The idea of expanding the learning experience of their students by partnering with sister institutions has garnered for three nationally ranked liberal arts colleges an $850,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York.
Recipients include Centre College in Kentucky, along with Rhodes College and Sewanee: The University of the South, both located in Tennessee. All three are part of the 16-member Associated Colleges of the South.
The generous support follows an earlier $50,000 planning grant from Mellon shared by the three institutions between July 2016 and December 2017.
Focus areas for the four-year grant involve making select study abroad, study away and internship experiences of each campus accessible to all partner schools, along with sharing best practices in faculty assessment of student learning.
“This award is unique for many reasons,” said Centre President John A. Roush, “chief of which is the collaborative nature of the project, and at a time when colleges fear competition more than they seek to embrace partnerships. Students will benefit greatly through this collaboration, which is and always should be our paramount goal.”
A variety of opportunities will be open to students.
Sewanee Vice-Chancellor John McCardell, for instance, will teach an American studies course in Beaufort, South Carolina, this May that Centre student Catherine Gleason, a junior from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, is eager to take with students from Sewanee (Rhodes students will join in summer 2019). The credit she earns will appear on her Centre transcript.
Other students may find themselves engaged in a summer internship experience focused on the medical humanities, which builds on modifications to a summer 2017 program at Methodist Hospital in Memphis that occurred as part of the initial planning grant.
President Marjorie Hass is excited to welcome additional students to Rhodes and the city of Memphis.
Joy Asher, director of the Center for Career & Professional Development at Centre (CCPD), credits Mindy Wilson, the CCPD assistant director who oversees Centre’s internship program, as a driving force working with Rhodes and Sewanee in the planning grant phase.
Wilson will continue these efforts going forward and already has two students lined up for summer 2018. Emily Zelichenok, a junior from Louisville, and Josh Joiner, a sophomore from Danville, will follow in the footsteps of two Centre students (junior Jacob Crouch and senior Caleb Vogel) who participated in the Memphis Urban Health Institute in 2017.
The new grant will also enable these kinds of experiences to expand to a rural setting near Sewanee.
In the area of study abroad, where Centre’s reputation is nationally recognized, colleagues from all three institutions will collaborate on designing new opportunities for international study that draw on the strengths and interests of faculty at each college.
Kyle Anderson, Centre’s director of the Center for Global Citizenship, looks forward to being a part of these conversations.
“None of this would be possible without the generosity of the Mellon Foundation,” said Roush. “Their support will make a profound impact for good in the life of Centre, Rhodes and Sewanee students, making them better prepared to take on the challenges of a changing and increasingly global world.”
Additional information about Mellon is available here.
by Michael Strysick
March 22, 2018