Muhlenberg Receives Three-Year Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Resources will help the College achieve its civic and global mission.

Tue, 01 Jul 2014 08:48:00 EDT

Article for Mellon Grant, student research

(Pictured: Dr. Marten Edwards, associate professor of biology, and Muhlenberg students. Dr. Edwards recently accompanied Dr. Rich Niesenbaum, professor of biology and director of sustainability studies, on a Muhlenberg Integrated Learning Abroad trip to Costa Rica for the Spring 2014 Semester)

Muhlenberg College has been awarded a $428,000 three-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support six interconnected initiatives aimed at globalizing the curriculum, increasing study abroad opportunities and strengthening faculty scholarship in the humanities.

“The support of the Mellon Foundation could not have come at a better time,” says Muhlenberg College Provost John Ramsay. “As we internationalize our curriculum, Muhlenberg faculty and students will extend and deepen their understanding of the languages, cultures, arts, literatures and histories of people across the globe. At the same time, Mellon’s support for the integration of digital tools into our humanities curriculum will provide opportunities to fulfill our civic mission right here in the Lehigh Valley. We’re truly grateful to Mellon for their generous investment in the College and their confidence in the future of the humanities at Muhlenberg.”

The funds will support the following activities:

  • Creation of new courses as part of the College’s general education diversity and globalization requirement. Faculty development will target the integration of global perspectives at both the introductory and advanced level in existing majors as the College implements its new and more rigorous two-course Human Diversity and Global Engagement (HDGE) general education requirement.
  • Deepening faculty integration of digital tools into teaching and scholarship, particularly in the humanities division. On-campus workshops will support the curricular integration of digital tools such as GIS, digital archives, wikis, blogs, ePortfolios, digital storytelling and web-based social learning tools, providing opportunities to support HDGE goals, integrative learning, faculty-student research collaboration and global partnerships.
  • Broadening of faculty expertise in international issues and global perspectives through international faculty development seminars. The creation of international on-site faculty seminars will foster the integration of global perspectives in curriculum development through place-based interaction with foreign cultures and will facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration on both curriculum development and scholarship.
  • Increasing short-term study abroad opportunities for students with a language instruction component integrated into these experiences. Course development grants will allow faculty to investigate new sites to expanded offerings of our short-term faculty-led study abroad courses (Muhlenberg Integrated Learning Abroad - MILA courses). MILA instructors will collaborate to develop shared learning goals and common assessment tools to evaluate student learning within and across these experiences.
  • Strengthening the intellectual community among humanities faculty and colleagues in the arts and sciences. A Humanities Scholars in Residence program will provide opportunities for short-term on-campus residencies for humanities scholars in art history, English, history, modern languages, religion studies and philosophy over the three-year period. The residencies will support professional development related to curriculum and scholarship in the humanities.
  • Strengthening the curriculum in religion studies and Asian traditions with a humanities faculty position focused on India. Funds will support a two-year position to support the study of India, particularly in the religion studies major and Asian traditions minor.