Anna Bennion is a doctoral candidate in the English department here at USC. She is
originally from the state of Washington and loves this chance to study and live in
South Carolina. Anna has long been a lover of literature, and her graduate studies
have focused her on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novels. She has presented
papers on gothic literature, Jane Austen, and Romantic-era prose. She is also interested
in film adaptation and has published a paper on literature and film pedagogy.
Jennifer Karash-Eastman is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature. Her academic
formation is in contemporary transnational literature with a focus on Latin American
and the Caribbean, as well as contemporary African American and migrant writing in
the United States. In addition to an interdisciplinary doctorate degree, Jennifer
is also completing a graduate certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies.
Sandra Keller is a Ph.D. candidate in the Linguistics program, where her research
areas within sociolinguistics – including interactional discourse analysis, performance
studies, and linguistic ideologies in France – have been motivated by her interest
in how speakers of Gallo, a regional language of France, use verbal performance to
integrate local traditions into the cultural practices of modern life. Sandra earned
a B.A. in Psychology and French from Rhodes College (Memphis, Tennessee), where her
senior honors thesis examined the creation and circulation of storytelling motifs
in two preschool classrooms. Sandra then spent an academic year working as an English
language teaching assistant at a small-town high school in Brittany, France, where
her interest in verbal performance and community found a new focus in the storytelling
and conversational practices of speakers of the local language of Gallo. After this
year of attending performances and Gallo classes and participating in daily life in
Brittany, Sandra was inspired by the sociolinguistic richness of this context to study
at the University of South Carolina, earning an M.A. in French and pursuing her doctorate
in Linguistics. She is very grateful for USC’s Ceny Walker travel fellowship, which
enabled a preliminary return to Brittany in 2012 to establish research contacts, and
for the Bilinski Foundation fellowship, which has permitted her to conduct one year
of ethnographic fieldwork among Gallo-speaking residents of Upper Brittany.
Sara Lide is a native Southerner working on her PhD in Linguistics. She attended Rice
University (BA) and Lancaster University, UK (MA), before starting her doctoral work
at USC. Her academic interests are in the fields of sociolinguistics and linguistic
anthropology, both of which address social aspects of language use, including how
and why language varies from person to person and from group to group. Inspired by
her own experience growing up in the South, Sara’s research examines the ways that
language is tied to regional identity.
Michael Odom is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of South
Carolina where he studies religion and literature in the U.S. South. After receiving
a B.A. in English at Auburn University Montgomery and a M.A. in Theology at Southwestern
Seminary, he taught secondary English, Philosophy, and Religion for several years.
Fascinated by the profound impact evangelical religion has upon the social, economic,
and political spheres in the South, Odom came to the University of South Carolina
to study under the direction of Distinguished Southern Studies scholar, Robert Brinkmeyer.
The Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship has afforded Michael
Odom the opportunity to devote full attention to a cultural and literary topic that
has interested him for many years, enabling him to bring his dissertation to completion
and emerge into the academic job market with a compelling scholarly agenda.
Tyler D. Parry is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department under the advisement of Dr. Daniel C. Littlefield. He received his Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2008, and attained his Master’s degree in History at the University of South Carolina in 2011. At USC he has held positions in the History department; African American Studies Program, and the Institute for African American Research. As a doctoral candidate Parry has taught classes for the History Department and African American Studies Program that emphasize the African Diaspora and slavery in the colonial and Early Republican periods of the United States. His publication record includes book reviews on various subjects of slavery and servitude; encyclopedia entries of noteworthy African Americans; and chapter-length contributions to edited volumes that examine the cultural history of slavery and the impact of race and economics upon the transatlantic slave trade. He also served as an Associate Editor for the 2011 issue of The Southern Historian: A Journal of Southern History, published through the University of Alabama. In addition to the Bilinski Foundation, Parry’s research was funded through institutions that include Harvard University, Duke University, the University of South Carolina, and Florida International University. The funding provided opportunities to expand his work on slave marriage and the African diaspora through research trips to Senegal, the Gambia, Bermuda, Jamaica, England, and Scotland. He is currently set to defend his dissertation on April 7, 2014.
