Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science


Political Science alumna receives prestigious Ronna Jaffe Award

Political Science alumna receives prestigious Ronna Jaffe Award

Loyola alumna Mara Naselli recently won the 2014 Ronna Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. The former graduate student is one of six recipients of the prestigious national literary award, which includes a $30,000 grant.

The Ronna Jaffe Foundation supports emerging women writers. Founded in 1995 by best-selling author Rona Jaffe, the organization recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.  As the only national literary award program exclusively for women, they has given out over $2 million in grants intended to help female writers cover travel, child care, and others costs to complete their writing.

Naselli graduated from Loyola in 1999 with a Masters in Political Science. She has been an editor for almost 20 years, and her work has been featured in numerous publications. Her most recent project, Bodies in Motion, is a collection of essays exploring power and its inversions.

Naselli’s nomination spoke to her exceptional writing abilities: “Mara wire-walks between divergent roles—philosopher, critic, journalist—and in having aspired to specialty in none of these she distills the best of each and becomes, in the end, a unique form of authority, capable of roaming freely between a dispassionate intelligence capable of concise analysis, and a passionate subjective presence reminding us at every turn that what matters in the end is what art and writing make us feel.”

Naselli will use the grant to help her finish this project and begin new ones, including another collection of essays and a biography of writer William Maxwell.