Northwestern State presents faculty research awards

Three members of the Northwestern State University faculty were recognized with faculty research awards, presented to individuals who careers have been dedicated to research, scholarly achievement and service to their discipline.   

Dr. Sarah McFarland was awarded the Dr. Jean D’Amato Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to a senior faculty member whose career has included significant commitment to research and service to their discipline.  Dr. Charles Pellegrin was awarded the Dr. Mildred Hart Bailey Research Award, presented to recognize outstanding research or distinguished artistic performance or creative work completed within the last three years. Dr. Dean Sinclair was awarded the Dr. Marietta LeBreton Louisiana Studies Research Award. The award is presented to a faculty member whose career has been dedicated to research regarding Louisiana topics. 

McFarland is a professor of English is the Department of English, Languages and Cultural Studies. Her scholarly work in the environmental humanities integrates the insights and approaches of literary and cultural studies with those of the natural and social sciences to explore environmental issues. Her more than 30 articles and book chapters and numerous presentations all examine various ways that human beings have extricated themselves from the rest of the living world: what are the consequences of that severing for individuals, communities, other living beings and the biosphere? 

Pellegrin is a professor of history in the School of Social Sciences and Applied Programs and director of the Southern Studies Institute.  

“My research interests have always been somewhere near the intersection of the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement,” he said. “This particularly involves the domestic reaction, which resulted in fear explained as conspiracy theory; in other words, the fear that the Civil Rights Movement was part of a much larger communist plot, directed in Moscow, to destroy American society.”   

Sinclair is a professor of geography in the School of Social Sciences and Applied Programs. In 30 years of work, Sinclair’s research has covered over 200 years of Louisiana history, from the founding of Natchitoches in 1714 to the Civil Rights struggles during the 1950s and 1960s.  He has published research on the Baton Rouge bus boycott as well as the ensuing struggle in the capital over civil rights, providing new insights on the spatial aspects of the efforts.  Sinclair has also presented statistical research on the declining support for constitutional amendments restricting civil rights in the 1960s in Louisiana at regional conferences.