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College of Arts and Sciences


2015-2016 Bilinski Fellows

Stephanie Boone Mosher is a Ph.D. candidate in English, Composition and Rhetoric at USC.  Her research focuses on how competing language ideologies influence writing instructors’ teaching and assessment practices, particularly when working with linguistically diverse students.  In conjunction with her Ph.D. studies, she is also pursuing a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate through USC’s Linguistics program.  She has presented her research at regional, national, and international conferences, including the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Watson Conference, the Rhetoric Society of America, and Writing Research Across Borders.  Prior to receiving the Bilinski Fellowship, she received USC’s Presidential Fellowship.

Before pursing her Ph.D., Stephanie earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Nonfiction, from the University of Arizona, and a B.A. in History and English from Hiram College in northeastern Ohio.  She previously worked as a freelance writer while teaching literature, composition, and creative writing in western New York. At USC, she has taught composition and advanced writing courses.  She spent two years as an Assistant Director of First-Year English, and earned the Dr. William Richey Student Mentor Award in 2014.
Link to Dissertation Abstract (PDF):


Adam Griffey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of South Carolina focusing on novels that address themes of religion, violence, and young people, under the direction of Dr. Sara Schwebel. He received a B.A. in English from Berea College and M.A. degrees in English and History from Appalachian State University. He has taught courses in Rhetoric and Composition, American Literature, World Literature, Religious Literature, and Young Adult Literature at USC and Appalachian State. He was a USC Presidential Fellow from 2011-2015 and has presented at conferences for the Society for the Study of Southern Literature and the Children’s Literature Association. He is grateful to the Bilinski Education Foundation for the resources and time to complete his dissertation.
Link to Dissertation Abstract (PDF):


David W. Hancock is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Culture’s (DLLC) Spanish/Portuguese Program. His research interests include representations of gender performance in Brazilian and Mexican crime/detective fiction from the 1980’s to the present. Last fall he presented his research in Mexico City at the Conferencia Internacional de Literatura Detectivesca en Español. He plans on presenting again at CILDE and at the Congreso de novela y cine negro held in April 2016 in Salamanca. He also looks forward to interviewing author Rubem Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro.

David has interpreted/translated in local courts and in Southeast Florida, and he has taught Spanish at Crestwood High School in Sumter, SC. At USC, he teaches Spanish and Portuguese language classes that range from basic to advanced levels. He recently won the DLLC Teaching and Dissertation Awards for graduate students. As a research assistant for Dr. Rachel Davis in the Department of Public Health in 2014, David collaborated in writing short stories, translating documents, and conducting interviews used in Dr. Davis’ study titled Crafting health promotion narratives: Childhood obesity prevention among Mexican-origin mothers of preschool-aged children, with his name included as part of the study’s authorship. He was also the Spanish 121 Course Coordinator during the 2014-15 academic year.
Link to Dissertation Abstract (PDF):


Irina Vasilyeva Meier is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature. Originally from Russia, she completed a Specialist degree in Translation and Theory of Translation at Vyatka State University of Humanities in Russia before moving to the United States to earn a B.S. in Political Science and then an M.A. in English from Eastern New Mexico University. Her main academic interests focus on interdisciplinary studies including terrorism in Russia, terror and literature, national identity and exile, women's issues in Russia and the Soviet Union, and connections between literary theory and practical politics. At the University of South Carolina, Irina taught course sections of Beginning Russian, Intermediate Russian (an intensive online eight-week summer course), and Advanced Russian; 19th Century and 20th  Century Russian Literature in Russian; Conversational Russian; and World Literature. Prior to receiving the Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship, Irina’s research was funded through teaching assistantships, Rhude Patterson Graduate Fellowship, Ceny Walker Graduate Fellowship, and the Cantey Fellowship in Liberal Arts from the University of South Carolina. Irina is very grateful for the generous financial support provided to her by the Bilinski Foundation, as it will enable her to devote all her time and effort to her dissertation and, after completing her doctoral degree, to continue pursuing her professional goals in both university teaching and research.
Link to Dissertation Abstract (PDF):


Douglas Page is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science who studies European Union politics.  He focuses on the democratic legitimacy of the EU, the EU’s anti-discrimination policies regarding women and LGBT people, and the reasons behind public support for the EU.  He received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 2010.  He presented his research at leading national conferences, including the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, International Studies Association, Midwest Political Science Association, and Southern Political Science Association.  In USC’s Political Science Department, he taught courses on European Politics, European Union Politics, and the Politics of National and International Courts.  He was a Presidential Fellow of USC’s Graduate School before receiving the Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship.
Link to Dissertation Abstract (PDF):


Neal Polhemus is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department at USC. He received a B.S. in Psychology and Master’s degree in History from the College of Charleston. Polhemus has been a recipient of several grants and awards for his research, such as a SPARC Graduate Research Grant, the Atkinson-Wyatt Fellowship, and grants from the USC Institute for Southern Studies and the USC Institute for African American Research. Polhemus has presented his research at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and the Southern Historical Association and published articles in the Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina and (forthcoming) in Atlantic Studies: Global Currents. In addition to traditional publication venues, Polhemus has curated and developed two digital humanities exhibits for the Lowcountry Digital Library. Since 2011, Polhemus has served as a graduate liaison for the Latin American and Caribbean Section (LACS) of the Southern Historical Association.
Link to Dissertation Abstract (PDF):


Sueanna Smith is a doctoral candidate in Colonial and 19th Century American Literature in the English Department at USC. She received her B.S. in Social Science from Saint Thomas Aquinas College and her M.A. in English from California State University Stanislaus. As a specialist in early African American literary history, her doctoral research examines the social and cultural contexts surrounding the production, dissemination, and reception of early black writing.

Sueanna has held research fellowships at the American Antiquarian Society and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Her research has also been funded by the Omohundro Institute for Early American Literature and Culture and USC’s Institute for African American Research. Her work has been published in The Sigma Tau Delta Review, The San Joaquin Valley Journal, and most recently in African American Leadership: A Concise Reference Guide. Additionally, Sueanna served as Senior Editor for Southern Humor Periodical Repository, a digital collection sponsored by the South Caroliniana Library. Sueanna enjoys teaching for USC’s First Year English Program, where she has recently taught courses on American sports culture and on the representation of race in popular culture.
Link to Dissertation Abstract (PDF):


Charlton Yingling is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at the University of South Carolina.  He earned his M.A. in Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University and B.A. in History at Marshall University.  He works on themes of radicalism and counterrevolution, popular religion, race, and nation in colonial Spanish Santo Domingo during the Haitian Revolution amid broader Caribbean and Atlantic connections. He has published articles in History Workshop Journal, Early American Studies, and Sociales, and a chapter in the book Crossing Boundaries: Ethnicity, Race, and National Belonging in a Transnational World. His research in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Spain, the Vatican, and the United Kingdom has been funded externally by the Ministry of Culture and Education of Spain, the Academy of American Franciscan History, Conference on Latin American History, Harvard University Atlantic History Seminar, and internally by the Institute for African American Research, the Walker Institute for International Studies, and the Vice President for Research at the University of South Carolina.  Chaz is extremely grateful for the support of the Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Fellowship.
Link to Dissertation Abstract (PDF):