Friday, December 8, 2023

$500K Mellon grant means more UTSA students having the opportunity to make an impact

$500K Mellon grant means more UTSA students having the opportunity to make an impact

Enrique Iglesias, Erika Perez, Laura Raquel Aubry, Alex Espinosa, Jerry Gonzalez and April Montemayor visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science as part of the UTSA Mellon Undergraduate Humanities Pathways Program.

JULY 19, 2022 — The UTSA Mellon Undergraduate Humanities Pathways Program has been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation that will give more students from underrepresented groups the opportunity to train as researchers, with the goal of making a societal impact.

The grant will fund mentorship and training opportunities for 36 students who plan to pursue graduate studies in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

The students will conduct research alongside UTSA faculty mentors on the theme “Latinos in a Changing World.” They will also visit Texas humanities doctoral programs, attend professionalization workshops, and receive support for their applications to humanities graduate programs. 

Housed in the UTSA Mexico Center, the Pathways Program builds a bridge to the professoriate for historically underserved students, and others invested in diversifying academia, said Jerry González, director of the UTSA Mexico Center and principal investigator for the program.


“The program is the only one on campus that combines undergraduate humanities and social science research in Latinx studies with doctoral program training.”



This new project is following on the heels of two other very successful ones. The first two Pathways Programs spanned 2016-2019 and 2019-2022. This current cohort is in the research internship phase where students are expected to apply for graduate programs in fall 2022.

“Our enthusiasm for this project is driven by the enthusiasm that students have shown for the program over the years,” González said. “For students with aspirations to go to graduate school or enter the academy as a faculty member, the program aims to demystify every step of the process by making visible the hidden curriculum of the Ph.D. route.”

Previous fellows have gone on to doctoral programs with a deeper understanding of what to expect, which helps to adjust to the workload demands and nuances of the scholarly environment. The program also emphasizes a critical pedagogy that challenges students to engage in the most challenging political and cultural issues of today, he added.

“This is not by accident. Our students shape the curriculum by virtue of their research interests, methodological approaches and requests for particular programming. The Mellon Foundation’s support for this program makes a significant impact on the students, many of whom are learning about academia and about Latino studies at the same time,” González said.

The program has produced 16 Ph.D. students and at least 15 master’s degree students, one of which held a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany.

Since its inception, the program has consistently met the goals laid out in the original proposal, which is to expose students from underrepresented groups to doctoral humanities studies.

González added, “The program has prepared them to be competitive in an increasingly difficult environment for Ph.D. acceptance, as well as for success in a Ph.D. program.”


EXPLORE FURTHER
Learn more about The Mexico Center at UTSA.
Interested in joining the 2022-2023 cohort? Click here for more information and to apply.

The Pathways Program aligns with UTSA’s designations as a Tier One research university and a Hispanic Serving Institution, González said.

“The University of Texas at San Antonio is unique in its promise to shape regional, national and transnational diversity in higher education for generations to come,” González said. “At least a small part of its rise to prominence is tied to the UTSA Mellon Humanities Pathways Program because it merges research and training with Latinx studies. The program is the only one on campus that combines undergraduate humanities and social science research in Latinx studies with doctoral program training and as such it fills a critical need for students who aspire to academic careers.” 

Valerie Bustamante Johnson



UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu.


UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


Events


Spotlight

Spotlight

dtc-utsa-sign_680.png
University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.