Green School faculty thrives, receive distinguished awards

Two faculty members in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs have received distinguished awards, showcasing their scholarly contributions to their specific fields.

Ryan C. Meldrum and April Merleaux were awarded the 2016 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences New Scholar Award and the Humanities in the Public Square Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, respectively.

For Meldrum, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, the award is motivating.

“I feel very honored,” he said. “I know there are many other junior faculty around the country who are making significant contributions to the study of crime and criminal justice, and so to be recognized by the ACJS for my work is very appreciated. I think [this] will push me to work even harder to unravel the complexities of juvenile delinquency, which is my primary area of research.”

The ACJS New Scholar Award, one of the major professional and academic organizations for criminologists, recognizes outstanding scholarly contributions to the study of crime and/or criminal justice by someone who has received their doctoral degree within the past six years.

Meldrum was voted as the unanimous choice for the award.

“Both the Green School and the Criminal Justice department have been very supportive of my work over the past five years I have been at FIU, which undeniably has contributed to my research productivity and receiving the award,” he said. “The financial support to be able to travel to annual conferences each year, combined with the internal grant support at different times, has enabled me to carry out research projects that I otherwise would not have been able to complete.”

April Merleaux, assistant professor in the Department of History, has been named project director of a Humanities in the Public Square Grant, titled “Ecohumanities for Cities in Crisis.”

The grant will fund a public event series in 2016, introducing public audiences to top scholars studying the natural world from humanities perspectives.

Rebeca Friedman, associate professor in the Department of History, and Kenneth Lipartito, professor in the Department of History, are designated as co-principal investigators. The History Department is collaborating with faculty across FIU, as well as with the University of Miami and diverse community partners.

“We need more than science and policy right now,” said Merleaux in a press release. “The humanities give us a chance to talk about what is fair, beautiful and worthy of our love. The humanities bring our communities together through stories.”

Merleaux hopes that people realize how much the humanities have to offer to discussions of sea level rise and climate change.

“We are really excited to bring people into conversation about Miami’s future,” she said.