Public Fellows Program

THI Public Fellowships create opportunities for Humanities students to contribute to research, programming, communications, and other activities at non-profit organizations, companies, and cultural institutions.

This is more than an internship opportunity. Through public fellowships, students foster meaningful relationships between the campus and broader community, recognize the breadth of their expertise, and learn how the skills they have developed in their university programs can be employed in different positions. For students interested in exploring non-academic career paths, this kind of experience is essential. Fellows develop an understanding of how their knowledge might be deployed for historical work, curatorial projects, or policy-driven pursuits and develop experience that can lead to meaningful and long-lasting careers.

The students and the organizations they work with reflect the diversity of UCSC Humanities research and the deep commitment of our students to connect their scholarly pursuits with the public. Past fellows have worked around the world, employing their skills and knowledge at organizations as diverse as The Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities in Oslo, Norway, the Tuscon Chinese Cultural Center, the Japanese American Museum in San Jose, and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.

THI offers three types of public fellowships:

Graduate Summer Public Fellowships – applications are due March 20, 2020
Graduate Year-Long Public Fellowships – applications are due March 20, 2020
Undergraduate Public Fellowships – applications are due October 15, 2021

Questions? Please contact Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell, Research Program Manager, THI at

  • Kelsey McFaul (Literature)

    Kelsey Sasaki (Linguistics)

    Sienna Ballou (Literature)

    Morgan Gates (Literature)

    Trey Highton (Literature)

    Noya Kansky (Feminist Studies)

    Gabriel Mindel (History of Consciousness)

    Melody Nixon (History of Consciousness)

    Gabriela Ramirez-Chavez (Literature)

    Eric Sneathen (Literature)

    Vivian Underhill (Feminist Studies)

    Wyatt Young (History)

    Undergraduate Public Fellows — Mary “Miki” Arlen and Diana Leon Garcia

  • 2020-2021



  • Summer 2020

    Summer 2019

    Summer 2018

    • Aaron Aruk (History), Badge List
    • Ben Eischens (Linguistics), Pacific Collegiate School
    • Kiran Garcha (History), Cal Humanities
    • Lani Hanna (Feminist Studies), Freedom Archives
    • Lisa Hofmann (Linguistics), Hand in Hand
    • Erin Mariel McElroy (Feminist Studies), Frontul Comun pentru Dreptul la Locuire
    • Maho Morimoto (Linguistics), Senderos
    • Stephanie Luna Padilla (Literature), Border Angels
    • Lisbet Gabriela Ramirez-Chavez (Literature), UC Press
    • Eric Sneathen (Literature), GLBT Historical Society

    Summer 2017

    • Danielle Crawford (Literature Department), Planning and Conservation League (Sacramento)
    • Andrew Hedding (Linguistics), Senderos
    • Ryan King (Feminist Studies), Digital Nest
    • Amani Liggett (Literature Department), Santa Cruz Shakespeare
    • Priscilla Martinez (History),  Tucson Chinese Cultural Center
    • Jason Ostrove (Linguistics), Barra Heritage Centre (Scotland)
    • Delio Vasquez (History of Consciousness), Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
    • Kristin Wagner (Literature), Catamaran Literary Reader

    Summer 2016

    • David Donley (Philosophy), Santa Cruz County Jail
    • Kara Hisatake (Literature), Japanese American Museum of San Jose
    • Sarah Papazoglakis (Literature), California Humanities
    • Katie Trostel (Literature), The Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities in Oslo
    • Vivian Underhill (Feminist Studies), Northern Alaska Environmental Center
    • Claire Urbanski (Feminist Studies), Arizona State Museum
    • Taylor Wondergem (Feminist Studies), Cabrillo College
  • The Humanities Institute is offering an Undergraduate Public Fellowship opportunity for Humanities students at UC Santa Cruz to work as editorial assistants at Prison Journalism Project. Prison Journalism Project is an independent, nonprofit, non-partisan national initiative housed at Penn State University. The directors are journalists and professors located in Pennsylvania (Penn State University), Illinois (Northwestern University) and California (University of California, Santa Cruz). The project works with incarcerated writers and those impacted by incarceration to train them in the tools of journalism and help them reach a wide audience through their publication as well as through collaborations with mainstream media. PJP is motivated by belief that the deep reforms that are necessary to fix the U.S. criminal justice system can only happen by shifting the narrative. The goal of PJP is to create the first nationwide network of prison journalists and correspondents.

    Learn More

  • Applicants can propose new partnerships or contact THI about opportunities with organizations such as:

    Bookshop Santa Cruz
    – Engaging readers in events with authors and programs that enhance Santa Cruz’s intellectual community.

    – Developing curatorial work experience at a nonprofit dedicated to experimental music and art in Santa Cruz.

    Prison Journalism Project
    – Sharing stories by incarcerated and incarceration-impacted writers to increase the volume and quality of voices in the conversation about criminal justice and life behind bars through access, collaboration, and education.

    Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
    – Programming and collecting accounts for Lost & Found, an exhibition and archive of art, objects, and stories from communities affected by the CZU Lightning Complex Fires.

    – Building cross-cultural connections in Santa Cruz’s Latino community and supporting first-generation students applying to college.

    William James Association Prison Arts Project
    – Advancing programs that bring poetry, music, painting, theatre, creative writing, and other arts opportunities to incarcerated individuals.

    A full list of previous placements is available in the Public Fellows tabs.