Freedom and Race | 16 December 2017

Mellon Foundation grants $1.5 million for expanding humanities impact



A $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is now supporting a new five-year project, Expanding Humanities Impact and Publics, at UC Santa Cruz.

The project includes a two-part humanities initiative that is designed to support doctoral student success for students from diverse backgrounds, and to expand the impact of the campus’s public humanities “Questions That Matter” outreach program.

“We are aiming to prepare UC Santa Cruz’s humanities graduate students to apply their expertise effectively in a range of public and institutional settings,” said Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Tyrus Miller, principal investigator for the project. “We want them to be confident public advocates for the value of the humanities, and as teachers to excite our undergraduate students about humanistic questions with deep consequences for their lives. One way we will do that is to connect our undergraduate colleges and college courses with our public outreach around “questions that matter.”

“We are also seeking to improve the success of UC Santa Cruz’s graduate students in the humanities, especially among students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds and those strengthening our recently achieved Hispanic Serving Institution status,” he added. “Our humanities graduate programs must strive to ensure that all our students succeed, no matter what their background. The diverse perspectives they bring to teaching and research at UC Santa Cruz are a spur to new knowledge and discovery in the humanities.”

The Institute for Humanities Research (IHR) at UC Santa Cruz has already developed a format for public engagement, presenting humanities-related, cross–disciplinary conversations in its “Questions That Matter” series of themed public events, held in downtown Santa Cruz.

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