Establishment of this Fund acknowledges that a broad range of scholarship about human communication is both informing and useful. The Peter Clarke and Susan Evans Graduate Research Fund focuses its support more narrowly, however, on graduate student research that promises to yield societal benefits. The Fund intends to encourage graduate students preparing for careers in the improvement of conditions of life experienced by people burdened by a disadvantage, such as low income or a condition that is stereotyped negatively. The Peter Clarke and Susan Evans Graduate Research Fund lays the foundation for continued funding of such research opportunities, creating a new tool that will attract top graduate students.

To apply, please submit your request through the Department of Communication online funding request form.
*Requests will be considered three times a year: November 1, February 1, and May 1

Previous Recipients


  • Rian Wanstreet > “Exporting a Method and a Philosophy: a case study of the inaugural Open Source Ecology Immersion Fellowship Program”


  • Kristen Barta > “Reclaiming Publicness in the Face of Sexual Assault”
  • Devon Geary > “Whiteness in American Life: Communication and Race in the Era of Donald Trump”
  • Ruth Moon > “News Making: The Construction of Journalism Culture in Authoritarian and Semi-Democratic Countries”


  • Matthew Adeiza > “Digital Media and Ethnic Politics in Ghana”
  • Beth Bollinger > “Community Based Campaigns About Consent”
  • Elodie Fichet > “‘Never Waste a Crisis, It’s an Opportunity:’” Public Relations Professionals and Creative Crisis Communications Practices”
  • Ruth Moon > “News Making: The Effect of Technology Access and Media Policy on Newsroom Practice in Countries with Weakly Institutionalized Governments”
  • Danny Stofleth > “Sorry, I didn’t mean to kiss at you”: Tourette Syndrome and Barriers to Interpersonal Communication
  • Yunkang Yang > “Environmental Protests and NGOs in China”


  • Jennifer McClearen > “How Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Negotiates Representations of Powerful Women’s Bodies within a Converging Media Climate”
  • Zachary Murphy > Communication Leadership Program


  • Margaret Fesenmaier > “The Social Uses and Consequences of Online Media in a Transnational Context”
  • Ruth Moon > “A Corpus-Linguistic Analysis of News Coverage in Kenya’s Daily Nation and Great Britain’s Times”


  • Meara Faw > “Supporting the Supporter: Social Support, Stress, and Well-being among Caregivers of Children with Severe Disabilities”

Meara Faw“The support I received from Peter Clarke made an incredible difference in my work as a graduate student at the University of Washington. Without the Clarke Fund’s financial support for my dissertation, my project would not have been possible. Because I had the financial ability to compensate participants for their involvement in my study, I was able to conduct meaningful research involving parents of children with severe special needs using innovative biomarker analyses. My dissertation has gone on to receive several awards from the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association. Again, none of this would have been possible without the financial resources provided by Peter Clarke. His continued support of graduate student research enables students to complete innovative and complex research projects that would not be feasible under other circumstances.” -Meara Faw

  • Lindsey Meeks > “A Woman’s Place: Gender Politics and Twitter in the 2012 Elections”


  • Pamela Pietrucci > “Rhetorical Topographies of Post-Earthquake L’Aquila: Locality, Activism, and Citizenship Engagement”
  • Kris Mroczek > “(De)constructing the tourist “bubble:” Cultural ambassadors and the production of Hawai‘i in tourism discourse.”


  • Anjali Vats > “Created Differences: Intellectual Properties, Race, and Resistance in Post-Racial America”
  • Brittany Fiore-Silfvast > “The Frictions and Flows of Data-Intensive Transformations: A Comparative Study of Discourses, Practices, and Structures of Digital Health in the U.S. and India”


  • John Crowley > “Expressive writing to cope with hate speech: Assessing psychobiological stress recovery and forgiveness promotion for LGBQ victims of hate speech”
  • Monique Lacoste > “Utter(ing) Unspeakability: Identity, Meaning and Mediatization in the Greg Haidl Gang Rape Trial”
  • Vanessa Au > “Contemporary popular culture and the politics of Asian American representation, resistance, and cultural production”
  • Penny Sheets > “Multicultural patriotism and minority candidates: Campaign messaging, news coverage, and persuasion in American politics”


  • Justin Reedy > “Political Discussion and Deliberative Democracy in Immigrant Communities”
  • Jessica Harvey > “Rapping about rap: The occurrence, efficacy, and predictors of parental mediation of mainstream hip-hop music videos”
  • Amoshaun Toft > “Social Movement Communication: Language, Technology, and Social Organization in an Urban Homeless Movement”


  • Fahed Al Sumait > “Contested discourses on Arab democratization in the United States and Kuwait”

Fahed150“I was extremely grateful to receive assistance from the Peter Clarke fund for my dissertation investigating contested discourses about Arab democratization. The funds helped cover several expenses related to my overseas’ fieldwork that would have otherwise been unaffordable or taken considerably more time to achieve through other means. I think it is wonderful that we have such an opportunity within the department to help graduate students fund (or kick start) their major projects. I would not have had the same success in my research without it.” -Fahed Al Sumait



Peter Clarke and Susan Evans pursue issues in social change and in equality of opportunity.  Currently, their special passion is helping low-income people improve their diets.  They founded and directed From the Wholesaler to the Hungry (FWH).  This project launched scores of innovative fresh-produce programs nationwide; these programs now supply charitable distributions that improve healthy eating among more than 40 million people yearly.  FWH’s accomplishments have been reported in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and have received awards for public service from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and from the UPS Foundation.  The two also created, field tested, and are deploying a mobile phone app, Quick Help for Meals.  With sections called VeggieBooks and Secrets to Better Eating, the app offers recipes and food ideas that are customized to each app user’s needs, that help people make nutritious and appealing uses of fresh vegetables, and that help users manage household eating in rewarding and healthy ways.  Quick Help for Meals was built with the special needs of low-income families in mind.  But the app is popular with people of all incomes and all levels of experience with preparing fresh ingredients.  View a short demonstration of the app at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBmlMQ2QuEw .

Clarke and Evans have also published studies about a wide range of other communication issues, including: Surviving Modern Medicine; Covering Campaigns: Journalism in Congressional Elections; The Computer Culture; and other books and articles.  The two also developed digital, multi-media tools to help cancer patients cope with treatment side-effects; applied video teleconferencing to the services offered by illness support groups; and created educational aids to assist people in making choices about critical care and end-of-life treatments before incapacitation.  In this work, Evans received awards for production design.

Clarke was dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California and Evans was Director of Academic Development from 1981-1992.  They continue at USC as Professor and Research Scientist, respectively.

Clarke grew up in the Seattle area.  He founded businesses in industrial photography and in advertising, and then closed these to complete his undergraduate studies in journalism at the University of Washington.  While at the UW, he was editor of the Daily.  He went on to complete his Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Minnesota and then returned to the UW to begin an academic career, advancing to professor and Director of the UW’s School of Communication.

He left the UW for the University of Michigan, becoming chair of the Department of Journalism and, later, chair of the Department of Communication.  Subsequently, he moved to the University of Southern California in 1981.  In 2012 at its 150th anniversary, the UW College of Arts & Sciences recognized Clarke, among 150 graduates, with its Timeless Award as “distinguished living alumni for their accomplishments and contributions.”

Evans grew up in northern New Hampshire.  She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan.  Between finishing her B.A. in Sociology and starting her Ph.D. studies in Communication at Michigan, she worked in marketing and public opinion research for international and national clients.  While completing doctoral studies, she also conducted surveys and other research at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.  She moved to the University of Southern California in 1981.

Clarke and Evans live in Santa Monica, CA.