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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Partnership hopes to diversify liberal arts education and careers

A group of 15 Midwest research universities, including UW-Madison, announced their partnership with a network of 14 liberal arts colleges Monday in an effort to encourage liberal arts students to pursue graduate and academic work, according to a UW-Madison news release.

The program, called the Undergraduate and Faculty Fellows Program for a Diverse Professoriate, is a seven-year initiative that will be funded by an $8.1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The foundation aims to promote underrepresented groups to pursue careers as liberal arts professors, the release said.

Project partners will encourage graduate students from universities like UW-Madison to become faculty members at liberal arts colleges. They will also help students transfer from small colleges to larger universities for advanced degrees.

“It can be a challenging transition to come to graduate school from a liberal arts college, especially for first-generation students and students from diverse backgrounds,” UW-Madison Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf said in the release. “This important collaborative initiative should make that transition easier for students.”

The grant will fund paid summer research opportunities in the humanities, social sciences and the arts for students from participating colleges. It will also provide faculty fellowships, mentoring for scholars and workshops to strengthen connections between colleges and universities, the release said.

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