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Chen and O’Brien Nominated for Carnegie Fellows

Mon, 01/03/2022 - 13:40pm | By: Karelia Pitts

Dr. Zibei Chen (right) and Dr. Thomas O’Brien (left)

Dr. Zibei Chen (right) and Dr. Thomas O’Brien (left)

Dr. Zibei Chen and Dr. Thomas O’Brien, professors in The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) College of Education and Human Sciences have been selected as nominees for the 2022 class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows.

Offered through the Carnegie Corporation of New York, fellows receive grants of up to $200,000 that allow them to devote significant time to research, writing and publishing in the humanities and social sciences.

To support emerging and established scholars from across the country, the program allows public institutions of higher education and private colleges or universities to nominate a maximum of two scholars annually, one junior and one senior scholar. Winners are notified in early April.

“We are proud to have Dr. Chen and Dr. O’Brien representing our university in the competitive application process for the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program,” said Dr. Trent Gould, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. “Their expertise and research are wonderful examples of the high-caliber research being conducted in our college, research that makes a life-changing impact in education, social work and beyond.”

Dr. Zibei Chen, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, will serve as USM’s junior scholar nominee. Her proposed study seeks to investigate how financial inclusion is influenced by digital access and gain an understanding of the use of financial technologies among distressed communities and communities of color.

Dr. Thomas O’Brien, professor in the School of Education, will serve as USM’s senior scholar nominee. His proposed project titled “In Search of a New Storyline on Race in the United States: A Mixed-Methods Investigation” seeks to use a multidisciplinary approach to explore race and educational access in America.

For more information on the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program, visit To learn more about the College of Education and Human Sciences, visit