The Harry and Deborah Berman Sabbatical Fund

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Berman, faculty who are awarded sabbatical leaves may apply for supplemental funding to assist with sabbatical expenses. During his years at UIS, Dr. Harry J. Berman served as a gerontology professor, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Provost, and Interim Chancellor. Deborah M. Berman served in a variety of central administrative positions at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Through the fund, the Bermans continue their commitment to academic and faculty excellence.

Awards are granted through a competitive review and selection process. Application materials and review criteria can be found on the Faculty Grants page.

2021 Award

Artistic Diversity in Pacific Island Cultures

  • Sharon Graf,  Professor of Sociology/Anthropology

Project Summary: The purpose of Dr. Graf’s 2021-22 sabbatical is to conduct field research in the Pacific Islands that contributes to our understanding of human diversity in art, music, performance, and seafaring. She will be traveling by sailboat across the Pacific Ocean, visiting with islanders, and documenting this experience. This second voyage builds on her 2010-11 sabbatical trip to the Pacific and contributes further insight to academic discourse on embodiment, performance, and human relationships with the sea.

2020 Award

Stories of the Magdalene in the Liturgy of Medieval England

  • Donna Bussell, Associate Professor of English

Project Summary:

Dr. Bussell’s sabbatical plan is to research library archives on the liturgies for Mary Magdalene in medieval England, highlighting religious orders for communities of men and of women. Little research has been done on the figure of the Magdalene during the early and high middle ages, when religious practices were in Latin. Secondarily, she will explore the value of digital humanities methods for tracking multiple manuscripts and different narratives. While travel is restricted due to COVID-19, Donna will utilize digital tools and techniques.  Her work will form the foundation for her next book project, and will also impact her teaching, as she continues to lead the development of a digital humanities curriculum at UIS.

2019 Award

Anthropological Studies of Children in Foster Care

  • Jennifer Manthei, Associate Professor of Sociology/Anthropology

Project Summary:

The purpose of Dr. Manthei’s sabbatical is to pursue specialization in anthropological and interdisciplinary childhood studies, with particular attention to foster care and adoption models and assessment. Dr. Manthei’s previous anthropological research focused on the lifestyles of disadvantaged teenage girls in Brazil.

2018 Award

Pilot implementation of accessible theatre shop and craft spaces across the country

  • Dathan Powell, Associate Professor of Theatre

Project Summary:

Dathan Powell, MFA, has been researching accessible design in the scene shop at the UIS Theatre program, and in related classes, for students with physical and cognitive disabilities.  He will spend his Spring 2019 sabbatical on campuses around the country, sharing his research results and learning how to implement his designs in different types of institutions and student populations.