Kentucky State University professor Dr. Donavan L. Ramon was recently announced as the recipient of the prestigious Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship. Ramon is the first Kentucky State faculty member to earn the fellowship.
Ramon is an assistant professor of liberal studies in the Whitney Young School of Honors at Kentucky State.
“I received the good news with the good news while I was teaching,” Ramon said. “I couldn’t open it right away and had to contain my excitement. My delayed reaction gave way to enthusiasm and I have been smiling ever since.”
The Career Enhancement Fellowship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provides each recipient with a six-month or one-year sabbatical grant; a research, travel or publication stipend and participation in an annual conference or retreat. The mission of the fellowship is to increase the presence of minority junior faculty members and other faculty members committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields of the arts and humanities, according to the foundation’s website.
Ramon received a one-year fellowship, along with scholars from institutions such as Cornell University, Spelman College and Vanderbilt University.
“During my sabbatical next year, I will edit a journal on Nella Larson’s novel Passing and complete the revised draft of my book,” Ramon said. “In my book, I apply psychoanalysis to racial passing narratives to understand the motivations behind jumping the color line.”
The fellowship is open to Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Programs alumni, minority junior faculty and junior faculty with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities breaking down stereotypes and promoting cross-racial understanding in their university communities, according to the foundation’s website.
Applicants must also be in their third-year of a tenure-track teaching appointment when applying and in one of the designated fields of study.
“I used to work at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation as a graduate student and I learned about the Career Enhancement Fellowship then,” Ramon said. “I knew some of the previous winners, who sang its praises. Through them, I learned that winning it means a pre-paid tenure sabbatical to complete research under the mentorship of a senior scholar.”
Ramon is also a contributing writer and editor for Ark Republic.