Cal State LA receives $453K in funds to increase opportunities for humanities students

March 22, 2018

California State University, Los Angeles has received a $453,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the California State University Foundation to provide increased academic opportunities and financial support for students in humanities who will pursue a Ph.D. immediately after completing their bachelor’s degrees.

The grant will establish the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, which will offer mentoring and training to 16 students.     

The program at Cal State LA will consist of tiered developmental experiences. During two consecutive immersive summer experiences, fellows will be exposed to works of humanities-based scholarship. During the academic year, fellows will focus on research, professional development, and the graduate school application process.

“The grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help us develop the next generation of humanities scholars,” said William A. Covino, president of Cal State LA. “I look forward to the contributions our Mellon Mays fellows will make through scholarship and research.”   

Pamela Scott-Johnson, dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences, and Cheryl Koos, associate dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences, served as the senior officer and principal investigator, and co-principal investigator for the grant, respectively. Enrique Ochoa, professor of Latin American studies and history, has been named the program’s faculty coordinator.

“A unique feature of the Cal State LA program will be a collaborative and thematic project that incorporates the rich cultural context of Los Angeles,” Scott-Johnson said. “Students’ participation in the MMUF program will increase their potential for entry into graduate programs in their chosen disciplines and strengthen their long-term career capacity.”

The goal of the MMUF is to increase diversity in the faculty of the nation’s colleges and universities.

A five-campus CSU consortium received grants to offer the program. The consortium includes CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, CSU San Bernardino and CSU Dominguez Hills. The campuses received funding totaling $2,211,000.         

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