The Charles Rice Postgraduate Research Fellowship is named for Rev. Charles Rice, Ursinus’s longtime chaplain, who was committed to helping Ursinus students discover their passions and deepen their faith lives by challenging them to think critically about social injustice. He passed away in 2017.
The fellowship is funded through a grant from the Harold C. Smith Foundation. Hartford and Hickey were awarded fellowships of $15,000 and will create a publishable manuscript at the end of their fellowship year.
Hartford, who graduated in May, will spend a year investigating the intersectionality of religion—specifically, Christianity—and the healing process for survivors of domestic and sexual violence of women and children by chance.
“My goal is to evaluate how religious affiliated institutions assist in the long-term wellness of women and their families who have been exposed to violence,” Hartford said.
She plans to observe and partner with organizations throughout Peru, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. Prior to her work as a Charles Rice fellow, Hartford will serve as a program leader for the Council of International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and its high school “Global Navigator: Building a Sustainable Planet” study abroad program in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
She will then ground her research in domestic violence and violence against women in Latin America while working with Sweet & Paciorek Immigration and Nationality Law, LLC., where she has worked as a legal intern translating, writing affidavits, and researching immigration law topics since September 2017.
Hickey will focus on the psychological impact of war and mental health among combat veterans, drawing upon spiritual practices and working with the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at the University of New South Wales in Australia, and the Center for Ethics as Study in Human Value at the University of Pardubice in the Czech Republic.
Commonly referred to as moral injury within military mental health communities, he said, this condition is hallmarked by feelings of guilt, shame, anger and regret over the violation of personal, deeply-held spiritual and moral beliefs. In the final months his fellowship, Hickey will work with the nonprofit organization Soldier’s Heart to co-facilitate a spiritual serviced-based journey of healing and reconciliation for veterans at various key sites of the Vietnam War throughout Vietnam, Japan and South Korea.
“I am both humbled and honored to be a recipient of the inaugural Charles Rice Postgraduate Research Fellowship,” Hickey said. “I’m incredibly grateful to the Harold C. Smith Foundation for this opportunity to memorialize the legacy of Rev. Rice and the values that he exemplified in his daily life.”
Last August, the Harold C. Smith Foundation awarded Ursinus a $150,000 grant to fund Ursinus Christian Studies and Service, a pilot program aimed at supporting the religious and spiritual development of students through experiential learning.
The late Rev. Dr. Harold C. Smith ’55, who passed away in March 2017, was a longtime member of the Ursinus Board of Trustees and a champion of Ursinus College.
Rev. Rice became chaplain of Ursinus in 1997. He served the pastoral needs of the college community, oversaw the chaplaincy program, and taught in the departments of religious studies and philosophy. He was awarded the H. Lloyd Jones Jr. Award for distinguished advising and mentoring at commencement in 2016. –By Ed Moorhouse