Higher Learning

Higher Learning supports inclusive humanities education and diverse learning environments—spaces where the ideas that enrich our understanding of a complex world are created and elevated. 

We work with colleges, universities, and other organizations that embrace equity in higher learning, with a focus on historically underserved populations, including nontraditional and incarcerated students. Alongside our investment at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the work and health of core humanities fields, we offer robust support for paradigm-shifting interdisciplinary studies that are necessary to the evolution of those traditional disciplines.

With our partners, we support sharper critical thinking to create a generation who can help steer a more engaged, multivocal, and truly democratic society.

What It's Like to Graduate—and Look Ahead to a PhD or Master's—During a Pandemic 

Amid an ongoing global pandemic, young humanities scholars reflect on the past and look ahead to the future.

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Mellon at 50: Possibilities and Challenges in Higher Learning Today 

How can colleges and universities evolve to increase access to students who have historically been denied entry?

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Radcliffe is Reshaping Our Understanding of the Fight for Suffrage 

Award-winning author and historian Jane Kamensky leads a Mellon-funded initiative reminding us that the fight for suffrage didn’t end when the 19th Amendment was ratified.

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How the Humanities Can Bridge the Political Divide 

A national initiative focuses on the essential roles of journalism and the humanities in our democracy.

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Humanities Without Walls: Scholars in the Midwest Partner to Solve Today’s Challenges 

Scholars from Midwestern universities collaborate on projects examining climate change, globalization, and other challenges, all while charting new pathways for doctoral students in the humanities.

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In New Hampshire, Community Colleges Foster a New Generation of Humanities Scholars 

The New Hampshire Humanities Collaborative is rekindling enthusiasm for the humanities by helping community college students find meaningful employment and aiding in the transfer process to four-year

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Driven by Data: The Center for Policing Equity 

Phillip Atiba Goff, an alumnus of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Program, blends humanism and data science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York to improve community policing nationwide.

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Refusing to Forget: Monica Muñoz Martinez Uncovers America’s History at the Border 

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) alumna Monica Muñoz Martinez on her new book, her MMUF experience, and how academic excellence can shape public history.

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The Demands for Diversity Hiring Require a "Pipeline" 

An op-ed by Mellon Foundation Senior Program Officer Armando Bengochea.

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Igniting Confidence and Building the Humanities Pipeline 

The Johns Hopkins-Community College of Baltimore County Humanities for All Program builds confidence and research skills for community college students.

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Tell Them We Are Rising: A Documentary Film Breaks New Ground  

Senior Program Associate Emma Taati interviews Stanley Nelson, award-winning filmmaker and National Humanities Medal recipient, about his new documentary on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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Freeing History 

Historian Erica Dunbar discusses her new book "Never Caught: Ona Judge, the Washingtons, and the Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave" and the impact of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program.

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What Can You Do With a PhD? 

The American Council of Learned Societies helps humanities PhDs find opportunities in public service.

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