Our Staff

Nichole Fazio, DPhil (Oxf)
Associate Dean of the College & Executive Director (CCRF)
  • DPhil (PhD), History of Art, University of Oxford
  • MSt, History of Art, University of Oxford, Awarded with Distinction
  • MA, Interdisciplinary Studies: Philosophy of Religion and Aesthetics, Marylhurst University

Dr. Nichole Fazio is the founding Executive Director of the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF), the first center at the University of Chicago dedicated to supporting College students in their research activities and applying to nationally competitive fellowships. In this role, she leads a team of talented educators committed to excellence in undergraduate education. In recent years, she has advanced undergraduate research initiatives in the arts and humanities, including the co-creation, launch and leadership of a new major - Inquiry and Research in the Humanities (IRHUM). Nichole teaches IRHU 20100: Introduction to Humanistic Inquiry and Research Design annually. She is also Associate Dean of the College.

Previous to her appointment at Chicago, Nichole held a similar position at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), where she built its first Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships and helped University leadership institutionalize undergraduate research. There she also taught honors courses in the History of Art and co-designed and led the Haslam Scholars' research-based summer program at the University of Edinburgh. She began her career in undergraduate research and national fellowships in 2001 at the University of Washington (UW) as the Assistant Director for both its Undergraduate Research Program and Undergraduate Scholarship Office, helping to design and launch its Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities. Nichole was twice honored by the University of Washington for excellence in undergraduate education and in 2014 received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Advising (UTK), an award given to six members of the University's faculty and staff. 

Nichole completed her doctorate in the History of Art at the University of Oxford, specializing in 19th-century photography. She was a postgraduate fellow at Trinity College and supported by an Oxford Overseas Research Award fellowship (ORSAS/Clarendon Bursary). Her forthcoming book, Julia Margaret Cameron: a poetry of photography (Bodleian Library Publishing, Oxford, 2022), celebrates the expansive collection of Cameron photographs held at the Bodleian Library and across the University. Additional teaching and research interests include 19th-century women photographers, the treatment of the poetic sublime in photography, and, more broadly, visual and material culture in Britain from the Pre-Raphaelites to the early Symbolists.


Arthur Salvo, PhD
Assistant Director, National Fellowships, College Center for Research and Fellowships
  • PhD, Germanic Languages, Columbia University
  • MA, Germanic Languages and Literatures, New York University
  • BA, Germanic Languages and Literatures, New York University

Dr. Arthur Salvo is the Assistant Director of Scholarships and Fellowships for the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF). Arthur received his PhD in 2015, and his scholarship focuses on German literature around 1800, aesthetics, and visual culture. Prior to joining CCRF, he mentored and advised students, taught courses in German, and introduced undergraduates to the humanities by teaching in the Core curricula of Columbia University, Colgate University, and the University of Chicago. At Columbia, he was named the Robert Belknap Core Faculty Fellow and received the Core Preceptor Award in recognition of his teaching. A recipient of a Fulbright Research Award and a research fellowship from the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, Arthur provides fellowships advising to third and fourth-year students and supports CCRF’s outreach initiatives.


Sandra Zupan, PhD
Assistant Director, National Fellowships and Undergraduate Research
  • Phd, Geography, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • MS, Conservation Social Sciences, University of Idaho
  • MS, Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University (Hungary)

Dr. Sandra Zupan is the Assistant Director of National Fellowships and Undergraduate Research for the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF). Sandra completed a Ph.D. in Geography in 2010. For the following seven years, Sandra taught undergraduate courses in human geography, environment and urban studies at Temple University and University of Kentucky. She worked to enhance students’ global literacy and cultural competence by teaching World Society General Education courses, as well as encouraging students to pursue international experiences. By also teaching courses in research design and intensive writing, she gained extensive experience in helping students articulate their academic interests, develop research proposals and improve writing skills. Sandra’s mentees were successful in obtaining national fellowships, research grants, study abroad and employment in Central America, East Asia, Central Asia, as well as Western and Eastern Europe. She sought to further enhance student scholarly advancement by serving on both university and national selection committees, including Fulbright, Boren, Truman and Udall. Sandra also brings a personal history of achievement in fellowships, which facilitated her academic and applied research in urban policy, economic development and justice alliances in contemporary urban America.


Johanna Best, PhD
Assistant Director, National Fellowships, College Center for Research and Fellowships
  • PhD, Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College
  • MA, Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College
  • BA, Classical Languages and Literature, Earlham College

Dr. Johanna Best is the Assistant Director of National Scholarships and Fellowships in the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF). She earned her PhD in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology in 2015 with a dissertation focused on roadside religious spaces in Attica, Greece. Before joining the CCRF team, Johanna was an ACLS/Mellon Public Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, serving as the Program Manager for Scholarly and Public Engagement in the Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative. With strong interests in cultural heritage, the arts, and education, she has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Greece and facilitated object-based learning as part of the Academic Engagement Department at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Johanna was awarded the Doris Sill Carland Excellence in Teaching Award at Bryn Mawr College and has served as a mentor and supervisor to students in museums and on excavations. Johanna has been a recipient of nationally competitive fellowships, including a Fulbright Research Grant to Greece.


Matthew Johnson
CCRF Graduate Student Assistant, Undergraduate Research
  • PhD Candidate, Germanic Studies, University of Chicago

Matthew Johnson is the Graduate Student Assistant for Research and a PhD candidate in the Department of Germanic Studies. He has taught language and literature courses in the College and served as the Graduate Assistant in the Vienna Study Abroad Program. He has also served as a Teaching Consultant with the Chicago Center for Teaching and as a member of the student advisory board of the Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies. In this latter role, he helped to initiate and organize the Undergraduate Colloquium in Jewish Studies. Matthew’s research has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the IFK Vienna, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the Posen Society of Fellows, the Yiddish Book Center, and the German Literature Archive in Marbach. 

Christian Navarro
CCRF Graduate Student Assistant, National Fellowships
  • Masters of Public Policy Candidate, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago
  • BA, International Studies, Morehouse College

Christian Navarro is the Graduate Student Assistant for Fellowships and a 2nd year student at the Harris School of Public Policy. Christian earned his BA in International Studies from Morehouse College where he received the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship. As a Pickering Fellow, Christian intends to pursue a career with the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. Through his coursework at the Harris School, he hopes to gain the necessary tools to promote positive change domestically and abroad. Prior to attending the University of Chicago, Christian has had previous experience working at Wells Fargo, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and has attended the American University in Dubai as a William Jefferson Clinton Scholar.