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Hope College December 2013 : Page 12

Campus Profile Digital By Chris Lewis ’09 Scholarship In doing so, the Mellon Scholars Program achieves one principal goal—to prepare all participating students for successful careers after graduation, whether they choose to attend graduate school, pursue employment, or serve others as volunteers. “Digital scholarship has become more important in virtually every field, so this is a chance for students to get in on the leading edge of something that is going to be expected of all scholars in the coming years,” said Dr. Julia Randel, associate professor of music and associate director of the Mellon Scholars Program. “Students also think about their research in different ways: how to present it to different kinds of audiences and in different forms to become part of ongoing scholarly conversations.” The six-course, 24-credit program is renowned for its mentoring opportunities, as faculty members from all arts and humanities departments are invited to serve as advisors, working with students individually as they learn how to use state-of-the-art digital technologies to conduct research and share it publicly. Students apply for the highly competitive, three-year program as freshmen or sophomores, with roughly 20 accepted annually. The program includes specialized coursework, as well as involvement in multiple Original research, the traditional methods of the liberal arts and the new scholarly tools of the 21st century combine in the Andrew w. mellon Foundation scholars program in the Arts and Humanities at Hope, which is designed to provide students with skills that T o prepare students for the challenges of an ever-changing, digitally advanced world, Hope’s latest interdisciplinary, honors program is blending the college’s rich liberal arts traditions with the scholarly tools of the 21st century. Engaging arts and humanities students in the development of research projects with faculty mentors, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholars Program emphasizes the usage of new and emerging digital technologies, as members pursue and share their work in areas of scholarly interest. Established through a multi-year, $200,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2010, the program received another $500,000 award from the foundation earlier this year to expand its opportunities for student learning even further. “Hope has a long history as a nationally recognized leader for involving students in collaborative faculty-student research,” said the program’s founding director, Dr. William Pannapacker, a professor of English. “While the Mellon Scholars Program is grounded in the traditional methods of the liberal arts—reading, writing, thinking, speaking—one of its most distinctive features is building on that foundation with social networking, collaboration, interactive scholarly interfaces, and new media technologies that are often described, collectively, as the ‘digital humanities.’” “I saw the Mellon Scholars Program as an opportunity to express my passion for art history, French, studio art, and design all at once, something I had not been able to do in my regular classes. It has given me confidence to apply to programs I would have never dreamed of approaching in the past, including my current master’s program [at the Sorbonne in Paris].” — Athina Isabelle Alvarez ’13 research experiences, leading to a capstone senior project. Students have full creative control over which projects they pursue throughout their years as participants, helping them recognize their passions and, ultimately, choose their vocations. “Students are also encouraged to participate in off-campus studies or experiential education programs as juniors or seniors, including The Philadelphia Center and Chicago’s Newberry Library Program, where they can gain considerable experience developing projects relevant to the workplace and graduate school,” Dr. Pannapacker said. Whichever focus students choose for their final projects, they must use some form of digital technology to develop, disseminate, and preserve their work, which can then be presented at nationwide public forums and research conferences, including the annual Posters on the Hill, a highly selective event in Washington, D.C., at which students present their research to members of Congress (Mellon Scholars participated during each of the past two years). Since becoming a Mellon Scholar during her sophomore year, senior Madalyn Northuis of Holland, Mich., has pursued research projects ranging from intercultural relationships between Native Americans, African Americans, and European settlers 12 News News From From Hope Hope College College

