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College receives $400,000 grant for new undergraduate research program

12/29/2011

Connecticut College will develop a new arts and humanities research program with a $400,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The new program will enable students in their sophomore year to prepare themselves to conduct advanced level research in ways that build connections between their education and arts- and humanities-focused careers.

"This new program opens new doors of opportunity for our students to apply their education in real-world situations and truly understand the impact they can have on the world," said Connecticut College President Leo I. Higdon Jr. "Connecticut College's strong arts and humanities programs will be further enhanced with this generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation."

The $400,000 grant, payable over four years, will support curricular development, sophomore research seminars and summer research internships - all in arts and humanities.

- Curricular Development: Beginning in the spring semester of 2012, a program director will lead a curricular development seminar involving six faculty members and six alumni professionals. Together, they will develop syllabi for sophomore research seminars (four in the first year and six in the second) and ideas for potential research partnerships for the summer research internships.

- Sophomore Research Seminars: Building on the experience of the first-year seminar, taken by all students, the sophomore research seminars are designed to teach students the fundamentals of conducting research: developing research questions; finding secondary sources and assessing their usefulness; locating and analyzing primary sources; crafting compelling interpretations of those sources; and developing innovative formats for communicating those interpretations to others. The seminar topics allow students to see the reach of interdisciplinary arts and humanities research, both within the academic environment and as it applies to career and life goals. Research experience garnered in the sophomore seminars will help prepare students for the program's summer research internship, as well as for research and internship opportunities available through the College's honors program, interdisciplinary academic centers, career office and other existing research venues.

- Summer Research Internship - A subset of students from the sophomore research seminar will each pursue a summer of funded research with two mentors, one Connecticut College professor and one alumna/us professional, who will help guide the student and keep the research grounded in practical applications.

"This program strengthens the teaching of research at Connecticut College, adds intellectual force to our internship program and teaches students to connect their academic knowledge to real-world issues," said Dean of the Faculty Roger Brooks.

The new program begins with the curricular development seminar in the spring. Sophomore research seminars are scheduled for the fall semesters of 2012, 2013 and 2014. The first summer research internships through this program will be in 2013.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Matt Engelhardt (860) 439-2505, mengelha@conncoll.edu
Deborah MacDonnell (860) 439-2504, dmacdonn@conncoll.edu



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