. “She brings an unusual combination of superb methodological and analytic skills and insight into her research on key social and demographic processes.”