Two members of the law faculty, Sean Seymore and Daniel Sharfstein, are among the 15 Vanderbilt faculty selected as members of the first cohort of the Chancellor Faculty Fellows program.
The inaugural class of fellows has representation from across the humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, the clinical sciences, engineering and music as well as law.
The faculty members will hold the title of Chancellor Faculty Fellow for two years and be supported by an unrestricted allocation of $40,000 a year for two fiscal years beginning July 1, 2015. The funds can be used to support innovative research, scholarship and creative expression activities that will further propel the career of the awardee.
The fellows will also meet as a group during the course of their awards to foster exchange of research interests and build a broader intellectual community that advances trans-institutional scholarship.
“The strong commitment to education, discovery and care demonstrated by these faculty members is having an enormous impact on Vanderbilt and its mission of serving society,” Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said. “Already proven leaders and innovators in their fields, we have chosen to further invest in them at this critical point in their careers to ensure they have ample resources and opportunities to build their own body of work and to serve as outstanding mentors to postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and undergraduates.”
Seymore, who holds a secondary appointment in the department of chemistry, studies how patent law should evolve in response to scientific advances and how the intersection of law and science should influence the formulation of public policy.
Sharfstein’s scholarship focuses on the legal history of race in the United States. He received a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship to support his work on a book-length exploration of post Reconstruction America. He co-directs the law school’s Social Justice Program.
“I’m excited that Sean Seymore and Daniel Sharfstein have been selected for the inaugural class of Chancellor Faculty Fellows,” Dean Chris Guthrie said. “Both are doing important work—Sean in patent law and Dan in legal history—and they will benefit from Vanderbilt’s investment in their work as well as from the interaction with accomplished peers from across the university.”
The Chancellor Faculty Fellows Program was launched in September 2014 to support outstanding faculty who have recently received tenure. The TIPs Council, which is co-chaired by Vice Provost for Academic and Strategic Affairs John Geer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Larry Marnett, reviewed and made final recommendations on the more than 60 applications received.
“These faculty members are distinguished by their excellence and scholarship,” Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Wente said. “I am tremendously proud of their accomplishments and look forward to continuing to support their career growth at Vanderbilt. They are key to bringing to reality the goals and aspirations that are outlined in the Academic Strategic Plan.
“We are truly excited about this new program. It sends a strong message regarding our commitment to continued investments in faculty members throughout their careers, while enriching our community of One Vanderbilt scholars,” Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Jeff Balser said.