CLAS awards four Marcus Bach Fellowships

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) awarded four graduate students with the Marcus Bach Fellowships for Graduate Students in the Humanities for the 2022-2023 academic year. The Bach Fellowship aims to foster intercultural communication of diverse philosophies by supporting MFA projects and doctoral dissertations for a semester. Established in 2005, the Marcus Bach Fellowships provide students a $13,750 salary, associated fringe benefits, tuition scholarship for 2 s.h. credits, and 50% of mandatory fees.

2022-2023 Marcus Bach Fellowships for Graduate Students in the Humanities recipients and their project topics include:

Marie Capecchi, PhD candidate in English Literature, will study how early English women used performance, writing and publication to gain power using feminist theory, critical race theory, and postcolonial theory.

Mason Hamberlin, an MFA student in the Nonfiction Writers’ Workshop, will draft a stand-alone essay that Hamberlin hopes to eventually expand into a manuscript. The essay will explore the intersections of faith and identity in queer LDS youth.

Michael Pekel, DMA candidate in Choral Conducting, will analyze the Anglican liturgical choral works of English composer Jonathan Harvey.

Valerie Muensterman, MFA in Theatre, will write “The Living Light: A Play,” which will center on Hildegard of Bingen, a German mystic and polymath who worked as an abbess, composer, writer and physician.

The fellowship is funded by the estate of Dr. Marcus Bach, who graduated in 1942 with a doctorate from the University of Iowa in Speech and Dramatic Arts. Up to four Bach Fellowships are awarded each year. Students in creative arts, humanities, and relevant social sciences are encouraged to apply, especially if their work aligns with the research of Dr. Bach.

Learn more about the Marcus Bach Fellowships and the application process.


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.