The Institute for Society, Culture and Environment Senior Fellow Program was designed to support faculty pursuing an innovative research agenda with a strong potential for significant future funding from government agencies, corporations, industrial consortia, or foundations. The program provided an opportunity for a faculty member to prepare to lead a project by developing new expertise in a research area or further developing an existing area of research. 

Past Senior Fellows

Anthony Peguero

This is a photograph of Anthony Peguero.

Anthony Peguero, assistant professor of Sociology, used his time as a fellow to strengthen his research on school securitization by establishing relationships and collaboration with other researchers as well as funding agencies. Dr. Peguero also implemented a mixed-methods study about securing schools and educational progress. This involved travel to other universities' research institutes and centers. 

France Bélanger

This is a photograph of France Belanger.

France Bélanger, professor of Accounting & Information Systems, focused her efforts on developing new expertise on mobile technology addiction by learning about research on addiction in the health sciences. She conducted a literature review on the subject matter, analyzed that data to identify major themes, and developed relationships with health professionals and researchers with expertise in the areas related to addiction. Dr. Bélanger will continue to further her expertise in this area and prepare proposals for federal funding for a longitudinal study of mobile addiction.

Sheryl Ball 

This is a photograph of Sheryl Ball.

Sheryl Ball, professor of Economics, focused her efforts on developing new skills and expertise in neuroeconomics. She participated in several data analysis training courses, completed fMRI advanced user training, and attended several workshops on funding for neuroscience research. Dr. Ball also presented a poster at the Society for Neuroscience. conference and contributed to the development of three interdisciplinary research proposals.

Toni Calasanti

This is a photograph of Toni Calasanti.

Toni Calasanti, professor of Sociology, used her time as an ISCE Senior Fellow to lay the groundwork for the development of two proposals related to the aging gay and lesbian population. This involved travelling to potential recruitment sites across the country, meeting with relevant personnel in different agencies, and conducting pilot interviews.

Martha Ann Bell

This is a photograph of Martha Ann Bell.

Martha Ann Bell, professor of Psychology, focused her efforts on learning a new research methodology, the Event Related Potential (ERP) recorded during infant cognitive processing. This involved reading the literature, having conversations with ERP researchers, and visiting three ERP research labs. 

Bernice Hausman

This is a photograph of Bernice Hausman

Bernice Hausman, professor of English, used her fellowship to educate herself in the rhetoric of decision-making and in current scholarship on vaccination. She became involved with a group pursuing NIH's Culture, Health, and Wellbeing initiative.

Sonia Hirt

This is a photograph of Sonia Hirt.

Sonia Hirt, associate professor of Urban Affairs and Planning and the School of Public and International Affairs, was awarded the first ISCE Senior Fellow in Spring 2012. During her fellowship semester, she focused her efforts on three fronts: collecting data, seeking grants to sponsor further work, and analysis and writing based on previously collected data.

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Why Social Science?

Bill Riley, Director of NIH's Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research writes about the importance of research into the social determinants of health and illness.


Faculty Spotlight

Thomas Ewing's research on the Spanish Flu.



Please join us on Monday, April 10th for "Ecologies of Injustice" -- a panel discussion hosted by The Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience.

This panel discussion brings together scholars at Virginia Tech whose work intersects the concerns of environmental justice, with community members, and interested individuals to increase our understanding of the diffuse ways that environmental injustice is experienced in our contemporary world. The conversation encompasses political, economic, social, and environmental factors that precipitate disproportionate exposure to environmental risk or access to resources and is designed to build bridges across the Virginia Tech campus and greater-Blacksburg community.


The 40th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference will be held March 9-12 at Virginia Tech, and will feature a keynote address by Dr. James Hansen, the director of the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program at Columbia University.  Learn more about the conference here.


A peer-reviewed poster session that features the work of Carol Mullen "Creativity and Education in China" will be held March 21 from 3:00-4:30 in the Wallace Atrium. 


NSF’s Public Access Requirement

A new NSF requirement applies to new awards resulting from proposals submitted, or due, on or after the effective date of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) issued on January 25, 2016. NSF requires that either the version of record or the final accepted manuscript in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions must:

  • Be deposited in a public access compliant repository designated by NSF;
  • Be available for download, reading and analysis free of charge no later than 12 months after initial publication;
  • Possess a minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements in a metadata record to be made available free of charge upon initial publication;
  • Be managed to ensure long-term preservation; and
  • Be reported in annual and final reports during the period of the award with a persistent identifier that provides links to the full text of the publication as well as other metadata elements.

For more information, please visit NSF’s Public Access website