Archive for April, 2017

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4 Baltimore area residents win Guggenheim fellowships

At least four* Baltimore-area residents have won prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships for 2017, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced Friday.

Composer Oscar Bettison of the Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute; Photographer Mary F. Calvert, an Annapolis resident and two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; the visual artist and musician Paul Rucker; and science writer Deborah Rudacille, an English professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County are among the 173 winners of the 93rd competition.



UMBC’s Deborah Rudacille awarded Guggenheim Fellowship to pursue writing project on addiction.

Deborah Rudacille, professor of the practice in English, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Science Writing. She is one of only two recipients in the category this year, and one of 173 new fellows in all fields, selected from a pool of more than 3,000 applicants from the U.S. and Canada.

Rudacille will spend the 2017 – 2018 academic year researching and writing “The Family Disease: Alcoholism, Addiction, and Inheritance.” This work continues her legacy of writing about scientific topics for broad public audiences in a way that is engaging, nuanced, and resonates with her readers.


Musical about Baltimore’s Steel Industry Days

In an email to The Baltimore Sun, Simon, creator of HBO’s “The Wire” and much more, said that he, Earle and Rudacille “are attached to work on a project involving the steel works and the people who labored there.”

The Dundalk-born Rudacille, who just received a Guggenheim Fellowship, is author of “Roots of Steel: Boom and Bust in an American Steel Town,” a look at the steady decline of middle-class life that once thrived around the Bethlehem Steel plant at Sparrows Point.


The Twenty-Something Cliff is Much Worse When You’re Autistic

Isaac Law spends most of his time on his computer, watching movies on Netflix, poring through Facebook posts, or working on his latest project, a web comic called “Aimless” about two friends named Ike and Lexis who leave Earth to join a band of space pirates.

Law is 24, but he neither has a job nor attends classes. He briefly worked as a volunteer, stocking shelves in a comic-book store, but that didn’t work out. “It was a very disorganized place,” he says. He also tried attending art classes. That didn’t pan out either. “I have massive authority problems,” he says.

In many ways, Law sounds like a stereotypical millennial—unwilling to work a dull job to pay the bills and preferring to spend time on his creative interests. But Law’s path to an adult role and responsibilities is complicated by the fact that he has autism and bipolar disorder.

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Guggenheim Fellowship & more

April 2017 has been an extraordinary month. First, my deep dive article for Spectrum on the challenges faced by young adults with autism was republished in SLATE. A few days later, I was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. And then, an old project I thought was dead came back to life. I am deeply honored and grateful to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for the grant that will enable me to take a year off from teaching to focus on a major reporting project on families and addiction. 2017 has been a pretty amazing year so far!
Photo by Marlayna Demond for UMBC.