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Mellon Foundation awards Beloit $50,000 grant for social identity program

December 19, 2013


Beloit has received a $50,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to benefit its new Critical Engagement of Social Identities program through December 2014.  

The grant will support a series of faculty development seminars as well as pilot projects that advance teaching, research, and advising through the lens of social identity. Recognizing the importance of identity, the Beloit College curriculum requires that students complete at least one course designed to increase awareness of their own political, social, and cultural locations.

In the spring of 2014, the first social identities faculty seminar will aim to build a cohort of individuals confident in engaging social identity in a variety of learning environments from traditional classrooms to co-curricular programming and from internship sites to advising.

Meanwhile, the pilot projects will take place in the spring and fall semesters. Among the goals of these new courses or course modules is to promote significant shifts in Beloit’s culture and practices in relation to diversity and intercultural engagement.

Upon completion of the spring 2014 semester, the first pilot project participants will write short, reflective reports on their experiences and lessons learned, and they may also participate in a second social identities faculty development seminar to be held in fall 2014 that will serve as an outcome-oriented study, reflection, and discussion of the project.

In addition, the group will disseminate seminar findings regarding effective advising and teaching practices in diverse learning environments and generate recommendations for future steps beyond the grant period.

Assistant Professor of Anthropology Lisa Anderson-Levy and Professor of Critical Identity Studies Catherine Orr serve as co-directors of the Social Identities project.