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Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Humanities (ICAH) Award Winners, 2015

Announcement Date: 
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 30, 2015

Congratulations to this year's winners!

UIC’s Graduate College is proud to announce three winning projects for the second Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Humanities (ICAH) Award competition. Created in 2014, the ICAH facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts and humanities between graduate students and junior faculty members. Each collaboration, consisting of one graduate student and one faculty collaborator, receives an award of $5,000 for travel, research, etc., as these were the terms of the original corporate gift.

This year’s awardees are:

Soohyun Kim (MFA student in Photography) and Scott McFarland (Lecturer in English) for their book entitled “Fight for Fifteen: Portraits,” which combines social justice, photography, and oral history. Mr. Kim will photograph (willing) Chicago-area members of Fight for Fifteen, a national campaign to raise the minimum wage for fast-food and retail workers, and Dr. McFarland will conduct oral histories of the same individuals. The duo collaborated previously in a group show entitled “Tamms Year Ten Family Room.” Mr. Kim is mentored by Doug Ischar (Art and Art History).

Jeffrey Nichols (PhD candidate in History) and Matthew Wizinsky (Assistant Professor of Graphic Design) for a project entitled “iPhone Rapid Digitization, Applications, and Workflows.” Their collaboration blends design, digital technologies, and public history to document and perfect a workflow for digitizing unbound archival documents at the rate (and cost!) of turning a page. This “low-fi” project could have major ramifications for humanists working in libraries and archives. Mr. Nichols is mentored by Dr. Robert Johnston (History and Coordinator of the Jewish Studies Program).

Saja Parvizian (PhD student in Philosophy) and John Whipple (Assistant Professor of Philosophy) for their article “Leibniz on Philosophy and Theology: Two Models for World Selection.” Blending ethics, metaphysics, medieval theology, literature, and the history of philosophy, this project will make a significant contribution to international scholarship on Leibniz’s optimism. Mr. Parvizian is mentored by Dr. Whipple.


The original corporate gift will allow the Graduate College to continue the spring competition one more year. Individuals and organizations interested in ensuring the long-term livelihood of such funding mechanisms are invited to contact Benn Williams, Assistant Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Development (, or to visit our website at

Photo credit: Venus flytrap in the Green Swamp of Supply, North Carolina. Photograph taken by Courtney Prokopas as part of her 2014 collaboration with Lori Felker, “Venus from Flames: Prescribed Burns and their Role in Preserving Venus Flytraps.”