Harlowe Hodges, assistant professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Frostburg State University, has become the sixth FSU recipient of the Henry C. Welcome Fellowship, an incentive program designed to help colleges and universities attract and maintain a diverse faculty.
Awards are made to new, full-time, minority faculty members whose appointments will improve the diversity of their institutions. The $20,000 award from the Maryland Higher Education Commission is paid over a three-year period and is designed to assist the fellow with research or other academic development through a variety of means.
Hodges' undergraduate work was done at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmonton and at the Parsons School of Art in Los Angeles, Calif. He holds a master of fine arts degree from University of North Texas in Denton. In between, he worked as a graphic artist, designer and illustrator and has lived in Missouri, California, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. He also spent time as a training consultant in Jakarta, Indonesia, a position which provided him the opportunity to see much of Southeast Asia.
Hodges says he produces art in a wide variety of media, but the majority has been professional graphic arts. One professional job in Texas, to create a series of large-scale illustrations of African-American cowboys for a shopping complex in Norman, Okla., gave birth to a current passion, that of researching and creating illustrations of real-life African-American cowboys and cowgirls from history. Three of those illustrations will be on display as part of the "Remembering Stephanie" exhibit at FSU's Roper Gallery from Oct. 4 through Oct. 27.
"It snowballed into something more personal," Hodges said. "They're really amazing, colorful people, not your stereotypical cowboys."
His initial fellowship payment bought improved computer equipment and software for the Department of Visual Arts.
The three other current Welcome Fellows are Dr. Trina Redmond, assistant professor of psychology, Dr. Baxter B. Wright, chair of the FSU Department of Social Work, and Dr. Carole G. Parker, who teaches graduate-level courses in the Department of Business Management. Redmond is in the second year of the three-year fellowship, and Wright and Parker are both in their third years.
Previous fellows were Dr. Jean Marie Makang, assistant professor of philosophy and coordinator of FSU's interdisciplinary African American Studies minor, and Dr. Gersham Nelson, a former FSU history professor who began the African American Studies program at FSU.
The fellowship is in honor of the late Dr. Henry C. Welcome, a prominent Baltimore physician and former member of the Maryland State Board for Higher Education, predecessor to the Maryland Higher Education Commission. He was active in politics with his wife, the late Md. State Sen. Verda F. Welcome, the first black woman in the United States to be elected a state senator.
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