Thanks to a generous Mellon Foundation grant, UNC Pembroke (UNCP) will spearhead a program to support students from underrepresented backgrounds as they work toward careers in academia in an effort to encourage more minority representation in higher education leadership. The $950,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, to be spread over the course of three years, will help the university establish the REACH (Research Engagement Action Community Humanities) initiative. Currently, underserved minorities hold only 10 percent of faculty positions in colleges and universities across the country.

 

“Our hope is that this grant will directly lead to an increase in the number of minorities and underrepresented individuals in graduate, doctoral or terminal degree programs,” said UNCP Chancellor Robin Cummings, “effectively creating a pipeline of qualified instructors and faculty members in the humanities.”

 

REACH will have a number of key initiatives focused on undergraduate humanities research and mentoring; attracting American Indians, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and other underrepresented students into the humanities. Program leaders will identify an annual cohort of up to 18 Pembroke Mellon Fellows who will have an immersive primary source research experience culminating in presentations, publications, and conference opportunities.

 

“We are grateful for the support, collaboration, and trust of the Mellon Foundation,” said Jeff Frederick, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator of the grant. “Thanks to the Foundation and our incredible faculty, we have put together a wonderful opportunity for students to take part in a multi-dimensional research experience that will prepare them for advanced study in the humanities. We believe in the importance of the humanities at UNCP and are excited by the opportunity to help grow the next generation of teacher-scholars.” 

 

UNCP is one of the most diverse schools in the south and has always put an emphasis on creating opportunities for underrepresented minority students. More than half of the student population at UNC Pembroke represent these populations. UNCP’s points of pride are their commitment to inclusion and diversity, teaching, service and student success.

 

About the University of North Carolina at Pembroke

A public, four-year, master-granting institution, UNC Pembroke is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System. Located in the southeastern North Carolina town of Pembroke, UNCP has a rich American Indian heritage since its founding in 1887. With small class sizes, a low student-faculty ratio and one of the most diverse campuses in the south, UNCP is a growing university that empowers students to go on to live vibrant, fulfilling lives of success in their chosen careers. With a total enrollment of approximately 7,700, the university offers 41 undergraduate and 18 graduate programs. UNCP is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information visit: www.uncp.edu.

 

Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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