Mellon Public Scholars Program

Announcing the 2021 Cohort of Mellon Public Scholars

The UC Davis Humanities Institute is thrilled to welcome the 2021 cohort of Mellon Public Scholars. This was the program’s most competitive cycle yet, with 63 proposals representing 16 departments across the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences. Thanks to the generous support of the DHI’s Humanities and Arts Advisory Council, we are able to fund two extra projects in this final year of funding from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation.

Informed by their unique training, experiences, and vision, the fourteen graduate students chosen for this year’s cohort bring a variety of approaches to public scholarship. Each project is designed to meet the challenges of the past year, which has underscored the urgent need for community-engaged humanities research that gives voice to injustice, resilience, and hope. 

“The faculty advisory board and I were so impressed with the ingenuity that graduate students demonstrated in creating impactful community-engaged research projects in such a precarious historical moment,” commented Mellon Public Scholars Program Manager Stephanie Maroney. 

Many of this year’s original projects rest on the power of language and storytelling, whether by gathering the narratives of Filipino American and Asian American art workers in San Francisco, creating writing workshops for LGBTQIA+ people grappling with religion, or building an archive of oral histories with the Cherokee diaspora community in California.

As in past years, the DHI is also happy to be able to provide four pre-established community partnerships. Two of these set projects are new this year: a partnership with the City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs Program focused on engaging the Davis community with the city’s new centennial seal, and a project with the Center for Sacramento History researching the history of racialized policing in the region. The Mellon Public Scholars Program is also pleased to continue ongoing partnerships with CapRadio and with California State Parks.

Congratulations to this year’s cohort of Mellon Public Scholars!

  • Chloe Brotherton, Linguistics - Pronouns, Labels, and Inclusion: LGBTQ Voices
  • Kazumi Chin, Cultural Studies - Collecting & Presenting Narratives of Artists and Arts Workers Fighting Against Displacement in San Francisco
  • Margaret Duvall, English - CapRadio, Participatory Journalism 
  • Amanda Hawkins, English/Creative Writing - Full Spectrum: LGBTQIA+ Interfaith Stories Website and Writing Workshop
  • Jason Hockaday, Native American Studies - Building a Nonprofit Structure to Support Konomihu Reclamation and Rematriation
  • Brooke Kipling, Spanish and Portuguese - Storytelling through Food: Food-centered Migrant Narratives in Tijuana
  • Carla Martinez Plascencia, Cultural Studies - Resiliency of Deaf Latinx Youth
  • David Morales, History - Center for Sacramento History, Racialized Policing in the CA Gold Rush
  • Lauren Peters, Native American Studies - Sophia’s Return
  • Bethany Qualls, English - Recovering the Forgotten Women of Metal Type Design
  • Jonathan Radocay, English - Re-storying the Cherokee Diaspora in California: A Digital Archive and Storytelling Project
  • Larissa Saco, Sociology - City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs Program, Community Engagement with the Davis Centennial Seal 
  • Haliehana Stepetin, Native American Studies - Digital Storytelling: Sharing Subsistence Processes and Recipes in Unangam Tunuu
  • Brianna Tafolla Riviere, History - California State Parks, Developing California Native American Walking Tours at Marshall Gold State Historic Park and Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park