Humanities Institute

2007-2008 Community Sabbatical Grantees


Robin BradfordRobin Bradford

Foundation Communities

Robin Bradford is the director of development and communications for Foundation Communities, Austin’s largest provider of affordable housing and supportive services. Robin is responsible for fundraising and public outreach for the organization, raising $1.5 million annually from foundations, corporations, and individuals. She is also a short story writer and essayist whose honors include an O. Henry Award and a Dobie Paisano Fellowship for Texas writers.

During her Community Sabbatical Research leave, Robin focused on a book in progress about the complex relationship between social workers and the families they serve, especially the cognitive, emotional, and spiritual challenges of the social worker's continuing labor and hope for change in the face of overwhelming need and suffering.

Faculty Advisor(s): Dr. Margaret (Peg) Syverson, UT-Austin Department of Rhetoric and Writing;  Dr. Holly Bell, UT-Austin School of Social Work


Stephanie JarvisStephanie Jarvis

French Legation Museum

Stephanie Jarvis is the new Director of the French Legation Museum.  In December 2005, she received a M.A. from the Public History Program at Texas State University – San Marcos. Before joining the staff of the French Legation Museum in August 2006, she worked as a researcher/interpreter at the Barrington Living History Farm at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site near Brenham, Texas.  Jarvis’s current work and research focuses on local Austin history.  During her Community Sabbatical Research leave, she focused on the African American presence on Robertson Hill--the site on which the French Legation sits. She sought to use the information gained to revitalize the Museum, connect the content of its tours more closely to its surrounding community, and make its interpretation of the site it occupies more inclusive of all of the historical inhabitants of Robertson Hill.

Faculty Advisor(s): Dr. Shirley Thompson, UT-Austin Department of American Studies; Dr. Martha Norkunas, UT-Austin Department of Anthropology


Brian RadleyBrian Radley

Breakthrough Austin

Brian Radley is the Director of Middle School Programs at Breakthrough Austin, an educational non-profit that builds a path to college for students who will be first-generation college graduates. Starting in sixth grade and continuing through college entrance, Breakthrough provides rigorous academic summer sessions at The University of Texas at Austin, school-year support and advocacy, and college prep programming to 250 low-income, AISD students who have a dream of going to college. Radley used his research leave to study the systemic, financial, and social-emotional barriers that undocumented immigrant students face in pursuing their college goals. He investigated tools and strategies that Breakthrough—and other 501c3’s—can use to counsel, support, and advocate for the undocumented student population. Radley sought to publish and share his findings with other programs in Austin and Breakthrough’s National Collaborative.

Faculty Advisor(s): Dr. Barbara Hines, UT-Austin School of Law