The Great Seal outside Upham Hall

Dean's Scholars

Application due: Typically at the beginning of April of your junior year. Check here for more information.

Each year, about 30 juniors from the College of Arts and Science are chosen to participate in the Dean's Scholar program. Dean's Scholars work on independent research projects during their senior year, with funding from CAS and guidance from a faculty mentor. Each April, that year's graduating Dean's Scholars present their work to the Miami University community at a one-day conference organized by the Dean's Scholars themselves, with assistance from their faculty mentors.

If you are interested in applying to be a Dean's Scholar, you should start thinking about it during fall semester of your junior year. Consult with a faculty member in the department who you would like to have as your mentor. You will need to develop a project proposal, which your potential mentor will need to endorse.

2017-2018 Dean's Scholar

Kelsi SieveringKelsi Sievering

Kelsi is a triple major in religion, political science, and international studies. As a Dean's Scholar, she will study the oral and written sermons of Anwar al-Awlaqi, a charismatic former imam who is believed to have inspired "lone wolf" attacks including the Boston Marathon bombing and the Fort Hood shooting. By analyzing the rhetoric of al-Awlaqi's sermons, Kelsi aims to understand his appeal and thus, by extension, to understand better the motivations of individual terror actors. Her mentor for this research project is Dr. Nathan French.


Past Dean's Scholars from our department

Dean's Scholars of recent years include the following Comparative Religion majors.

Katie PoppeKatie Poppe

A double major in religion and history, Katie Poppe wrote an interdisciplinary honors thesis for her Dean's Scholar project, with two faculty mentors; Dr. Nathan French was her mentor from the Department of Comparative Religion. Katie's thesis, "When Pharaoh Falls: Egyptian History and the Rise of Jihadi-Salafism," traced the history of modern jihadist movements, often associated with Saudi Arabia, back to 19th-century Egypt under British rule. Katie went on to pursue graduate studies at George Washington University.


Sarah ManningSarah Manning

Sarah was a double major in religion and international studies. As Dean's Scholar, she produced a senior thesis titled "When God was Irrelevant: Religion and Strategy in Foreign Policy," mentored by Dr. Nathan French. Faulting the "singular worldview" that guided the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Sarah called for a new national security strategy that includes civilian expertise in areas including anthropology and religious studies. After graduating from Miami, Sarah pursued a degree in security studies at Georgetown University.