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At least four Baltimore-area residents win prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships

Deborah Rudacille poses with her book "The Riddle of Gender" in 2005. Rudacille was named a Guggenheim Fellow on Friday.
Deborah Rudacille poses with her book "The Riddle of Gender" in 2005. Rudacille was named a Guggenheim Fellow on Friday.(Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

At least four* Baltimore-area residents have won prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships for 2017, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced Friday.

Composer Oscar Bettison of the Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute; Photographer Mary F. Calvert, an Annapolis resident and two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; the visual artist and musician Paul Rucker; and science writer Deborah Rudacille, an English professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County are among the 173 winners of the 93rd competition.

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They were winnowed from a list of more than 3,000 applicants for the grants, which have been awarded annually since 1925.

"These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best," foundation president Edward Hirsch said a news release. "It's an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do."

Bettison was born in the United Kingdom and has served on the Hopkins' faculty since 2009. The award citation said that his work demonstrates a willingness to work outside the confines of concert music, and has been described as possessing "an unconventional lyricism and a menacing beauty."

For the past four years, Calvert "has been focusing her journalistic attention on the continually under-reported relegation and abuse of women and men in the US Armed Forces," according to the Guggenheim Foundation website.

Rucker won the 2015 Mary Sawyer Baker Award and is a resident artist at the Creative Alliance. The foundation noted that his work integrates live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art to comment upon such social issues as the link between incarceration and slavery.

Rudacille is described as illuminating "the often fraught but always fruitful interaction between scientific research and cultural norms and beliefs."

She is the author of several books, including "The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism and Transgender Rights" and "Roots of Steel: Boom and Bust in an American Mill Town," which chronicled the stories of workers at the former Sparrows Point steel mill in Baltimore.

mary.mccauley@baltsun.com

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* A previous version of this story inadvertantly omitted Bettison and Rucker from the list of Baltimore-area winners.

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