Headshot of a smiling woman in a dark-green hooded jacket, against a backdrop of pond and trees.
Angela Self ’22

Ziegler Scholar Seeks to Understand Young Americans’ Views on Religion

Angela Self ’22, an anthropology major from Conway, Massachusetts, is examining an interesting question: why increasing numbers of young Americans seem to be shedding traditional religious affiliations with Christianity.

Her research is being aided by a critical piece of support. Self has been named the inaugural recipient of the Charles Ziegler, PhD’83, Endowed Scholarship, created by a bequest from Ziegler, an inventor and author who died in 2019 at age 92.

Ziegler earned six patents related to alpha rays, X-ray emissions and scattered rays; wrote three books in the social sciences; took up doctoral studies at Brandeis in midcareer; received a PhD in anthropology at age 56; and went on to teach at the university as a senior research associate. His scholarship for Brandeis anthropology students stands as one of his legacies.

“Without this scholarship, I would never have been able to afford to go to college,” says Self, one of the first members of her family to pursue higher education.

The aspiring doctoral student is energized by her scholarly work, conducted under the guidance of sociology professor Wendy Cadge and additionally supported by a Jerome A. Schiff Undergraduate Fellowship. Her research is being conducted through surveys, in-depth interviews and participant observation.

“What truly excites me is that this phenomenon I am studying could indicate a major shift in Americans’ perception of the world around them,” Self says. “We are entering uncharted territory, and the long-lasting implications this phenomenon may have on the political and social climate in the United States have yet to be understood.”

Outside the classroom, Self is active in Brandeis’ Waltham Group as an English tutor, helping to remove language barriers many immigrants face.

Whatever career path she chooses, Self says she intends to find ways to make a difference in the world.

“I am eternally grateful that the Ziegler Scholarship has opened so many doors for me,” she says, “and I hope one day to have a similar chance to help others achieve their dreams.”

— Sophie Fulara ’21

Zamira Korff
Zamira Korff

Brandeis and the Arts

When the value of studying the humanities in post-secondary education is debated, too often the creative and performing arts draw only cursory discussion. At Brandeis, however, the arts are woven into our academic programs and the daily activities of campus life. We believe artistic exploration is a valuable part of helping students learn to think critically.

Many Brandeis students major in studies related to the arts. Many more take such studies on as minors, including the popular — and quintessentially Brandeisian — CAST (Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation) minor. Generous alumni and friends support students studying the arts through scholarships and fellowships. Benjamin Schore ’56, for example, established the Kira Fournier Fellowship in the fine arts (see the story below). Before his death in 2020, he made annual visits to campus to meet recipients and view their work. Philanthropy underwrites other arts pursuits, such as fellowships for students interested in the arts and business, or advanced lessons for music students who could not otherwise afford additional instruction.

Outside the classroom, students are constantly surrounded by the arts. More than 30 clubs offer opportunities for those who want to sing, dance, write poetry, act, do improv or comedy, or participate in other creative pastimes. The campus hosts a wide range of musical performances and gallery exhibitions. The weeklong Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts has highlighted and celebrated the inventive endeavors of our students, faculty, alumni and distinguished guest artists for 69 years.

And, of course, there is our Rose Art Museum. As it marks its 60th anniversary in September, exciting events will honor the museum’s rich legacy and stellar reputation in the world of modern and contemporary art.

Unrestricted gifts, like those made to the Brandeis Fund, are integral to sustaining and enhancing the university’s vibrant arts scene. Your support can help shape a new generation of graduates eager to be creative in all walks of life.

In your own life, too, follow our students’ lead — enjoy the activities that spark your creative flow and bring you the well-being, happiness and peace we all crave after a challenging year.


Zamira Korff
Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement

In what looks like homage to "American Gothic," a smiling man with a white beard and white hair holds an upright pitchfork, standing next to a smiling woman.
Benjamin Schore ’56 with partner Kathy Rines

A Fellowship That Nurtures Sculptors’ Creative Growth

Benjamin Schore ’56, a pianist who worked as the leader of his own dance band and as a chauffeur for Leonard Bernstein to pay his way through Brandeis, ultimately became a pioneering real-estate faculty member at Columbia Business School. But he never lost his love of the arts.

In retirement, Schore began awarding financial grants to young artists and musicians. At Brandeis, he established the Kira Fournier Fellowship in the fine arts in memory of his late wife, a talented sculptor whose life was cut short by cancer in 2002.

Eighteen years later, Schore passed away at his home in Hanover Center, New Hampshire, leaving his life partner, Kathy Rines; a son; a stepdaughter; and six grandchildren. At Brandeis, his support for the arts continues to bear fruit. Since 2006, the Fournier Fellowship has provided a postbaccalaureate year of intensive studio practice to more than 20 sculptors.

“My time at Brandeis was instrumental in my development as a sculptor,” says Brenda Gonzalez, who was a recent Dartmouth graduate when a Fournier Fellowship brought her to Brandeis in 2017-18. Gonzalez went on to earn a master’s in fine arts from the University of California, Davis.

Becca Newhouse held the fellowship from 2012-13. “My year at Brandeis was the first time I dove headfirst into an immersive studio experience,” she says. “The scholarship gave me the freedom and flexibility to explore in the studio and chase my curiosities without worries.”

“The Fournier Fellowship has made a huge impact on students’ life journeys in the arts,” says Ariel Freiberg, lecturer in fine arts and coordinator of Brandeis’ postbaccalaureate program in studio art.

Schore grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. A classically trained pianist, he also loved jazz and formed a dance band, the Ben Schore Orchestra, while he was still in high school.

“I went to Brandeis [to study music] because Leonard Bernstein was teaching there,” Schore recalled in a 2017 documentary about his life. “College tuition was $550 a year, and my dad gave me $300, which was half the first year’s tuition plus a student activity fee. With that, off I went.”

After Brandeis, Schore earned an MBA from Columbia Business School, where he taught for many years, establishing the real-estate concentration as well as an endowed chair. He also forged a successful career as a real-estate developer and investor.

Today, the fellowship he established at Brandeis is helping sculptors carve out successful careers in the arts. “During the three semesters I spent at Brandeis, I made work I had never dared make before,” says Gonzalez. “The Brandeis faculty challenged me in ways that helped push my work forward and prepared me well for my time in graduate school.”

— Mark Sullivan