(April 8, 2015)
Centenary College awarded prestigious Mellon grant to enhance global curriculum
SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College of Louisiana announced an award of $100,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities program, which will enable the expansion of French and Francophone studies at the College, including enhancements to the distinctive Centenary in Paris program that is the centerpiece of the College's August immersive term for incoming freshmen and underscores efforts to preserve and promote Louisiana's French heritage.
A student takes a picture of sculptures in the Louvre during the inaugural Centenary in Paris immersive term
"Over the past two years, Centenary has made a transition to a four-hour course model and has introduced innovative hybrid semesters, creating the opportunity for immersive programs like Centenary in Paris," said Provost and Dean of the College Jenifer K. Ward, author of the grant proposal. "This recognition signals the Mellon Foundation's confidence in Centenary's innovative approach to undergraduate education. As Mellon grant recipients, we join an impressive group of nationally-ranked liberal arts colleges receiving support for imagining the future of the study of the humanities in a global context."
Mellon award funding will help support training and site visits to the specific locations that students, faculty, and staff will experience during Centenary in Paris, as well as assist faculty in developing additional immersion term courses through participation in collaborative teaching workshops that encourage academic innovation and active peer mentorship.
"The grant will enhance and increase the academic opportunities available to Centenary students to take advantage of the new learning format and achieve more in four years of college," said Centenary President David Rowe. "At a time when inhumanity dominates the headlines, investments in the humanities are exactly what the world needs most. The grant will help Centenary students deepen their understanding of human experience and promote respectful and meaningful engagement."
Mellon funds will support a new tenure-track position in French and Francophone studies at Centenary, adding courses that emphasize Louisiana's cultural ties to both France and to French-speaking regions in the Caribbean and Africa. The new faculty member will also provide additional leadership to students and staff in Le Quartier Français, the College's French-language Learning Living Community, and to Les Éditions Tintamarre, Centenary's heritage language press. While some colleges have eliminated French, Mellon support will position Centenary to intensify its strength by offering students more opportunities to engage an important part of Louisiana's heritage and explore a language that is expected to claim 500 million speakers worldwide by 2025.
The New York-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's highly-competitive grantmaking program in Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities assists colleges, universities, and research institutes in training scholars and producing scholarship in the humanities broadly conceived, and thereby contributing to culture and society. The Foundation's grants to liberal arts colleges such as Centenary emphasize faculty development, curricular renewal, pedagogical innovation, and undergraduate research in the humanities.