SPOTLIGHT: Max Greenberg, Haynes Lindley Fellow

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Max Greenberg picby Adam Feinman

Max Greenberg is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology department, advised by Michael Messner. He was awarded the Haynes Lindley Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for his studies concerning the effects of youth violence prevention programs in Los Angeles.

AF: What fellowships have you applied for?

MG: I applied for the Haynes Lindley fellowship, which is a fellowship targeted towards graduate students doing research that can benefit the Los Angeles community specifically. I also applied for the Harry Frank Guggenheim dissertation fellowship, which has a focus on studies about violence. USC also has a dissertation completion fellowship that I applied for.


AF: How did you find out about these fellowships?

MG: There was definitely some furious Googling involved! I also met one-on-one with Meredith Drake Reitan, and she pointed me towards fellowships that would work for me, such as the Haynes fellowship.


AF: What was the application process like for you?

MG: I found it quite productive, actually. I learned a lot about my project by fitting it into the framework of the applications themselves. A lot of the things that I wrote for applications are finding their way into my dissertation. It feels very rewarding to win a fellowship, but the process itself can also be exhausting, especially when you aren’t winning them.


AF: What did you gain out of the application process itself?

MG: You learn how to write for a kind of audience you haven’t addressed before. I had no prior experience writing for funders, I had only written for classwork and for academics. The only way I figured out how to do it was to read lots of examples, try it, and get feedback from peers and advisors. I feel a lot more confident in writing for funding audiences now.


AF: Do you think that there was any differences between your Haynes Lindley application and the other applications you wrote?

MG: I had a better grasp of how my project fit into what the Haynes Lindley fellowship was looking for. I was able to think of my work as a Haynes-style project and tailor the application accordingly. I emphasized different contributions for each application.


AF: Do you have any other advice for winning the Haynes Lindley fellowship?

MG: Take time to look at past winners of the award, particularly USC alumni. Talk to them, see if they will share their winning applications. Also, the Haynes Lindley fellowship is interdisciplinary, so you can get feedback from people outside your field and outside academia.


AF: How has having the Haynes Lindley fellowship changed your graduate school experience?

MG: It’s had a huge effect. I was not guaranteed funding for this year, and now I can work full-time on my dissertation. I would have had to arrange my time very differently otherwise. I’m also really excited about the project I’m working on, as well as its policy implications. I hope it can have a positive impact on Los Angeles.