FI Faculty Team Up with Mellon Research Fellows

The Department of Focused Inquiry is excited to collaborate with The Mellon Pathways to the Arts and Humanities at VCU Program to support their Mellon Research Fellows.  Eighteen, second-year students enrolled at Reynolds or John Tyler Community College and participating in the Pathways to VCU Program were selected as Mellon Research Fellows this year. These Fellows work with a Reynolds or Tyler faculty mentor on a year-long research project of their choosing. The Fellows’ research topics include access to mental health resources in Spanish-speaking communities, the relationship between media and young voter participation in the 2020 election, tattoo culture in South Korea, and much more.

During the second semester of the program, each Mellon Research Fellow teams up with a VCU faculty member whose work is related to their year-long project. These “VCU Faculty Connections” all hail from the University College and the Department of Focused Inquiry this year. They are: FI faculty members Nikki Fernandes, Alli Tharp, Chris Martiniano, Mary Lou Hall, Hilary Levinson, Julianne Guillard, Elizabeth Fagan, Meriah Crawford, Hannah Franz, Carver Weakley, Chris Jackson, Paul Yoon, Kristin Reed, Tara Burke, Lindsay Chudzik, Beth Kreydatus, and Amber Pearson and VCU LEAD faculty member, Kimberly Matthews. 

The VCU faculty involved in the program meet with their assigned Mellon Research Fellow once or twice during the Spring semester, serving as an additional resource for their project. The ultimate goal is to help the students envision expanded versions of their projects that could potentially be developed further during their study at VCU. You can watch Alli and Tara talk about their experience with the program here.

On May 13th, there will be a virtual banquet to celebrate all the work of the Mellon Research Fellows; the VCU Faculty Connections are also invited to take part in the celebration. The FI Faculty is excited about this new collaboration and the FI mentors look forward to further connecting with the Mellon Research Fellows when they transition to VCU in the fall.

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