College of Arts and Sciences
Office of the Dean

Dean’s Research Fellowships

  • Dean's Research Fellowships support student and faculty scholarship in the College of Arts and Sciences. Funding provides stipends for students and grants to faculty to work together on scholarly activities. Awards are made annually by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

    This program has been made possible by funding from alumni, Arts and Sciences Leadership Council members, and donors. To learn more about how you can support this program, click here. The program began in July 2011.

    2013-14 Dean's Research Fellowships

    Communication Department

    Student Project: Is the Character even Human?: A Cosplayer’s Concepts of Gender Attributes and Gender-play
    Anina Walas

    This student project analyzes the symbolic nature of costumes to examine the success and restrictions of gender fluidity in crossplay, a faction of cosplay in which the cosplayer switches gender. The concepts of gender performativity and rhetorical analysis support the argument that certain forms of crossplay enable more gender fluidity than other traditional forms of cross-dressing. However, a crossplayer’s gender fluidity is hindered by the consumption of costumes by outsiders. 

    Student Project: One Life Left: How to Reboot Games For Social Change
    Katie Smith

    This project uses classic game theory to analyze an emergent field, Games for Social Change. It asks how and why current games fail, and proposes a solution for how these games can better reach their goal of changing the world for the better. 

    Faculty Project: Rethinking Meritocracy: How Rhetorical Analysis Helps Reshape Game Design
    Christopher A. Paul

    Using tools derived primarily from rhetorical analysis and criticism, this project analyzes the impact of the overwhelming focus on balance in video game design. Balance is a central ordering principle of games that is established by designers, praised by gamers, and particularly sought after in multiplayer games. A focus on balance limits games and establishes them as meritocratic spaces, where the ‘best’ players should be the most successful. By establishing a connection between balance and meritocracies it is possible to identify possible locations for resistance to existing norms. Drawing from sociological critiques of meritocracies and current dynamics in game culture, game studies can help reappropriate elements of game design and contribute to a more positive, inclusive game culture.

    Haudenosaunee Woman’s Worldview
    Jeanette Rodriguez, Theology and Religious Studies Department

    While there are multiple contributions articulating an understanding of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) in the United States and Canadian contexts, the voice of Clan Mothers and women’s contribution within the Haudenosaunee is woefully underrepresented. Aware of and drawing from these social movements, this research will culminate in a book articulating Haudenosaunee woman’s worldview that honors women, clanship, and the earth. This research will not only prove beneficial towards those studying indigenous cultures and spirituality, but those focusing on anthropology, environmental and women’s studies, international relations, history and cross cultural communication. With the guidance of Clan Mother, Louise McDonald, this project will provide a cultural bridge and further understanding from the Haudenosaunee community.

    Dean's Research Fellowships from previous years can be found at this link.

    Scholarly Excellence

    Go behind the scenes with some of Seattle U's most acclaimed faculty members in our Scholarly Excellence videos. Footage was taken during photo shoots for an academic research brochure and a special academic excellence edition of our alumni magazine. All videos by Eric Becker.  

    How You Can Support This Program

    Stipends for students: $2,000 provides a student with a "work-study" style stipend.  Students are given opportunities to present their research on campus and at national conferences after their participation.

    Your support provides these opportunities for students:

    • Promotes an experience for intellectual risk-taking
    • Provides a scholarly activity that engages critical thinking
    • Engenders self-confidence as they become creative participants in their academic disciplines
    • Prepares students to reach the cutting edge of knowledge their areas of interest
    • Furthers active learning
    • Develops insight into the relationships between knowledge and methods across disciplines.

    Grants for faculty: $5,000 supports faculty members in their research while connecting their students to the broader conversations of their academic disciplines.

    Your support promotes faculty scholarship in these ways:

    • Supports research that advances the mission of Seattle University and the College of Arts and Sciences
    • Promotes mentorship as faculty communicate their joy and passion about their research to students
    • Engages outstanding students in an academic activity that furthers the discipline.

    A  $7,000 gift creates a faculty-student research fellowship team.

    A $35,000 gift creates five teams, the annual goal of the College of Arts and Sciences.

    A $150,000 gift offers a permanently endowed  team in perpetuity.   Currently the College of Arts and Sciences has one endowed program in Sociology thanks to SU Sociology graduate Richard Beers.

    If you are interested in participating in Dean's Research Fellowships, please contact David Chow, Director of Development, by email or by phone at 206-398-4401.