James W. Scott Fellowship

The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships promote awareness and innovative use of archival collections at Western Washington University, and seek to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. Fellowship funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. Up to $1000 funding is offered to support significant research using archival holdings at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries Archives & Special Collections.

Fellowship Requirements

Applications are accepted from individuals in doctoral programs as well as individuals who have finished the PhD. Successful applicants will be expected to:

  • Spend approximately one week examining CPNWS holdings in support of their research
  • Share a presentation about some aspect of their research during the same calendar year in which the award is offered and accepted. Presentations will be recorded and made available to the public via WWU's institutional repository, CEDAR (format of delivery may vary depending on topic or time of year)


The application period for the 2024 award is now closed. A call for applications for the 2025 award will be posted later this year, with an anticipated deadline of January 31, 2025 (to be confirmed).

Applications must be submitted by email to ruth.steele@wwu.edu (please include "Scott Fellowship Application" in the subject line), and contain:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Research plan outlining on-site use of CPNWS holdings and proposed presentation topic
  • Two letters of recommendation

Detailed guides to archival collections at CPNWS can be accessed and searched on the Center's website and the Archives West platform (please be sure to narrow results by name of repository, for example, "Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies").

For more information about collections or the application process, please contact CPNWS Archivist Ruth Steele at ruth.steele@wwu.edu or (360) 650-7747. Funds will be awarded after a Fellow has conducted research at CPNWS and delivered their presentation. Applicants are advised that funds may be subject to taxation in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and that they may require a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. SSN or ITIN) to receive funds. 

Current and Past Recipients

  • 2024 Kyley Canion Brewer. A doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Washington State University, her dissertation research focuses on nuclear energy and Alaska during the Cold War.

  • 2023 Janna Haider. A PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University California, Santa Barbara, Haider is currently working on her dissertation, entitled "Legal Legibility of the Ghadar Party: Aspirations Towards American Whiteness and Indian Independence in the Early 20th Century." Access presentation online here.

  • 2020 Dr. A Longoria. Chair of Secondary Education and Associate Professor in Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University, Longoria researched the history of local LGBTQ+ activism and Queer community in Bellingham from 1975-1995. Access panel discussion online here.

  • 2020 Dr. Helen J. Knowles. Associate Professor of Political Science, State University of New York (Oswego), Dr. Knowles' research focused on Pacific Northwest broadcasting pioneer Rogan Jones and the landmark case of KVOS v. Associated Press (1936). Access presentation online here.

  • 2019 Marc Carpenter. A doctoral candidate in the University of Oregon's Department of History, Carpenter's research interests are U.S. history, Native American history, and the history of memory. His dissertation is provisionally titled "Memory and Erasure of Settler Violence in the Early Northwest, 1849-1929." This research explores the violence of American conquest and colonization in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the mechanics of mythmaking that followed. Access panel discussion online here.

  • 2019 Dr. Josh Cerretti. An Associate Professor at Western Washington University, Dr. Cerretti's research interests include sexuality, race, and gender in modern U.S. history. In 2015, he was awarded a Diversity and Social Justice Committee Institutional Transformation grant to develop and guide the "Decolonizing Bellingham's History Tour." His monograph, "Abuses of the Erotic: Militarizing Sexuality in the Post-Cold War United States," was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2019. Access panel discussion online here.

  • 2018 Dr. David J. Trimbach. A Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University, Dr. Trimbach's work focuses on sense of place, identity, governance, citizenship, human-environment interactions, and public policy. As a community-engaged, place-based, and policy-driven scholar, he seeks to better understand and create more equitable and vibrant communities. Dr. Trimbach's Fellowship research supports a collaborative project with the Puget Sound Partnership in Washington State. Access presentation online here.

  • 2016-2017 Matthew Carr. A doctoral candidate in the Political Science program at Columbia University, Carr's areas of interest include American political institutions, political parties, and policy development. His research and presentation explored the development of Washington State Democratic and Republican political party platforms from 1960 to the present day, especially the emergence of abortion and gay rights as partisan issues.

  • 2015-2016 Dr. Kendra Smith-Howard. An Associate Professor at the State University of New York (Albany), Dr. Smith-Howard's research focuses on 20th century environmental history in the United States. Her first book, "Pure and Modern Milk: An Environmental History Since 1900," was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. Dr. Smith-Howard's research project explored the history of cleanliness in 20th century America, including the role and impact of Georgia-Pacific and other Pacific Northwest wood-pulp manufacturers.

  • 2014-2015 Jessica Leslie Arnett. A PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota, Arnett's research focused on territorial Alaska as a geopolitical space in which the legal and political frameworks of settler colonialism and imperialism converged, and also looked at how Alaska Natives leveraged the tensions produced by this entanglement in their claims on sovereignty, land, and belonging. Arnett was also a 2015-2016 Andrew Mellon Dissertation Fellow and a short-term Newberry Library Consortium for American Indian Studies Fellow.

  • 2014-2015 Ron Judd. A veteran Seattle Times reporter currently working on a Master's in History at the University of Nebraska, Judd's research focused on the 1939 firing of Western Washington College of Education Charles H. Fisher, and examined the story within the context of local and national anti-communist, “super-patriot” political trends. Click here to access presentation online.

  • 2013-2014 Dr. Helen Morgan Parmett. An Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Western Washington University, Dr. Morgan Parmett's research focused on Bellingham's local media culture, including the role of KVOS radio/television in creating a "local" identity in Bellingham during the 1930s-1960s. Click here to access presentation online.

  • 2012-2013 Dr. Polly Myers. An Instructor in the History Department at Western Washington University, Dr. Myers' research focused on the employment of women at the Boeing Company in the postwar period, with a secondary project examining women’s roles in anti-nuclear protest in the Pacific Northwest.

  • 2012-2013 Dr. Mary Erickson. An Instructor in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, Dr. Erickson's research focused on the history of audio-visual media production in the Pacific Northwest and, in particular, the history of KVOS-TV and Canawest Film Productions.

  • 2002 Lissa K. Wadewitz.