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Mellon Scholars

 

As part of the University of Michigan Transfer Bridges to the Humanities@Michigan, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) at the University of Michigan (U-M) is partnering with faculty and academic units at Henry Ford Community College and Grand Rapids Community College to build bridges and opportunities to broaden access and participation in scholarly work related to the Humanities.

The Mellon Research Scholar Fellowship (MRSF) is a 20 week paid opportunity that allows current Henry Ford Community College and Grand Rapids Community College students interested in the humanities and related social sciences to perform part-time research alongside University of Michigan faculty (10 weeks per semester).  The program runs from October 4, 2021 to April 20th of 2022. 

The humanities comprise a rich and diverse ecosystem of academic disciplines, each of which focuses on a different facet of the human experience. Fields concerned with the study of language, culture, and society are allowed to flourish indiscriminately; artistic expression is cultivated even as it is analyzed. Equally diverse, humanistic research possesses a strong interdisciplinary element that allows for unique, groundbreaking work to be performed. 

 

2020-2021 UROP Mellon Fellows

My name is Alanna Grace-Marie Schwartz. I’m currently a sociology major at Henry Ford College. My current academic focus is racial and ethnic diversity. I am also a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and the Henry Ford II Honors Program. I’m a social justice oriented person. I plan on attending the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, College of LSA next year. After achieving my bachelors degree, I will become a Diversity and Inclusion Specialist/Consultant. The end goal in my career is to achieve a doctorates degree and become a sociology professor. My other interests are art and the vegan lifestyle. I’ve been an artist since I was a child, and art is my way of expressing myself. I currently work on visual sociology art shows like the Kwanzaa Art Show and The Black Panther one currently featured on the HFCC website, under the Black Male and QUEENS Focus Group’s page. (https://www.hfcc.edu/bmqfg) I’m a proud member of my focus group, and they have helped me achieve all the wonderful accomplishments I have listed. This summer, I will be participating in the Engelhardt Social Justice Fellowship with the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network to provide food justice assistance to the city of Detroit.  

Yasmeen Berry is a student of Henry Ford College that will be attending the University of Michigan this upcoming fall to study anthropology and biological science. As a sponsored academic affiliate, she is under the Mellon Scholar Research Fellowship and the Community College Summer Research Fellowship for the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). Her research interests include a project with the Bentley Historical Library to develop an archival exhibition on twentieth-century women scientists and collaborating as a Creative Consultant with the “Narrating Nubia: The Social Lives of Heritage” research team of the UM Humanities Collaboratory Two Year Project Grant. Future plans include the continuation of a collaboration with the Truttmann Laboratory of the U-M Medical School, through the Molecular and Integrative Physiology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and UROP Research Scholars Program. The ongoing project will investigate the effects of post-translational protein modifications on C. elegans nematode aging and their implications for neurodegenerative diseases. Yasmeen’s future career goal is to become a principal investigator that is at the forefront of neurodegenerative disease treatment in a clinical research hospital.

Gideon Kortenhoven is a recent graduate of Grand Rapids Community College where he studied Spanish and French, completing an AA in French studies. He will be attending the University of Michigan beginning Fall 2021 and will be part of UROPs Changing Gears program. Growing up between the San Francisco Bay Area and West Michigan, Gideon was always surrounded by multilingual and multicultural friends and family. These experiences, along with an opportunity to travel post high school, spurred his interest in using language as a means to bridge cultural gaps and emphasize the diversity of Black experiences. While at GRCC his coursework opened opportunities to research the language use and word creation found in hip-hop music as well as innovative possibilities for the creative use of language.  Through UROP, Gideon worked with a research team on a project investigating networks of care that Black families created in the wake of the Civil War.  This research also led him to explore his own family genealogy and help his family put together a fragmented history. His research interests include culture and history of the Black diaspora, linguistics and language change and growth. One of Gideon’s ultimate goals for the future is to create opportunities for children to learn African languages in US schools as heritage languages. This is not only to encourage second language learning at a young age but also to connect African American children to larger stories and histories in order to help bridge the gap between African and African American cultures. Outside of academics, Gideon enjoys making music, a hobby that has offered opportunities to perform in Grand Rapids and Chicago at art festivals and work with middle school student writers.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about the Mellon Research Scholar Fellowship, please email mrsf.info@umich.edu