Fort Lewis College News

Fort Lewis College awarded Mellon Foundation grant to support diversity and research

Dr. Jesse Peters
Dr. Jesse Peters

Fort Lewis College (FLC) is one of the most diverse colleges in Colorado, with nearly half of its student body coming from minority backgrounds. That strength will become even stronger thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In March, the Foundation awarded Fort Lewis College a $500,000 grant to support diversity initiatives and undergraduate research.

“The grant will facilitate a collaborative educational environment across our campus as we work towards reinforcing our efforts to infuse diversity and inclusion into our curriculum,” says Dr. Jesse Peters, dean of the FLC School of Arts & Sciences. “More importantly, it places us in a better position to serve the diverse student body at FLC.”

The Mellon Foundation grant will fund FLC’s Literacies, Inclusion, and Transit (LIT) program. The program will encourage opportunities for students to see the world through new lenses and promote collaboration with people of different beliefs and backgrounds. It will also build understanding of a world in constant motion and the need for students to be able to thrive in an ever-changing society.

Dr. Peters, along with FLC’s Director of Sponsored Research and Federal Relations Angie Rochat, spearheaded the effort to win the funding. Specifically, the grant will support three new initiatives: an Indigenous Scholar in Residence, faculty workshops on curricular innovation, and more undergraduate research in the humanities.

The Indigenous Scholar in Residence program will bring in a nationally-known scholar of Native American or Indigenous Studies each semester to work with faculty and students alike in building more cultural understanding on campus. Continuing the theme of diversity, the faculty workshops on curricular innovation will look to integrate themes of diversity throughout the FLC curriculum.

The undergraduate research portion of the Mellon grant will bolster the research that students enjoy at Fort Lewis College. Research has long been a key part of an FLC education, and students studying here have access to faculty mentors and research opportunities that often can’t be found outside of graduate programs at other schools.

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