Alum Lerone Martin chosen as Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar

Lerone Martin

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has awarded an Anderson University alum a spot in the Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholars Award Program. The program is designed to support junior faculty researching contemporary American history, politics, culture, and society. Lerone Martin BA ’02, an assistant professor of religion and politics at John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, chosen as a scholar for the program and awarded a stipend — $10,000 for summer research and $7,500 for assistance during the academic year.

Ten humanities and social science scholars were chosen for the award this year. The academics submitted their research proposal for consideration along with evidence of campus engagement towards diversity and inclusion, ideals Martin supports at Washington University. He is part of a faculty pipeline that “works on ways to recruit and increase diverse faculty at Washington University in St. Louis.”

Martin has participated in events at Washington University that highlight religious diversity, such as a panel for clergy of different faiths reflecting on the Ferguson incident and the death of Michael Brown. He chairs the Teaching and Learning Committee for the American Academy of Religion, an organization for the study of religion in college, which brings scholarship resources to teachers and diversity to the classroom. He is also the co-chair of the African American Religious History and Steering Committee, which highlights research of the history of African American Religion in America.

Martin is currently researching the “cordial relationship the FBI had...during the directorship of J. Edgar Hoover...with religious broadcasters.” Dr. Martin stated that he plans to use the award to “do further research on my current book project on the FBI and religion.” This includes visiting archival collections across the country. The award will help pay for these trips.

Martin studied Christian ministries as a student at AU. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and his Ph.D from Emory University. From 2010 to 2013, he taught courses in American and African American religious history at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis. He has published one book — Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Shaping of Modern African American Religion. “The book tells the story of how ministers in the 1920s teamed up with record labels to record and sell their sermons and how those recordings shaped and altered the religion of the day,” explains Martin. The book is available online.


Faith Sayles is a senior dance business and writing complementary major, writing on behalf of the Office of Communication & Marketing.

Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World ReportColleges of DistinctionThe Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business and theology.

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