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WIU Associate Professor of History Febe Pamonag
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WIU's Pamonag Awarded NEH Fellowship

January 24, 2017

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MACOMB, IL - Western Illinois University Associate Professor of History Febe Pamonag has received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship to support her research.

In December, the NEH announced funding ($16.3 million) for 290 projects in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to support humanities-based research and programs. This federal agency awards grants to top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent external reviewers. The NEH received more than 1,200 applications for funding of the fellowships, and only 86 were awarded.

"The humanities help us study our past, understand our present and prepare for the future," said NEH Chair William D. Adams. "The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to support projects that will benefit all Americans and remind us of our shared human experience.

Pamonag's award supports one year of full-time work on her project, "Patients' Activism in the Culion Leper Colony, Philippines 1905-1930s."

"I am truly honored and grateful for this generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities," said Pamonag. "The recognition of the importance of the humanities and projects that shed light on many issues in the social history of imperial medicine and U.S.-Philippine relations is very rewarding.

Pamonag said the award will allow her to complete her research in the Philippines and the United States and to write a book exploring how Filipino leprosy patients dealt with colonial authorities when they implemented the leper segregation policy during the early decades of the 20th century.

WIU Provost and Academic Vice President Kathleen Neumann said she was delighted to learn of Pamonag's honor.

"Dr. Pamonag's excellent research has been acknowledged by the prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) competitive fellowship program as one of only 86 successfully funded humanities-based research projects for 2017," said Neumann. "Dr. Pamonag, the 2016 recipient of the Provost's Award for Excellence in Multi-Cultural Teaching at WIU, is conducting important new research on the ways in which early 20th century Filipino leprosy patients dealt with colonial authorities that will have a significant impact on the scholarly community."

This is the second NEH award Pamonag has won in the last 12 months. During the last grant cycle, Pamonag won a Summer Stipend Award from the NEH to support two months of archival research on the same project.

Pamonag joined the WIU Department of History in 2007 as a specialist in Asian history. She teaches WIU classes including the history of China, Japan, women and gender in Asia, history and memory of the Asia-Pacific War, history of food in Asia, Asian history and world history. She was previously one of 16 post-secondary instructors in the U.S. selected to participate in the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad to China in 2013 and has won numerous WIU research grants.

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