Each year a dozen Mellon Fellows are selected from incoming and current graduate students in humanities and arts programs to participate in an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program in community engaged scholarship. Those graduate students are joined by four faculty members and four community leaders who work with the graduate students as mentors and co-educators for two years.
The program begins in the fall with a cohort retreat aimed at learning about the practices surrounding community-engaged scholarship. During the following two semesters, two one-credit courses build on our conversations with theories, methods, and examples of community-engaged scholarship. These courses are designed to be rigorous but not onerous—they are set up to allow graduate students to take them in addition to their regular course loads without slowing progress toward their graduate degrees.
In addition to coursework, Mellon Graduate Fellows pursue projects in community-engaged scholarship. These projects resonate with graduate students’ personal and scholarly interests and are grounded in a sustained collaboration with a community partner. Graduate Fellows are provided a stipend and budget for their projects that includes compensation for community partners, additional mentors, travel, and supplies.
During the final semester of the two-year certificate program, graduate fellows work with their cohort to reflect upon, evaluate, and develop next steps for their community-engaged projects as part of a third one-hour course which culminates in the production of a portfolio and a public presentation during a student-planned symposium. Along the way students will also take three graduate courses designated as having a community engaged component.
Mellon Fellows receive $5000 stipends each year (in addition to any departmental stipends they may be receiving). Applicants must be students in participating graduate programs in Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts. Incoming MA and MFA students are eligible to apply as are incoming, first-, or second-year students in Ph.D. programs.