2018 Recipients

Paul Houston Blankenship

Paul Houston Blankenship

Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, USA

Paul Houston Blankenship is a PhD candidate at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. His dissertation is an ethnography on the spiritual lives of people experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Since 2016, Paul has served as an adjunct professor at Seattle University and as a visiting scholar at the University of Washington. Prior to entering the academy, Paul was a social worker in San Diego and Santa Ana. In his spare time, Paul enjoys photography, film, and walking around in wonder with his beloved partner, Veronika.

Elvin Xing Yifu

Elvin Xing Yifu

Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Elvin Xing Yifu is currently pursuing a PhD in Anthropology at the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University. He has conducted research in the tribal areas of Telangana, India for his postgraduate degrees in Anthropology from University of Hyderabad and University of Cambridge. His research interests include, tribal activism in India, anthropology of ethics, religious and social change. His professional affiliations include being a member of a policy study workgroup on integration issues in Singapore, a Fellow with the Centre for Strategic Futures, Prime Minister’s Office (Singapore) and a Teaching Assistant with the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore.

Lucinda Yang

Lucinda Yang

Baylor University, Waco, USA

Lucinda Yang is currently a Ph. D. student at Baylor University’s Department of Religion in Waco, Texas. Before this, she most recently completed her Master’s degree at Duke Divinity School, where she focused on theology and spirituality in Patristics. As a unique Puerto-Rican born Chinese- American, Lucinda has always seen a need for religious global engagement and intercultural dialogue. Because of this, her doctoral research is primarily devoted to the study of the Pentecostal Movement of the twentieth century with an emphasis upon women’s liberation, missionary work, and theology of the Holy Spirit.

Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi, PhD

Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi, PhD

Houston Community College, Katy, USA

Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi, PhD, has degrees in Communications, Education, and Psychology. She has worked as an international educator for almost 20 years focusing on language development and cultural studies with an emphasis on Muslim populations. Her articles have appeared in a number of professional journals including the Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, Ethnicities and The Journal of International Women’s Studies. She is the author of The Colour of Mehndi, a novel that explores acculturation, family values and mental illness within the Pakistani-American community and the lead editor of Mirror on the Veil: a Collection of Personal Narratives on Hijab and Veiling.

​Jason Ashe

​Jason Ashe

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Baltimore, USA

Jason Ashe is a doctoral student in the Graduate Department of Human Services Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). As a Behavioral Medicine and Community Psychologist, Jason is exploring the multidimensionality of black Christian religiosity and spirituality in concert with racial/ethnic health disparities. Specifically, he interrogates how faith-based narratives, social support, and religiosity among African Americans influence health behaviors, physician-patient relationships, and inflammation. Jason studied chemistry at MIT and immediately after graduation, began his theological training at Duke University Divinity School, obtaining his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology. He is passionate about social justice, championing for better healthcare accessibility, affordability, and equity.

Ruth Tsuria, PhD

Ruth Tsuria, PhD

Seton Hall University, South Orange, USA

Ruth Tsuria, Assistant Professor at Seton Hall University College of Communication and the Arts, has earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University Department of Communication.

Her research, which investigates the intersection of digital media, religion, and feminism, has been published in various academic outlets, such as The Communication Review, Journal of Media and Religion, and New Media + Society. Her work has been supported by various bodies, including Women and Gender Studies Program at Texas A&M University. She is currently working on her first book Holy Women, Pious Sex and Sanctified Internet: Exploring Jewish Online Discourse on Gender and Sexuality.

Rita Phillips

Rita Phillips

Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

Rita Phillips is a PhD Psychology student at Oxford Brookes University, supervised by Prof. Vince Connelly and Dr. Mark Burgess. Rita’s general research interests revolve around the development and construction of perceptions to facilitate an understanding of observable attitudes and behaviours. She conducts social psychological research, is an Oxford University Mellon-Sawyer Fellow and lectures Psychology at Oxford Brookes University, the University of East London and at St. Clare’s College Oxford. Next to other projects, she is working on a joint publication, ‘Beyond the uniform(ity)-Social construction of images of veterans in the post truth world’, which will be launched in 2019. You can contact her at rita.phillips-2015@brookes.ac.uk.

Austin Tiffany

Austin Tiffany

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Austin is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge and is affiliated with the Department of Sociology and the Woolf Institute. His PhD research examines how social change has reshaped the role of clergy and the interreligious training provided by seminary institutions. His data draws from Jewish and Christian seminary faculty and clergy in New York and London. By better understanding the interreligious actions of clergy and teaching at seminaries, Austin hopes his research will spur faith communities to think about their relationship with other religions and society in a more robust manner.

Rafał Milerski

Rafał Milerski

Universität München, Munich, Germany

Rafał is a PhD Candidate at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany where he is working on a dissertation on religious freedom and US-Vatican relations. He has studied in Washington, D.C., Warsaw, and Heidelberg. Rafał’s research interests are in the intersection of religion and politics, and in political and legal history and theory.

​Daniel N. Gullotta

​Daniel N. Gullotta

Stanford University, California, USA

Daniel N. Gullotta is a historian of religion, particularly interested in the history of North American Christianity and Biblical interpretation. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Religious Studies at Stanford University and a recent graduate of Yale University’s Divinity School, in the Master of Arts in Religion program, with a concentration in the History of Christianity. His scholarship is focused on 18th and 19th Century American Christianity and some of his interests include Joseph Smith and early Mormonism, American witchcraft and occult traditions, and the relationship between Jacksonian democracy and religion. He is also the host of the Age of Jackson Podcast.

In Their Words

Being an Emerging Scholar allowed me to participate in both the front end and behind the scenes workings of the conference, which gave me a balanced perspective on what goes into putting on such an event."

Margret Ann Thors, 2017 Awardee

I think this conference really gave me a sense of what interfaith dialogue actually looks like when it is natural. It gave me the chance to refine my own skills in learning and teaching amongst very diverse people."

Trevor B. Williams, 2015 Awardee