In the summer of 2015, Union College received a three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support “Our Shared Humanities”, an initiative that strengthens and integrates the arts and humanities at Union by focusing on interests that are shared across disciplines. The grant will also foster the development of teaching practices and research methodologies that will bring together faculty across disciplinary boundaries to work on projects of intellectual and cultural significance.
Funding from the Mellon Foundation is available to support several specific initiatives, each led by a subcommittee of the larger Mellon Steering Committee.
- During each year of this three-year grant, approximately $60,000 will be available to support faculty-initiated integrative/collaborative projects in the form of “mini-grants”. There will be no formal deadlines for submission; however, time-sensitive applications will be prioritized by the steering committee. The committee recommends that all prospective applicants speak with Dr Yasmine Van Wilt regarding proposal processes. Applicants should expect that applications typically require more than a weeks’ worth of time to fully-develop. A discussion of the types of grants available through this initiative can be found below.
- The grant will support the promotion of Union’s Maker Community through the funding of stipends to faculty to develop curricular tie ins and opportunities to incorporate maker activities into their classes and/or research efforts. Funds are also available to sponsor Maker-related events and participation in off-campus maker activities for faculty (Subcommittee Chair, John Rieffel).
- Mellon funding will contribute to faculty development in two important ways: Mellon funds will support faculty workshops and initiatives related to instructional design and student-centered learning, and will also host a series of events that educate faculty on state-of the-art research about how students learn. In addition Mellon funds will support enhanced access to ITS-sponsored Faculty Development Institute programming in which cross-disciplinary teams of faculty participate in the development of new approaches to teaching that allow for incorporation of the humanities across discipline. The aim of this portion of the project is to challenge faculty to constantly reevaluate teaching methods to best ensure student learning (Subcommittee Chair, Denise Snyder).
- The grant will facilitate the acquisition of library holdings that will expand our collections of materials that integrate the arts/humanities across the disciplines. Acquisitions will be driven by grant-funded initiatives and activities (Subcommittee Chair, Frances Maloy).