Fellows take part in a weekly three-credit, writing intensive seminar coordinated by Professor Jeffrey McCune. These meetings focus on topics central to the liberal arts, what it means to be an academic, and the research and writing process. Other program activities include compiling the student research journal The Inquiry, writing an annual newsletter, inviting speakers, and attending a bi-yearly regional conference. Each Fellow also performs independent summer research tailored to the individual, in consultation with the faculty mentor, and reports monthly to the Faculty Coordinator and mentor.
To provide greater awareness of what it means to be an academic, each Mellon Fellow works closely with a faculty mentor during the academic year to plan a mutually agreeable research project. During the academic year and the summer, mentors and Fellows communicate regularly to discuss research progress, challenges, and ideas. This is a time for Fellows to learn from their faculty mentors, get advice, and evaluate their own progress.
Here's what your time as a Mellon Fellow might look like:
- Spring Sophomore Year - Weekly orientation seminar on Thursday afternoons, 4:00 - 6:00. Begin meeting regularly with mentor. Identify and articulate summer research goals.
- Summer after Sophomore Year - Conduct independent research, staying in regular contact with mentor and Mellon program leaders.
- Fall Junior Year - Attend weekly seminar, learn about graduate school, and expand upon summer research. Workshop other Fellows' research papers and refine your own.
- Spring Junior Year - Host an invited Mellon speaker (to be chosen by the Fellows), workshop a longer research paper, and prepare for summer research.
- Summer after Junior Year - Conduct independent research, stay in contact with mentor and Mellon program leaders, possible fieldwork and travel.
- Fall Senior Year - Continue to attend weekly seminar meetings, begin to craft your own argument about your subject, and workshop papers.
- Spring Senior Year - Refine your paper for publication in the Inquiry, write for and publish the Mellon newsletter, present your work to your colleagues and a panel of faculty evaluators.
The program provides stipends throughout the two years to carry out your project. Funds are available for research expenses; travel to archives or research sites; workshop and conference fees; and the purchase of books, laboratory supplies, or scholarly material.
The fellowships also include an undergraduate loan forgiveness program. The Mellon Foundation will repay student loans in stages over the course of the student’s graduate studies for those who meet the requirements of the fellowship. Fellows who go on to obtain the Ph.D. degree in one of the designated Mellon fields may have their undergraduate loans repaid up to a total of $10,000.
More information about Alumni Benefits.