Th.D. Students Win National and International Awards

Printer-friendly version
Thursday, August 4, 2011

Robert MosesThree students in Duke Divinity School’s Th.D. program have received major awards to assist their research. Robert Moses D’08 has been awarded a DAAD fellowship to study in Germany in the coming academic year. Rebekah Eklund and Heather Vacek D’06 have each received a Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship.

The DAAD, which is funded by the German Academic Exchange Program, is a highly competitive fellowship. In order to be considered, applicants must first go through an in-depth screening process at their own institution, including rounds of interviews and tests of German language proficiency.

Moses is beginning his fourth year in the Th.D. program and is writing his dissertation on the topic of principalities and powers in the letters of Paul, focusing on the relation to historical and theological interactions in post-World War II Germany. He plans to use the grant to study in Germany in the spring of 2012.

The Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowships are awarded to students who are in the final stage of their doctoral program and whose work “promises a significant contribution to the study of American religion.”

Rebekah Eklund and Heather VacekHeather Vacek, currently in her fifth year of the Th.D., is writing on Christian responses to mental illness, drawing on the fields of American religious history and theology. “This award will allow me to devote my time this year to research and writing,” she said. “The Louisville Institute also connects us to other scholars, especially those focused on the church, which enriches our own work.” 

Rebekah Eklund, also in her fifth year, is focusing her dissertation research on lament in the New Testament. She said that the award will support her research, and enable her to attend major academic conferences, like the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in November.

According to Dean Richard Hays, these prestigious awards recognize the scholarly potential and achievement of these students. The awards are “yet another measure of the resounding success of our relatively new Th.D. program,” he said.