KU News Release


March 31, 2011
Contact: Kristine Latta, Hall Center for the Humanities, 785-864-7823

Hall Center’s 2011-12 Sias Graduate Fellow announced

LAWRENCE — Jason Roe, a doctoral student in history at the University of Kansas, has been selected as the recipient of the Richard and Jeanette Sias Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities for 2011-12.

Roe will spend a year in residence at the Hall Center for the Humanities, where he will complete his dissertation, “From the Impoverished to the Entitled: The Experience and Meaning of Old Age in America Since the 1950s.”

His dissertation project will examine the origins, history and concept of elderly entitlement, the provisioning of medical care and a pension regardless of actual level of need. His research will also provide insight into other areas of study, including political lobbying, consumerism, the media, race and gender.

“I am very honored and gratified to receive this award,” Roe said. “I am especially enthusiastic about the unique opportunity this award provides to complete my research and share its findings both inside and outside the academic community.”

As the Sias fellow, Roe will deliver a public lecture regarding his research project in spring 2012. The fellowship is made possible through the generous gift of Richard and Jeanette Sias, for whom the award is named.

Roe received a bachelor’s in 2006 and a master’s in 2008, both from KU. He graduated from Iola High School. He is the son of David and Debbie Roe. As well as the history of aging, Roe is also interested in the history of medicine, African-American history and the history of Kansas City. His interdisciplinary dissertation project, which combines social history, political history and social gerontology, displays the breadth of Roe’s academic engagement.

He also has a strong track record of public engagement, having collaborated on several public history projects with the Kansas City Public Library, including writing local history articles for its website, and the Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall. His work at the Kansas City Public Library was supported by a Hall Center Graduate Internship.

Roe will be the sixth recipient of the Sias fellowship. Chikako Mochizuki, also a doctoral student in the history department, is the current Sias fellow.

Roe will be joining faculty resident fellows at the Hall Center during the 2011-12 academic year. The faculty fellows are Tanya Hartman, visual art; David Tell, communication studies; Maria Carlson, Slavic languages and literatures; Jill Kuhnheim, Spanish and Portuguese; and Hui “Faye” Xiao, East Asian languages and cultures.

The goal of the Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowship is to allow KU humanities doctoral students to expand their experiences beyond a single disciplinary focus in both research and professional training. The fellowship is intended to produce humanities scholars whose vision for their careers includes a continued commitment to interdisciplinary endeavors and a desire to share that commitment with the world outside of the academy.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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