Tulane University has benefitted in a big way from its continued focus on community engagement, as the University received a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a certificate program focused on training graduate students for community-engaged research or teaching.
The grant will allow Tulane to develop a robust certificate program aimed at supporting graduate students in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences who want to pursue community-engaged research or teaching. The program design is a result of a collaborative effort of the Tulane School of Liberal Arts, the Tulane Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning and the Tulane Center for Public Service.
The pilot program was launched two years ago for graduate students of any discipline. The program covers one year and features weekly readings, seminar meetings, a portfolio project and a mentorship component.
"The grant is a game-changer in terms of what we can offer graduate students here at Tulane."
- Agnieszka Nance
“The grant is a game-changer in terms of what we can offer graduate students here at Tulane,” said Agnieszka Nance, executive director of the Center for Public Service.
The new program breaks down the traditional boundaries between disciplines. With mentorship and support from Tulane’s faculty, graduate students will expand their traditional education and explore different paths for careers after graduation.
The support of the Mellon Foundation will also help Tulane recruit a new wave of talented graduate students.
“Part of the beauty of the pilot program has been the graduate students from a wide range of disciplines and practical experiences each working together to complicate, deepen and rethink our ideas about what community engagement is and what it can be,” said Ryan McBride, an administrative associate professor who developed and directs the pilot program. “Some of the most exciting work taking place on our campus is already being done by graduate students. They enrich their departments and everyone working around them.”