UMass Boston Receives $515K Mellon Foundation Grant To Create High Impact Humanities Programming

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Award From Nation’s Largest Private Humanities Funder Will Create Path to Academic Success, Career Development for Undergraduate StudentsUMass Boston has received a three-year $515,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to implement an ambitious “High Impact Humanities” program that will provide undergraduates with opportunities to engage in humanities-focused research, experiential coursework, internships, and community service as a path to student success and career development.

The award is the Mellon Foundation’s first for Boston’s only public research university.

“We’re honored by the Mellon Foundation’s generous investment in our teaching and learning environment,” said UMass Boston Interim Chancellor Barry Mills. “Humanities are essential to our undergraduate education, and this new program will play a critical role in our next phase of work to advance out top priority – the success of our students.”

The three-year program, “High Impact Humanities: Connecting Curriculum, Community, and Careers for Student Success,” will establish a Humanities Incubator on campus, aimed at producing programming that breaks down traditional barriers among curricular, extracurricular, and career-focused learning. The Humanities Incubator will encourage faculty development of new high impact courses by providing seed funding and pedagogical training for innovative humanities teaching.

In addition to expanding a successful first-year program that uses the city of Boston as a humanities laboratory, the Incubator will develop an upper-level curriculum that helps students experience—through site visits, hands-on research, and museum and library partnerships—the dynamic creativity, analytical thinking, and cultural engagement central to the humanities. The Incubator will also institute “Careers in Humanities” courses and internships, and form a High Impact Humanities Forum featuring a student-advisory group that will plan arts and humanities events on campus. There will also be mentoring support for undergraduate research and writing in the humanities.

“The Mellon Foundation’s support will allow us to undergo a major transformation of humanities teaching and learning on …

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