Native scholars Theresa John and Jordan Lewis are named first Mellon Dissertation Fellows

Fairbanks, Alaska (NFIC) 1-09

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has named two Alaska Native doctoral students as its first Mellon Dissertation Fellows.

As Mellon Fellows, Theresa John and Jordan Lewis are each eligible to receive a $30,000 stipend, and research and travel funds in addition to tuition and fees.

Lewis is in his fourth year of doctoral work at UAF. His studies focus on gerontology and circumpolar health issues in rural Alaska communities. His dissertation research explores the concept of successful aging from an Alaska Native perspective.

Lewis is an Aleut from Naknek. He holds a master’s degree in social work from Washington University.

John is an assistant professor in the Department of Alaska Native and Rural Development. She began her doctoral work in January 2007 through the Second Language Acquisition Teacher Education project at the Alaska Native Language Center.

Her dissertation will include the results of her ethnographic research on Yupik dance in Southwestern Alaska, where John grew up. John holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in cross-cultural education from UAF.