Centre receives collaborative grant with Rhodes College and Sewanee: The University of the South from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Posted by Centre News in News 19 Aug 2016

Centre SealCentre, Rhodes and Sewanee, all members of the Associated Colleges of the South, have been awarded a collective $50,000 planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore potential collaboration in two areas—expanded student opportunity and cost reduction—over an 18-month period.

The grant comes on the heels of months of discussions between Centre President John Roush, Rhodes President Bill Troutt and Sewanee Vice-Chancellor John McCardell concerning potential ways to enhance the student experience by leveraging the individual strengths of each institution.

In preparation for applying for the grant last academic year, Roush, Troutt and McCardell requested that their respective faculty and staff work together to identify areas that would facilitate “student exchange” experiences in academic disciplines not available at their home institutions but available through one of the collaborating partners. These exchanges could take the form of a summer internship, a short course incorporating study away or study abroad, or even a semester-long experience overseas.

Study abroad, a key aspect and strength of the Centre experience, was immediately identified as an exchange opportunity for students from Rhodes and Sewanee, and Centre’s Director of International Programs Milton Reigelman set to work to offer students from Sewanee and Rhodes the chance to participate in the College’s early summer Strasbourg program or take a behavioral neuroscience field course. Both of these courses are offered each summer.

Likewise, Reigelman spotted additional study abroad opportunities for Centre students among course offerings at Rhodes and Sewanee. He alerted Centre students to a European travel seminar on the Holocaust offered by Rhodes and a course led by Sewanee in Russia.

The potential for additional collaboration toward expanded student opportunity also exists at Rhodes, which is known for its strong community health internship program. In similar fashion, Sewanee has the potential to offer students from Rhodes and Centre the opportunity to engage in summer electives particular to rural, contemplative settings by way of its unique 13,000-acre campus atop Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau. During the grant period, the logistics of making these possibilities a reality will be explored.

According to Roush, the grant also makes possible a collaborative focus on cost reduction among the three institutions. Centre business office staff and related functions will work with counterparts at Rhodes and Sewanee to examine where purchasing, training and international visa services might be coordinated to create stronger buying power.

“The trust and geography that exists between our three institutions makes this grant and collaboration opportunity one not to be missed,” explains Roush. “Good and lasting partnerships are built on good ideas, trust and an absolute will to execute. We have all three in place.”

by Centre College News
August 19, 2016