Digital Scholarship

Chris Lewis

<br /> To prepare students for the challenges of an ever-changing, digitally advanced world, Hope’s latest interdisciplinary, honors program is blending the college’s rich liberal arts traditions with the scholarly tools of the 21st century.<br /> <br /> Engaging arts and humanities students in the development of research projects with faculty mentors, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholars Program emphasizes the usage of new and emerging digital technologies, as members pursue and shar e t heir work in ar eas of scholarly interest. Established through a multiyear, $200,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2010, t he program received another $500,000 award from the foundation earlier this year to expand its opportunities for student learning even further.<br /> <br /> “Hope has a long history as a nationally recognized leader for involving students in collaborative faculty-student research,” said the program’s founding director, Dr. William Pannapacker, a professor of English. “While the Mellon Scholars Program is grounded in the traditional methods of the liberal arts—reading, writing, thinking, speaking—one of its most distinctive features is building on that foundation with social networking, collaboration, interactive scholarly interfaces, and new media technologies that are often described, collectively, as the ‘digital humanities.’”<br /> <br /> In doing so, the Mellon Scholars Program achieves one principal goal—to prepare all participating students for successful careers after graduation, whether they choose to attend graduate school, pursue employment, or serve others as volunteers.<br /> <br /> “Digital scholarship has become more important in virtually every field, so this is a chance for students to get in on the leading edge of something that is going to be expected of all scholars in the coming years,” said Dr. Julia Randel, associate professor of music and associate director of the Mellon Scholars Program. “Students also think about their research in different ways: how to present it to different kinds of audiences and in different forms to become part of ongoing scholarly conversations.”<br /> <br /> The six-course, 24-credit program is renowned for its mentoring opportunities, as faculty members from all arts and humanities departments are invited to serve as advisors, working with students individually as they learn how to use state-of-the-art digital technologies to conduct research and share it publicly. Students apply for the highly competitive, three year program as freshmen or sophomores, with roughly 20 accepted annually.<br /> <br /> The program includes specialized coursework, as well as involvement in multiple research experiences, leading to a capstone senior project. Students have full creative control over which projects they pursue throughout their years as participants, helping them recognize their passions and, ultimately, choose their vocations.<br /> <br /> “Students are also encouraged to participate in off-campus studies or experiential education programs as juniors or seniors, including The Philadelphia Center and Chicago’s Newberry Library Program, where they can gain considerable experience developing projects relevant to the workplace and graduate school,” Dr. Pannapacker said.<br /> <br /> Whichever focus students choose for their final projects, they must use some form of digital technology to develop, disseminate, and preserve their work, which can then be presented at nationwide public forums and research conferences, including the annual Posters on the Hill, a highly selective event in Washington, D.C., at which students present their research to members of Congress (Mellon Scholars participated during each of the past two years).<br /> <br /> Since becoming a Mellon Scholar during her sophomore year, senior Madalyn Northuis of Holland, Mich., has pursued research projects ranging from intercultural relationships between Native Americans, African Americans, and European settlers throughout the history of the United States, to the historical development of American food policy. She has even undertaken her research initiatives off-campus, visiting archives in Boston to learn more about chemist Ellen Swallow Richards, the first woman admitted into MIT, who conducted pioneering work in sanitary engineering, home economics, and nutrition. As a result of her research, Northuis has decided to pursue her passion for history as a full-time documentary filmmaker.<br /> <br /> “For a little while, I looked outside the arts and humanities for a field of study that would increase my chances of finding a job aft er graduation, but, thankfully, with the help of some wonderful faculty mentors, I was able to admit history is my passion and writing and producing documentaries is my vocation,” she said.<br /> <br /> Current Mellon Scholar Bill Getschman’s story is similar. An English major and senior from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., he has rediscovered his passion for baseball. During his sophomore year, he researched the history of baseball and investigated its role in American culture. Last summer, he interned at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.<br /> <br /> “I was one of 15 selected out of 650 applicants and my employers told me my research experience separated me from the crowd,” Getschman said. “Now I’m pursuing positions that will allow me to use my knowledge of American culture, as well as my passion for baseball.”<br /> <br /> The program’s first five alumni, who graduated this past May, have all successfully followed a diverse range of paths themselves. Athina Isabelle Alvarez ’13, an art history, studio art, and French triple major, is pursuing an art history master’s degree at France’s L’Universite Sorbonne Paris IV, while Tessa Angell ’13, an international studies composite and Spanish double major, earned a prestigious Fulbright Award to serve as a teaching assistant at a secondary school in Spain’s Cantabria region.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Katie Callam ’13, a classical studies major, is pursuing a musicology graduate degree at Harvard University, while Madalyn Muncy ’13, an English major, is working at The Philadelphia Center as a digital liberal arts program fellow. And Daniel Owens ’13, a history major, is an administrative director for Nibakure Children’s Village, an or phanage in Rwanda that he first visited during a Mellon sponsored research project.<br /> <br /> “I saw the Mellon Scholars Program as an opportunity to express my passion for art history, French, studio art, and design all at once, something I had not been able to do in my regular classes,” Alvarez said. “It has given me confidence to apply to programs I would have never dreamed of approaching in the past, including my current master’s program.”<br /> <br /> The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s most recent grant offering is helping the program build upon the successes of the past three years in a variety of ways, particularly through partnerships with other institutions. For example, the program is currently developing a partnership with Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University, and Dr. Pannapacker, who was recently named faculty director of the Digital Liberal Arts Initiative of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) in addition to his role at Hope, also anticipates connecting with the 12 other colleges that are members of the GLCA. As one possibility, he envisions the exploration of local history, which is an ongoing focus of student research at Hope, becoming replicated at other institutions and made available collectively through a larger network.<br /> <br /> “It could begin to add up to a national project on local and regional history that hasn’t been attempted since the state-by-state American Guide Series produced by the Works Progress Administration Federal Writers Project in the 1930s,” he said.<br /> <br /> In addition, Mellon Scholars will be able to conduct more complex research, travel to more research conferences, participate in specially designed off-campus study programs, and extend their engagement with digital technology, so that their interests and experiences are broadly-based as they begin the next chapter of their lives.<br /> <br /> “Students must adapt their talents to the world’s needs and assume they will have many careers,” Dr. Pannapacker said. “The program prepares them to become functioning professionals—with a portfolio of real accomplishments—before they graduate.”<br /> <br /> He added, “A liberal arts education, enhanced by technology and collaborative research, is the best preparation, by far, for the global competition that every graduate must face.”

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