Story posted July 08, 2010
French graphic novels, robotics and actuarial science would seem to have very little in common, but those topics and others, including telenovelas and intersectionality, have come together at Bowdoin over the summer as research topics for students involved in this year's Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF).
Bowdoin is one of 42 recipient schools of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Mellon Mays Grant aimed at increasing diversity in the faculty ranks of colleges and universities.
Each spring, the Bowdoin program selects a new cohort of five students who demonstrate promise and a commitment to pursuing doctorates in historically underrepresented fields in the humanities and social sciences.
Each student is paired with a faculty mentor to assist in the research projects, which are shared in the program's culminating colloquium.
Bowdoin's five Mellon Mays fellows are joined for most of the six-week program by five students visiting from the University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Two former Mellon Mays fellows — Fatouma Kunjo '10, who heads to Stanford this fall, and Tony Perry '09, bound for graduate work at Purdue — are on campus helping coordinate the program's academic aspects.
MMUF is designed to help increase the diversity within doctoral programs in the humanities and selected social and natural sciences.
The fellowship is open to all students — regardless of race and ethnicity — who are committed to promoting diversity within the academy by pursuing doctoral degrees in Mellon-designated fields.