MELLON MAYS UNDERGRADUATE FELLOWSHIP (MMUF) PROGRAM @ HUNTER COLLEGE:

BACKGROUND & INFORMATION

 
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation established the MMUF Program in 1989. Hunter was among the first group of colleges and universities to receive a $300,000 grant from that foundation. On the basis of its record of success, the MMUF Program @ Hunter was renewed with another $300,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation in 1993. In 1996, the MMUF Program @ Hunter received a second renewal grant of $170,000 from Mellon on top of the remaining $160,000.  followed by a third renewal in the amount of $400,000. Its most recent renewal was for $100,000.
 
The Mellon Foundation's original purpose for establishing the MMUF Program has been to rectify the problem of the under-representation of Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans in the faculties of this country's colleges and universities. The Mellon Foundation decided that the best way to rectify that problem was to have colleges and universities identify and select academically talented Black, Latino, and Native American students during their undergraduate careers and to provide them with a distinct and carefully guided experience, both inside and outside the classroom. (Effective July 2003, the program has evolved to also recognize students of non-minority descent who demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing the under-representation of minorities in higher education.)

Such an experience involves one?on?one mentoring with a Hunter faculty member, collaborating with a mentor in research projects and teaching, and curriculum development, attending professional conferences, and having opportunities to study or conduct research either at other universities in the United States or in international settings abroad during the academic year or the summer months. The hope is that such an experience will give students an enjoyment in a field of study and an advanced working knowledge about graduate programs and the academic profession, all of which will encourage them to pursue and obtain a Ph.D and enter one of this nation's colleges or universities as faculty members.

A student selected to be in the MMUF Program @ Hunter as a Mellon Fellow receives the following:

1. a four thousand and five hundred dollar ($4,500.00) stipend per calendar year;

2. a tuition waiver; and

3. eligibility for the MMUF Programís repayment of undergraduate loans.

Students must be nominated by a faculty member in order to be considered for entrance into the MMUF Program. No student can directly apply. Faculty forward to me the name and social security number of any student whom they believe:

1 . is exceptionally talented academically;

2. shows an interest in the pursuit of a Ph.D in any field within the Humanities or scholarly dimension of the Arts; or in the fields of Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, History, Anthropology or in the area of Demography (Geography, Sociology or Political Science)*; or in Women Studies or any area ethnic studies;

3. is at least an upper sophomore and at most a lower senior (completing no less than 36 and no more than 100 credits at the time of admission into the MMUF Program);

4. has a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in order to be considered

5. Demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing the under-representation of minorities in higher education
 

Once a student both accepts the nomination and meets the four requirements above, s/he will have to:

1. complete a lengthy application form describing academic interests and career plans as well as giving biographical details;

2. submit at least 2 letters of recommendation from faculty members;

3. submit a research writing sample; and

4. undergo an interview with the Mellon Selection Committee at Hunter.

At most five students per year are selected into the MMUF Program @ Hunter and, once selected, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 during their tenure in the MMUF Program.

Since its inception, the MMUF Program @ Hunter has sent its graduates to various doctoral programs such as Brown University, Columbia University, Duke University, Harvard University, Michigan State University, MIT, New York University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, CUNY Graduate Center, University of California at Berkeley, University of Leuven (Belgium), University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Yale University. Many MMUF Program students, who graduated from Hunter, received funding at various stages of graduate study in their doctoral programs. Three have been awarded Mellon grants; another two Ford grants; and one a NSF grant. Two of them have already received their Ph.D, one in astrophysics from Princeton who now works for NASA, the other in comparative and Latin American Literature who is now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Two of them will be defending their dissertations this spring, one in African Caribbean Literature at Berkeley, the other in Latin American History at Brown.

Moreover, since its inception, the MMUF Program @ Hunter has sent its students to study or conduct research during either the academic year or the summer months at the Aegean Institute in Crete, Brown University, Cornell University, Columbia University, MIT, Johns Hopkins University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of California at San Diego, University of New Mexico, University of Texas at Austin, University of Mexico at Mexico City, University of Puerto Rico, University of the West Indies, University of Paris (Sorbonne) in France, University of Leuven in Belgium, Oxford University in England. Students have also participated in archaeological digs in Egypt, in anthropological field studies in Zimbabwe, and in historical data gathering in Mozambique, Nicaragua, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba, Alaska, and Montana.

* (Anthropology, Demography, Sociology and Computer Science were added as qualifying areas of study for the MMUF Program. So the qualifying "non?humanities" disciplines now include those two plus Physics, Mathematics, and History. Nonetheless, the Mellon Foundation as well as Hunter College still regard the MMUF as primarily a "humanities?oriented" grant.)