Aubrey Phillips is a PhD candidate in Linguistics specializing in Second Language
Acquisition. She has a BA in French from Francis Marion University, an MAT in French
and a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University
of South Carolina. As a middle school teacher and a university instructor, Aubrey
has won recognition for her teaching, including commendations from the American Association
of Teachers of French and the Michael Montgomery Award for Excellence in Teaching
Linguistics from the University of South Carolina. Aubrey’s research interests include second language attention and syntactic processing,
semantic and syntactic priming, and foreign language teacher training. Previous research
projects have examined the effects of false cognates on second language processing
and syntactic priming of English phrasal verbs. Aubrey has presented at conferences
of the South Carolina Foreign Language Teachers Association, the American Association
of Teachers of French, the Southeast Conference of Language Teachers, the International
TESOL Convention, the TESOL and Applied Linguistics Graduate Students and the Southeastern
Conference on Linguistics.
Sarah Scripps is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department. She earned a BA in History
and French Studies from the University of Minnesota and an MA in Public History-Museum
Studies from the University of South Carolina. As a trained public historian, Sarah is dedicated to interpreting history to a general
audience. From 2009 to 2011, Sarah worked for Historic Columbia Foundation’s award-winning
neighborhood history initiative, Retrace: Connecting Communities through History. Sarah also curated Imaging the Invisible at McKissick Museum, an exhibit that surveyed the history of scientific imaging to investigate the changing meaning of
data representation. This project served as inspiration for an article she coauthored
that evaluates the role of collaboration in the work of public historians and scientists
that was published in The Public Historian in 2013. These projects were supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services as well
as the National Science Foundation. Most recently, Sarah served as a content advisor
for the Erector at 100 exhibition at the Eli Whitney Museum. In addition to her research on science fairs,
Sarah is also interested in the visual and material culture of nanotechnology, the
development of amateur rocketry, and the history of the Erector set. A Minneapolis
native, Sarah enjoys camping, yoga, and spending time with her family.
Bethany Tisdale is a doctoral candidate in English and holds a M.A. in American literature
and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from USC. She received an
undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
While at USC, she has taught courses in English and Women’s and Gender Studies including
Composition and Rhetoric, Themes in American Literature, and Sexual Diversities.
She served last year as the Assistant Director of the University Writing Center and
has three years of experience as a writing tutor. In addition to her graduate work,
she is a Speakers Bureau volunteer with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. She
is also a facilitator for the $tart $mart program, a joint effort of the American
Association of University Women and the WAGE Project that promotes educating college
women about fair pay.
Luci Vaden is a Ph.D. candidate in modern United States history at the University
of South Carolina. Her research examines African American civil rights activism following
the apex of America’s civil rights movement in 1965, with a particular emphasis on
black student and community activism that emerged due to continued racial inequalities
in public schools systems following federally mandated desegregation. Central to her
research are the ways in which local activists used newly won civil rights legislation,
such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, to demand quality
public education for black and minority students in their communities, particularly
in the American South, and the processes whereby their continued activism transformed
state and federal education policy in the post-Jim Crow Era. Vaden earned a M.A. in education from the University of Tennessee and a M.A. in United
States history from the University of South Carolina. Her forthcoming publication,
“High School Students, The Catholic, And The Struggle For Black Inclusion And Citizenship
In Rock Hill, South Carolina,” In Color and Transcendence: Contested Post-Racialism and Conflicted Churches in the
U.S. and South Africa, with the University Press of Mississippi, examines the ways in which the Catholic
Church in one South Carolina community supported black student activism and protest
following the implementation of discriminatory policies in South Carolina’s desegregated
public school system. Vaden’s research has been supported by the Bilinski Foundation
and Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation.