Dr. Virginia Hart and Dr. Robert Melvin in 2010

The Hart-Melvin Archival Research Fellowship was named in honor of beloved former Mars Hill faculty members, Dr. Virginia Hart and Dr. Robert Melvin. It was made possible by the Mars Hill Class of 1960 and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The fellowship supports a faculty-student team each year as they explore the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies’ Southern Appalachian Archives. The faculty-student team then develops curriculum materials for use Mars Hill University classrooms and beyond. Potential faculty fellows can view the call for proposals here: Hart-Melvin CFP 2024.

The Southern Appalachian Archives collections include materials addressing many aspects of mountain life. The collections include documents, photographs, sound recordings, and artifacts. They are especially rich for music and dance, religious life, and agriculture but contain important materials regarding other arenas such as craft traditions, foodways, transportation, and forest use. Strong Hart-Melvin Fellowship proposals addressing a variety of topics can certainly be developed using these collections.

Dr. Virginia Hart and Dr. Robert Melvin in 1959.

Ramsey Center Faculty Research Fellows:

Spring 2024 Ryan Bell

  • Focus on Mars Hill College/ University Student Organizations
  • Student Fellow: Lauren Sermersheim, Community and Nonprofit Leadership and Religion and Philosophy double major

Fall 2022 Ann Peiffer

  • Focus on Cherokee history and culture

Fall 2021 Ethan Mannon

  • Focus on agriculture in Southern Appalachia
  • Student Fellow: Chloe Metcalf, English major

Fall 2020 Greta Keiper-Blake

  • Focus on textiles and weaving in Southern Appalachia
  • Student Fellow: Eriana Ansley, Business Administration and Apparel and Interior Merchandising double major

Fall 2019 David Gilbert

  • Mars Hill African American history focus
  • Student Fellow: Malik Frost, History major, Appalachian Studies, Business Administration, Public History minor

Fall 2018 Jonathan Brown

  • Labor and sports economics focus
  • Regional economic analysis
  • Student Fellow: Hannah McCormick, Apparel and Interior Merchandising major

Fall 2017 Laura Boggess

  • Appalachian environmental history focus
  • Natural Sciences 112: Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Biology 212: Natural History of the Southern Appalachians
  • Student Fellow: Patricia Thompson, Art Therapy major, Environmental Studies minor

Fall 2016 Brandon Johnson

  • Appalachian Music focus
  • Regional Studies 344: Creative Traditions in Southern Appalachia
  • Student fellow Ian Kirkpatrick, Political Science and International Studies major, History and Regional Studies minor

Fall 2015 Pauline Johnson

  • North Carolina History focus; course materials produced available here.
  • History 202:  North Carolina History and Government
  • Student fellow Roman Blevins, History major seeking Secondary Social Studies licensure

Fall 2014 Jonna Kwiatkowski

  • Creativity focus, using Oral History, Byard Ray Festival, James G.K. McClure Farmers Federation collections
  • Psychology 310:  Intelligence and Creativity
  • Student fellow Amethyst Strivelli, Art Therapy major

Fall 2013 Becky Cody

  • Hooked rug collection focus
  • Apparel and Interior Merchandising 125:  Decorative and Wearable Arts.  Apparel and Interior Merchandising program
  • Student fellow Hillary Gambrell, Apparel and Interior Merchandising major

Fall 2012 Joel Reed

  • Shaped-note music collections focus
  • Music 468:  Ballads, Folksongs and Christian Harmony Singing in the Southern Mountains.  Regional Studies, Music
  • Student fellow Andrew Hebert, Voice major

Fall 2011 Marc Mullinax

  • Lord’s Acre and Baptist collections focus
  • Religion 343:  Religion in Appalachia.  Regional Studies, Religion
  • Student fellow Jordon Crawford, Zoology major

Fall 2010 Carol Boggess

  • Bascom Lamar Lunsford ballad collection focus
  • English 111:  Expository Essay.  Core English course, required for all students
  • Student fellow Kristina Blackford, English major

Fall 2009 John Gripentrog

  • James G.K. McClure “Farmers Federation” collection focus
  • History 224:   U.S. Since 1865. Core history course, American Diversity connector
  • Student fellow Amanda McMahan, History major

Fall 2008 Phyllis Smith

  • Cherokee collections focus
  • LAA 221:   Civic Life. Core course, Liberal Arts in Action program; required for all students
  • Student fellow Tyler Greene, History major