Michele Berger to lead Faculty Fellows Program

Michele Berger
Michele Berger

Women’s studies professor Michele Tracy Berger has been named the new associate director of the Faculty Fellows Program at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

Berger, associate professor of women’s studies and adjunct professor in the department of city and regional planning, succeeds Laurie Maffly-Kipp, professor of religious studies, who led the program for the past two years.

Berger currently serves as a member of the IAH Faculty Advisory Board, received a Chapman Family Faculty Fellowship in spring 2012, and was also an Academic Leadership Fellow in spring 2009. Her teaching and research interests include multiracial feminism, qualitative methods and HIV/AIDS activism. Her fellowship project in 2012 focused on the importance of inter-generational dialogue about health, sexuality and HIV prevention, based on targeted public health research and her long-standing work with African American mothers and their adolescent daughters in North Carolina.

“We are delighted to have Michele joining us as our associate director. She has never hesitated to lend her expertise and thoughtfulness to various IAH events and initiatives, and we look forward to having her enthusiasm and leadership here at the Institute on a regular basis,” said IAH Director John McGowan. 

Having held a Faculty Fellowship recently, Berger understands the importance of the program, particularly in light of the various changes the University and higher education as a whole are currently facing.

“The program provides an important and singular mechanism for scholars in the College of Arts and Sciences to participate in an exchange that deeply challenges them and helps them generate excellent scholarship, which spills over into curricular innovation and collaborative enterprises,” she said.

Her books include Workable Sisterhood: The Political Journey of Stigmatized Women with HIV/AIDS (Princeton University Press, 2004) and the co-edited collections Gaining Access: A Practical and Theoretical Guide for Qualitative Researchers (Altamira Press, 2003) and The Intersectional Approach: Transforming the Academy Through Race, Class and Gender (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). Her most recent co-authored book is Transforming Scholarship: Why Women’s and Gender Studies Students are Changing Themselves and the World (Routledge Press, 2011). 

The IAH Faculty Fellows Program offers faculty a unique opportunity to enjoy a semester leave on campus to pursue exciting research and projects, develop new courses and programs, and reframe and refresh their teaching. Fellows meet weekly during the semester for a meal and the opportunity to exchange ideas with peers from across the College of Arts and Sciences in a lively, multi-disciplinary conversation.

IAH fellowships are a critical component of UNC’s efforts to retain the best faculty at Carolina, providing the invaluable gift of time in order to refresh, renew and reinvigorate their teaching as they draw upon the conversations and camaraderie they’ve shared in Hyde Hall.