Students Explore Big Ideas as Mellon Humanities Scholars

BooksAugust 14, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Analyzing great works of literature. Recognizing tolerance and equality among faith traditions. Using creative writing as a mechanism to cope with mental health disorders.

Four Illinois Wesleyan University students pondered these and other big ideas as recipients of student research awards through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Re-Centering the Humanities grant, a $300,000 grant to allow the University to strengthen existing relationships and establish new connections between the humanities and other disciplines.

One aspect of the grant funding, the Humanities Scholars program, is open to students in all disciplines for projects grounded in the humanities – Greek and Roman Studies, English, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Religion or Philosophy. Each scholar receives a $4,000 award, which allows the students to stay on campus over the summer to conduct research under the guidance of a faculty member.         

“The Mellon grant has reinforced for me that I am a scholar at heart, and I have been delighted by the opportunity to spend time foraging for research, taking notes and drafting new designs for groups,” said recipient Colleen O’Connor ’14.

Below are the stories of each of the Mellon scholars and their projects:

Nathan Douglas ’15: Literary History

Tim McDunn ’16: Classics Rock

Lisa Mishra ’15: Ambassador for Multifaith

Colleen O’Connor ’14: Writing the Path to Recovery