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Mellon Graduate Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship

The Mellon Graduate Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship is an initiative of Tulane’s Office of the Provost and School of Liberal Arts. The program was launched in 2017 in conjunction with a 1.5-million-dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, following three years of pilot graduate programs in community engagement at Tulane. Through the “Transforming Graduate Education through Engaging the Community” grant, Tulane is building on its strength as a campus rich in community-engaged faculty from a wide range of departments as well as its strength as an institution with over six hundred established community partnerships in New Orleans and globally. 


Program Description
The Mellon Graduate Program is an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program in community-engaged scholarship that brings together graduate students in the arts and humanities, community leaders, and faculty for a multifaceted two-year cohort experience. The program’s goal is to provide graduate students a distinctive educational experience that allows them to connect their disciplines to new communities and to work with those communities to develop cutting-edge, civically informed, ethically grounded, community-engaged scholarship.
Each year a dozen Mellon Fellows are selected from incoming and current graduate students in humanities and arts programs. Those graduate students are joined by four faculty members and four community partners, who are also called Mellon Fellows and work with the graduate students as mentors and co-educators for two years.
The program begins in the fall with a cohort retreat and a series of events that bring fellows together to learn about resources in New Orleans and at Tulane. During the following two semesters, two one-credit courses introduce Mellon Graduate Fellows to 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 load without slowing progress toward their graduate degrees.
In addition to these one-hour courses, Mellon Graduate Fellows pursue projects in community-engaged scholarship. These projects should be “collaboratively-designed and result in products that advance new knowledge, enrich civic life, or address a pressing social issue.” Graduate Fellows are provided a stipend and budget for their projects that includes compensation for community partners, additional mentors, travel, and supplies.
Projects will have a dimension of public scholarship, which might include exhibitions, plays, performances, documentaries, research reports, grant proposals, course syllabi, advocacy materials, community publications or events, community archives, etc. 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 projects as part of a third one-hour course which culminates in the production of a portfolio.
Mellon Fellows receive $5000 annual stipends (in addition to any departmental stipends they may be receiving). 
“Publicly engaged academic work refers to scholarly or creative activity integral to a faculty member’s [or graduate student’s] academic area. It encompasses different forms of making knowledge about, for, and with diverse publics and communities. Through a coherent, purposeful sequence of activities it contributes to the public good and yields artifacts of public and intellectual value.” – Imagining America
2017-2019 Mellon Fellows
Ernest Johnson, Ubuntu Village
Dee Dee Green, American Friends Service Committee
Nia Weeks, Women with a Vision
Lauren Turner, Southern Rep Theatre & No Dream Deferred 
Marky Jean-Pierre, French
Justin Wolfe, History
Holly Flora, Art History 
Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah, Chemistry 
Taofeeq Adebayo, Linguistics
Genesis Calderon, Linguistics
Kirsty Escalante, Anthropology
April Goltz, Music
Chris Givens, Theater
Theo Hilton, Anthropology
Arianna King, City, Culture, and Community
Sarah Kington, City, Culture, and Community
Ana María López Caldwell, Latin American Studies
Sedrick Miles, Latin American Studies
Jennifer Miller Scarnato, City, Culture, and Community
Caleb Smith, History
2018-2020 Mellon Fellows

Adrian Anagnost, Art History
Mohamad Amine Belkhouch, Music
Japhet Onaolapo Ajani, Linguistics 
Rachel Brown, History
Jack Bohannon, City, Culture, Community
Curtis Davis, City, Culture, Community
Qasim Davis, Playworks Louisiana 
Daniel Hanson Dzah, Philosophy 
Aminisha Ferdinand, KID smart
Ruben Francisco Forte, Latin American Studies
Megan Flattley, Art History & Latin American Studies
Ruth Idakula, Center for Ethical Living & Social Justice Renewal   
Jordan Karubian, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology   
Juliana Kasumu,Studio Art 
Judith Maxwell, Anthropology
Wade Rathke, ACORN International 
Sarah Reynolds, Anthropology
Maura Sullivan, Linguistics
Chloe Tucker, City, Culture, Community


Graduate Student Application Information
Application Checklist for Graduate Student Applicants for August 2018-May 2020 Cohort
1. Complete Application Cover Sheet
2. Curriculum vitae.
3. One-page letter of interest. The letter should explain why you are interested in becoming a Mellon Fellow; describe your interest in community-engaged teaching, research, and/or practice; and give an account of how you see community engagement connecting with your graduate studies and/or career plans.
4. A brief note of support from your graduate advisor (one paragraph – emailed from your graduate advisor to Ryan McBride at
5. Email all materials to Ryan McBride at by May 14th, 2018. DEADLINE EXTENDED
Mellon Fellows receive $5000 annual stipends (in addition to any departmental stipends they may be receiving). Graduate student 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
Faculty Application Information
Application Checklist for Faculty Applicants for August 2018-May 2020 Cohort
1. Complete Application Cover Sheet
2. Curriculum vitae.
3. Please explain why the Mellon program interests you, how you see the connections between community-engaged work and your personal academic work and/or your discipline, and what you hope to get from the experience. 1-2 pages.
4. Email all materials to Ryan McBride at by March 31st, 2018.
 Mellon Fellows receive $5000 annual stipends. Tulane faculty with regular appointments at any rank may apply. Given the program’s focus, applications from faculty in the humanities, arts, and all fields within the School of Liberal Arts are especially welcome. 
Community Leader Application Information
Application Checklist for Community Leader Applicants for August 2018-May 2020 Cohort
1. Complete Application Cover Sheet
2. Resume or Curriculum vitae.
3. One-page letter of interest. 1-2 pages. 
4. Email all materials to Ryan McBride at by March 31th, 2018.
Mellon Fellows receive $5000 annual stipends.