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SXU's Zepure Samawi and Nathan Peck Receive Lilly Faculty Fellows Award


Saint Xavier University's (SXU) Zepure Samawi, RN, Ph.D., professor and associate Dean for undergraduate nursing and health sciences, and Nathan Peck, associate professor and chair of the Department of Art and Design, have been awarded Lilly Faculty Fellowships. The team will participate in the two-year Lilly Faculty Fellows Program that includes four conferences in Indianapolis and Chicago. The team will also receive start-up funds of $10,000 to inaugurate a Lilly Faculty Fellows Program on SXU's campus.

Initially drawn to SXU by her faith and personal commitment to service and compassion, Samawi's accomplishments are numerous and multi-faceted. She is a member and key contributor of the General Education committee and, in close connection to her nursing background, she continues to work with Convoy of Hope, a faith-based, humanitarian organization that helps empower others to live independent lives free from poverty, disease and hunger.

Peck is a digital art professor at SXU and maintains a relentless exhibition schedule in a wide range of media. After graduating from the Intermedia program at the University of Iowa, he has since employed the philosophy of cross-media-hybridization, especially in terms of site-specific and process-based approaches to art making. Peck has been an active member of many collaborative and performance art groups in Chicago and is a co-founder of the Chicago Art Department.

Founded in 1991, the Lilly Fellows Program seeks to strengthen the quality and shape the character of church-related institutions of learning through four programmatic initiatives. First, it offers postdoctoral teaching fellowships for young scholars who wish to renew their sense of vocation within a Christian community of learning in order to prepare themselves for positions of teaching, scholarship, and leadership within church-related institutions. Second, it supports young men and women of exceptional academic talent who are exploring vocations in church-related higher education during their first three years of graduate school in the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program. Third, it offers a faculty fellowship to teams of mid-career faculty leaders across the disciplines to engage the intersections of Christian thought and practice with the academic vocation. Fourth, it maintains a collaborative Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities that sponsors a variety of activities and publications designed to explore the Christian character of the academic vocation and to strengthen the religious nature of church-related institutions. The Lilly Network represents among its current membership of 101 schools a diversity of denominational traditions, institutional types, and geographical locations.

Saint Xavier University has been a member of the Lilly Fellows Program since 2002. The program is based at Christ College, the interdisciplinary honors college of Valparaiso University in Northwest Indiana.