Four Johns Hopkins PhD candidates receive Newcombe Fellowships

Year-long, $25,000 award supports final year of dissertation work

The 2018 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows

Image caption: The 2018 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows include Onder Celik, Ariella Messing, Alexander Englert, and Smriti Upadhyay.

Four Johns Hopkins University graduate students have been named Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for 2018 by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

The fellowship fosters the original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences. Each 2018 fellow will receive a 12-month award of $25,000 to support his or her final year of dissertation work. Three of the PhD candidates—Onder Celik, Alexander Englert, and Smriti Upadhyay—are students in JHU's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. A fourth, Ariella Messing, is a student in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

  • Onder Celik is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology; his dissertation, Subterranean Dreams: Hunting for Armenian Treasures in the Post-Genocide Landscape, explores the popular practices regarding the search for treasures that were supposedly buried by victims of the Armenian genocide in Turkey's Kurdistan.  
  • Alexander Englert is completing his dissertation, Evolving the Highest Good: A Study of a Kantian Idea, in the Department of Philosophy; his dissertation investigates the connection between ideals and moral action in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.  
  • Ariella Messing is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management; her dissertation, Hyde and Go Seek Funding: Grassroots Abortion Funds in the United States, examines how policy restrictions privilege the conscience of those morally opposed to abortion, impose burdens on those committed to reproductive justice, and create a health care system that is dependent on altruism.  
  • Smriti Upadhyay is completing her dissertation, Sacrifice, Selflessness, and Struggle: Religious Mobilization and the Contemporary Indian Labor Movement, in the Department of Sociology. The project examines Hindu nationalism in India to analyze how within a cross-class movement, both elites and workers can simultaneously wield and be undermined by the double-edged sword of religion.

The Hopkins students are among 21 promising scholars named Newcombe Fellows this year by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. It is the nation's largest and most prestigious award for PhD candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values

Funded by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the fellowship was created in 1981 and has supported more than 1,200 doctoral candidates, most of them now noted faculty at domestic and foreign institutions.