UC Blue Ash professor selected for prestigious fellowship

Award is based on research that studies the impact U.S. urban planning has had on climate change

Professor Rob Gioielli

Dr. Rob Gioielli

Rob Gioielli is one of the select college professors across the nation to be awarded a prestigious 2021 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship.

Gioielli is an associate professor of history and director of the Honors Program at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College. He is one of only 28 educators selected for the nationally competitive Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship that recognizes faculty at two-year colleges for their important contributions to scholarship, teaching and their communities.

“ACLS is a High Value Faculty Award which are those recognized as particularly prestigious by the Association of American Universities (AAU),” says UC Associate Vice President for Research Jennifer Krivickas. “Robert’s work has the potential for broad societal impact, is recognized as exceptional scholarship, and is totally aligned with the objectives and goals of Next Lives Here and Research2030, UC’s 10-year strategic plan for research.”

Gioielli’s selection was based on his research, Race, Sprawl, and Sustainability: How the American Way of City Building is Destroying the Planet, which explores how changes in urban living and America’s shift to the suburbs are directly contributing to climate change. The fellowship will allow him to expand on that research while also providing his students with hands-on learning through an important class project.

“I’m excited about the fellowship because it ties into teaching and community work, along with my research, and it gives us the chance to show some of the cool things we’re doing at UC Blue Ash. It allows us to really highlight our strength in service learning,” says Gioielli.

For his Race and Environment class during the spring 2022 semester, Gioielli plans to partner with Groundwork Ohio River Valley on a pilot project it’s conducting with the City of Cincinnati. Funding from the fellowship will allow him to hire a UC Blue Ash student to help create a service-learning project for the class.

“Groundwork is working with the city to educate residents on the potential impact of climate change and survey them about what they would like to see to help mitigate the effects,” says Gioielli. “Our students will assist with different aspects of the project. This will help them see what a grassroots environmental effort really looks like. It’s fundraising, community organizing, working with city officials, coordinating efforts; it’s really about community-level work.”

Gioielli has been conducting research on the history of urban planning and its impact on the environment for 15 years. It takes him around the country to large cities — he plans to research Los Angeles next — and it leads to opportunities like the ACLS Fellowship that allow him to get his students directly involved in a community project.

He says he hopes to create more research and independent study opportunities for students in history, and he notes that this is all possible because of the consistent support faculty members receive from the college. “There’s never a question of whether we can do it. If you’re able to secure a fellowship or grant for your research, our college is great about working with you to make sure you can do the project.”

You can find more information on the ACLS Fellowships online.

About UC Blue Ash College

UC Blue Ash College is a regional college within the University of Cincinnati. It offers one of the best values in higher education with access to a nationally recognized UC education in more than 50 degree and certificate programs, as well as tuition that is about half of most colleges and universities. The college is located on a scenic 135-acre wooded campus in the heart of Blue Ash, Ohio. To learn more, call 513-745-5600, visit us online, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.