Friday, May 23, 2014

Inaugurating the Mellon Scholars Program

Next month the Program in African American History welcomes its inaugural Mellon Scholars. The Program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is a comprehensive approach to developing a pipeline of diverse scholars of early African American History. Three interns will join us for four weeks to gain experience in original archival research; guidance on applying to graduate school and developing research agendas; and exposure to the work of research libraries. Utilizing the Library Company's African Americana Collection, each intern will develop a research project that will culminate in a short research paper and a capstone colloquium presentation.

Overlapping with the internship program, our weeklong Mellon Scholars Workshop will host eight students who either plan to attend graduate school or are in the early years of a graduate program in library science or early African American history. The workshop consists of professional development sessions, networking with and mentoring by scholars of early African American history, field trips to local archives of African American history, and research in the Library Company’s African Americana Collection. Internship and workshop participants were selected through a competitive application process, with more than half representing historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Kwasi Agyemang, Sherri Cummings, and JaMarcus Underwood were selected as Mellon Scholar interns. Kwasi Agyemang is a graduate of George Washington University with a BA in History. He currently works as a research assistant at the Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland. Kwasi wants to pursue graduate education in public history. Sherri Cummings received her BA in Africana Studies from CUNY, Brooklyn College. She wants to pursue a PhD study of colonialism in relation to Africa and the African Diaspora. JaMarcus Underwood is currently pursuing an MA in History from North Carolina Central University. He is interested in earning his PhD and, through an internship at the Museum of North Carolina History, has realized he wants to work as a museum curator or an archival researcher.

Marquis Bey (Lebanon Valley College), Menika Dirkson (Villanova University), William Harrison Graves (University of Maryland College Park), Maria Esther Hammack (East Carolina University), Harvey Long (Winston-Salem State University), Tasha Martinez (Bowie State University), Leroy Myers, Jr. (University of Maryland), and Jessica Wicks (Howard University) were chosen as Mellon Scholars Workshop participants.

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