/ Mellon Initiatives

Resources for Faculty Mentors

Curtis talking with Bill at CURBecause the Mellon Scholars Program sends students to conferences, supports publication, encourages interdisciplinary study and fosters close mentoring relationships, Mellon scholars develop extraordinary speaking and presentation skills, are highly creative in their thinking, are tech-savvy and are self-motivated.

Mellon Scholars Handbook 

Faculty Mentoring Guidelines

Faculty mentors are expected to meet with the student outside of class regularly to discuss and develop the Mellonized project, and to offer guidance, support and instruction in the research and creative process.

In the regular meetings, faculty mentors and students develop a close working relationship in which the student receives individualized instruction and support in developing skills related to research, writing, new media and creative production. Mentoring might also include introducing a student to working in an archive or specialized library, traveling to a concert, exhibition or conference together, or helping to translate or make sense of a historical document.

Importantly, the initiative to meet and to develop the mentoring relationship rests on the student. Mellon scholars and their mentors may also work in teams.

Faculty members who supervise satisfactory projects during the fall and spring semesters receive a $100 honorarium for each full, 4-credit Mellon experience. Mellon experiences and honoraria will be approved by the Mellon Scholars Executive Committee upon submission of the final project to the Mellon Scholars Program. Mentors should be aware that students are expected to produce a final product that can be exhibited online and at the Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Production. Mentors should be available to assist the Mellon scholar in producing an abstract for CUR.

Mellon Summer Fellowship Mentoring Guidelines

The Mellon Scholars Summer Research Fellowship offers students in the program the opportunity to engage with meaningful research under the tutelage of a Hope faculty mentor. Mentoring a Mellon scholar in the summer presumes that the faculty mentor will meet with the student, either in person or through Skype (etc.), regularly on a weekly, or near weekly, basis. The faculty member will be available via email to answer questions that arise for the student during the course of research. Responses should be reasonably prompt. The faculty member will read and/or view the student’s project periodically to ensure sound methodological practices, positive results, and attention to detail. The mentor will offer written feedback at a minimum at the end of the project.

The faculty member will offer advice and share experience and wisdom with respect to the tasks associated with the project.  The mentor will offer bibliographic, artistic or professional references to inform the student in his or her research, and will provide encouragement and guidance. At the end of the summer, the faculty member will receive a copy of, or a link to, the student’s project.

The mentor will hold the student to the expectation of presenting once at the summer research luncheons and at the Summer Research Showcase in late August/early September. In recognition of mentoring support as described above, the mentor will receive an honorarium of $125 per week, per student.

Student Expectations

Projects submitted to the Mellon Scholars Program should represent the Mellon scholar’s best work. The program places great emphasis on excellence and high-quality workmanship. Research projects should be the result of original, primary source investigations and/or fieldwork, and should present an interesting and relevant research question, answered by a well-defined thesis supported by clear evidence. The writing should be polished with great attention to the details of argumentation, documentation and language mechanics. Typically, projects submitted for a Mellon experience are about 20–25 pages in length, or represent at least 150 hours of work. All projects will be evaluated for impact, intended audience, originality and excellence in content, form and interpretation. 

In the creative arts, performances such as recitals, 1-act productions or a body of work and portfolio should be of high skill commensurate with the standards of the discipline and demonstrate the formation, organization and development of an idea, ideally based on primary source research and/or field work. Students should work with their faculty mentor in developing criteria for evaluation that is consistent with accepted standards in the field and/or medium in which it is produced.

Digital and new media projects should demonstrate sound technical skills commensurate to the tools being employed and should appear “complete” (e.g. without non-functioning hyperlinks, etc.) in addition to the criteria listed above regarding research, writing and argumentation. Students should work with their faculty mentor and Mellon Digital Liberal Arts Fellow in developing criteria for evaluation that is consistent with accepted standards in the field and/or medium in which it is produced. Each project should relate to other digital scholarship projects in the Mellon scholar’s field, and should make a clear case for the digital method being used. 

When choosing an advisor, you want someone who knows you, someone you can imagine sitting down with and going over all of the nitty-gritty details of your project.

—Hope Hancock