Three postdoctoral associates begin fellowship

Fellows were selected based on the potential to secure faculty positions at the conclusion of their appointments.

by Stacey Battenberg and Taryn Wobbema

Incoming first-years arenâÄôt the only new faces that will see the University of Minnesota campus this week. The three recipients of the 2009-2010 University of Minnesota Postdoctoral Fellowship began their one-year positions Tuesday. In its third year, the program offers the three scholars time and space to conduct research and gain professional experience before seeking a tenure-track position. More than 130 applicants from 57 institutions inside and outside of the United States applied for the fellowship. Of the previous five fellowship recipients, three have already gone on to professorships. Vichet Chhuon, a recipient of one fellowship, is coming to the University after graduating from the University of California- Santa Barbara because he said the diverse community surrounding the University will be a good fit for his research into immigrant children and immigrant familiesâÄô adjustment to American society. Supportive faculty in his home Department of Curriculum and Instruction also influenced his decision to come to the University, he said. Along with research, each fellow will also teach one course in the spring and participate in developmental workshops, said Noro Andriamanalina , director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs . This fellowship program, which comes with a $45,000 stipend plus benefits, aims to diversify the intellectual agenda of the University while supporting scholars with research and their potential as future faculty, she said. Fellowship recipient Wendy Thompson , who will work out of the History Department , said she hopes to network with faculty and create long-term scholarly relationships during her time at the University. Jarret Gupton , who was born and raised in Minnesota and a fellowship recipient, said he is excited to be part of the University community because of its emphasis on education and student support. GuptonâÄôs research in the department of organizational leadership, policy and development will focus on low-income children and access to college. âÄúI couldnâÄôt ask for a better place to be,âÄù he said.