Professor’s use of meaningful identity grants IFYC Award


by Desmond Alexander, Staff Reporter

Professor Maeve Callan was honored with the Interfaith Youth Core award as well as the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies award on Sept. 24. 

IFYC awards are self-nominated, while the ASIMS awards are picked from an essay that participants entered in 2019. IFYC offered applications to individuals who were involved with interfaith and racial justice. 

Callan teaches Religion and Racism, Women and Christianity, and World Religions courses at Simpson. 

“There was a process where we nominated ourselves. They posted that they were offering awards to people who were engaging in this type of work in meaningful ways,” Callan said. 

The IFYC announced late August the opportunity with an award, but with the deadline being Sept. 9, participants had roughly a week to turn in their applications. 

“I’ve had an ongoing relationship with IFYC for over a decade, so I’m very well informed when they announce opportunities like these,” Callan stated. “As I understand it, we had about 10 days to submit the material.”  

Recipients were to be working on material inspired by the award that looks at interfaith and racial equality.  

“I was already planning a course on interfaith and racial equality, so it fit so well that I chose to apply for it.” 

Callan acknowledged the importance of racial equality throughout the courses she teaches, allowing students to be open-minded about what other individuals experience based on their race or gender. 

“I will bring up real-life issues whenever I can. I was teaching Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies and brought up how intersexuality and racism are blind to some people because they’re not on that receiving end.”  

With Callan using her profession as an outlet, students enrolled in her courses understand the importance of recognizing inequality in today’s world, permitting students to look deeper into their meaningful identity, not just being a white or Black person.