The CSWS Advisory Board has approved a new Graduate Writing Fellowship for doctoral students who are in the early stages of dissertation writing. The intent of the fellowship is to provide a summer writing stipend to top finalists for the Jane Grant Dissertation Fellowship.
“We receive so many meritorious applications for the Jane Grant Dissertation Fellowship and it is always wrenching to turn away deserving projects,” said CSWS director Michelle McKinley. “The Board discussed and authorized these summer writing awards to support projects which advance the writing process and hasten the time to completion. To this end, our first award was matched by the Graduate School to provide additional support.”
Melissa Barnes, a PhD student in psychology, is the inaugural fellowship winner for her dissertation project, “Gendered and Racialized Police Violence Towards the Black Community: Feminist Integration of the Concepts of Betrayal Trauma, Collective Trauma, and Vicarious Trauma.”
“Melissa has been working intensely for months now on her dissertation project that addresses the impact of police brutality on Black citizens,” said her dissertation advisor and professor of psychology Jennifer Freyd. “It is theoretically deep and empirically ambitious and it going to make a huge contribution.”
In her research, Barnes has collected new data and developed new theory on several projects that touch on racial discrimination, gender sexual violence, and disclosure of sexual violence. Her dissertation project draws on all this work to propose a creative merging of three previously siloed research literatures – betrayal trauma theory, vicarious trauma, and collective trauma – with a focus on the intersectional issue of gender and racial police brutality.
Barnes has participated in department and major university committees addressing clinical psychology, policing, racial discrimination, and sexual trauma. She also played a central role in a university task force that wrote and ushered into being a new reporting policy for the university.