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Five Grants, Awards, and Scholarships distributed from GCAH

Featured Five Grants, Awards, and Scholarships distributed from GCAH

The General Commission on Archive and History (GCAH) of The United Methodist Church (UMC) is pleased to announce the 2022 recipients of five awards, grants, and scholarships: the John Harrison Ness Memorial Award, the Josephine Forman Scholarship, the Women in United Methodist History Writing Award, the Women in United Methodist History Research Grant, and the World is My Parish Research Grant. 

“GCAH is incredibly honored to be able to support academic research and writing through our grants and awards programs,” said Dr. Ashley Boggan, Executive Secretary for the agency. “It's one of the pivotal ways that we continue to be a bridge between the church and the academy.” 

The John Harrison Ness Memorial Award, given annually in memory of John Harrison Ness (1891-1980), pastor, conference superintendent, and denominational executive in the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The $500 first prize and $200 second place prize is awarded by GCAH to students enrolled in the M. Div. program (or its equivalent) in United Methodist or other seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools to recognize and celebrate their interest and research in the area of church history.  The essay must be submitted by the writer’s professor.

This year first place was presented to Carie Dupree, a recent M.Div. graduate from Duke Divinty School in North Carolina. Her paper submitted by her professor, Dr. Russ Richey, is titled “Methodist Desegregation and Inclusion: Polity vs. Policy." Dupree is passionate about social justice and seeks to live out a call to social justice ministry addressing criminal justice reform, race and gender equality, environmental justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, and food insecurity. Her commitment to compassion and justice is driving her to pursue ordination as a Deacon in The United Methodist Church. Carie has a love for writing and reading about history, especially Methodist history, because it is inspiring, convicting, and hopeful. “I’m honored and excited to receive the John Harrison Ness Memorial Award. The complex history of The United Methodist Church convicts me to be a part of action and advocacy for the future of the denomination,” said Dupree “and also fills me with hope for the ways the church can transform the world. My hope is that my writing will inspire others to learn more about Methodist history and its implications for our present and future. Receiving the award certainly encourages me to continue research and writing on my interests in the social history, women, and inclusion of minority groups in Methodist traditions.”  

The second place John Ness Memorial Award was presented to Adam Muckleroy, a student at Perkins School of Theology.  His “American Parable” paper was written for Dr. Ted Campbell for a directed study course focused specifically on American Methodism in times of crisis. “I am grateful to have received second place for the John Harrison Ness Memorial Award,” said Muckleroy, “It encourages me to continue to tell the stories and lift up the voices that I have been focusing on in my studies.”

The Josephine Forman Scholarship was presented to Elias Larralde. Larralde is currently the student assistant archivist at the Center for Creative Photography where he aids in processing collections and making them available through their online collection system. “Like Mrs. Forman, I am determined to use my skills and future career to help preserve and document the history and lives of various groups that are not always in the mainstream, especially in the LGBTQIA and Latinx [MM2] community,” said Larralde. “My goal is to become an archivist or special collections librarian specializing in Queer studies, food studies, metadata/digital archiving, and oral history. I want to give my sincere gratitude for the GCAH for this scholarship that has given me and many others the space to continue our work to make the career a more diverse and nuanced environment.”

The scholarship, administered by GCAH in partnership with the Society of American Archivists (SAA), provides financial support to minority students pursuing graduate education in archival science, encourages students to pursue a career as an archivist, and promotes diversity within the American archives profession. The scholarship is given to applicants who demonstrate excellent potential for scholastic and personal achievement and who manifest a commitment both to the archives profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it. 

The Women in United Methodist History Research Grant provides seed money for research projects relating specifically to the history of women in the UMC or its antecedents. Selection is made by a committee consisting of three persons who are historians of women in United Methodism. The newly announced 2022 recipient is Dr. Stephanie Derrick, a historian of religion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with a focus on the social, cultural, and publishing history of Christianity in Britain and America.  She is the author of the multiple award-winning book The Fame of C. S. Lewis: A Controversialist's Reception in Britain and America and editor of Chasing Paper: Critical Reflections on Christian Books and Publishing.

“As an independent scholar, I am especially grateful for the support of this Women in United Methodist History Grant,” said Derrick. “To date, the women who have worked in many different capacities within the publishing arm of the United Methodist Church have not been given the recognition they deserve.  It requires delving into the archives to recover their stories.  However, such an undertaking takes considerable resources.  This grant will enable me to travel to the archives in Madison, NJ and communicate what I find there to the broader public.  I am thankful for the chance to pursue this good work.”

The Women in United Methodist History Writing Award is awarded to encourage and reward excellence in research and writing about the history of women in The United Methodist Church or its antecedents. Selection is made by a committee consisting of three persons who are historians of women in United Methodism. The 2022 recipient is Dr. Jenny McGill. She is an adjunct faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University and Dallas Theological Seminary, having worked for ten years as an intercultural consultant and international educator with clients and students from over sixty nations. A Fulbright award recipient, she researches the intersection of religion, culture, and identity. Her books include Religious Identity and Cultural Negotiation and Walk with Me.

“I am honored to receive the 2022 Women's History Writing Award in highlighting the brilliant life of Anna E. Hall, an African American missionary to Liberia,” said McGill. “I write for my Black son, to pass on stories of those who plowed before him, often against the cultural grain to great effect. Reading her forty years of correspondence--preserved so diligently by the General Commission on Archives and History--reminds me that one's life may be largely hidden to many but bear striking significance nonetheless.”

The World is My Parish Research Grant was given to Dr. Devin Manzullo-Thomas an assistant professor of American religious history at Messiah University, where he also serves as director of the E. Morris and Leone Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies and as director of archives. This grant is given to enable the collection of written and oral history and encourage research regarding the development of The United Methodist Church and its antecedents in any of the conferences not in the United States.

Manzullo-Thomas’ research explores the intersection of commemoration, memory, and material culture in American Protestantism. His first book, Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration and Religion’s Presence of the Past(University of Massachusetts Press, 2022) is the first study of the history of evangelical museums and historical sites in the twentieth- and twenty-first-century United States. He has also written and published extensively on the history of the Brethren in Christ Church. 

“This generous grant will enable me to conduct necessary archival research for my project, both at GCAH and elsewhere,” said Manzullo-Thomas. “I’m grateful for the committee’s enthusiastic support for my scholarship!”

For more information on grants, awards and scholarships offered by GCAH, please visit: