Thanks to a generous donation from Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky, emerging Steinbeck scholars will be able to utilize the outstanding Steinbeck resources of the Ball State University Libraries.

The Steinbeck Research Fund has been established in the Ball State University Libraries in honor of her late husband, Dr. John M. Ditsky. The fund will be used to support research in the Steinbeck Collection of the Libraries' Archives and Special Collections.

Dr. John Michael Ditsky passed away on May 15, 2006. A world-renowned Steinbeck scholar, Dr. Ditsky received his Ph.D. from New York University in 1967 and was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Windsor, Canada, from which he retired in 2003 after 37 years of teaching. Prior to his tenure at the University of Windsor, he taught at the University of Detroit and Wayne State University. During his career, he served as Vice President of the International Steinbeck Society, President of the New Steinbeck Society of America, and Chair of the Editorial Board of the Steinbeck Quarterly. In addition to being a Steinbeck scholar, Ditsky was an active poet, poetry editor and music critic.

Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi, a long-time friend of Dr. and Mrs. Ditsky, said of Dr. Ditsky that he "was first and foremost a passionate and dedicated scholar, teacher, and mentor." He said that the Steinbeck Research Fund was "established to honor Ditsky's long established legacy of extending a helping hand of emerging Steinbeck scholars."

According to the guidelines, recipients of the Ditsky Award are required to spend a minimum of 5 days doing intensive research using the Steinbeck Collection in Archives and Special Collections and other materials from the Ball State University Libraries. The research project should result in publication in a professional, scholarly Steinbeck-related journal, a scholarly paper to be presented at a Steinbeck conference, congress, convention, or a lecture at a university.

John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, and a committee, including Dr. Hayashi, will review applications for the award, with input and advice from Mrs. Ditsky. Applicants should submit 2 copies of a one or two-page, double-spaced, Steinbeck-related research proposal, a curriculum vita, and a completed application form to John Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, Bracken Library, Room 210, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, 47306. For more information, contact John Straw at Archives and Special Collections.

Contributions to the Steinbeck Research Fund in Honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky may be sent to the Ball State University Foundation (include Fund No. 5112 on the check) or by contacting John Straw.