Mellon Foundation awards $100,000 grant to Eckerd to bolster humanities education, research

June 11, 2015

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Eckerd College a $100,000 grant to fund a three-year initiative aimed at strengthening humanities education and research.

“New Frontiers in the Humanities” will seek to increase student interest in the humanities at Eckerd through undergraduate research, collaborative projects, team teaching and community-building projects.

“Eckerd is thrilled to partner with the Mellon Foundation in its ongoing efforts to reinvigorate education in the humanities,’’ said Dean of Faculty Suzan Harrison. “This initiative will integrate high-impact education practices to achieve the primary goal of a liberal arts education: preparing students for a lifetime of learning, adapting, advancing and discovering. This grant will make a dramatic impact on our ability to elevate the Humanities swiftly and effectively.”

A group of 15 incoming freshmen will receive a $1,000 research stipend, be housed together in one wing of a residence hall and participate in a new topical research seminar in the humanities in the Fall of their freshman year. A group of upperclassmen, meanwhile, will participate in a new advanced research seminar in the Humanities in the Spring of their junior year.

Each April, the college will hold a Humanities Symposium showcasing the best of student research in the humanities and the best student humanities research will be published online. Funding will be provided for students to travel to conferences to present their research. Support will also be provided for faculty to promote undergraduate research.

The initiative begins Spring Semester 2016 with the first junior research seminar and Humanities Symposium. The first freshman research seminar and humanities residence hall will begin in Fall Semester 2016.