Mellon Foundation Awards MMC New Presidents Grant

December 06, 2016

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Marymount Manhattan College a $50,000 new presidents discretionary grant. President Kerry Walk has dedicated the funds to support faculty development in integrative and immersion pedagogies.

Over two dozen full-time faculty members from diverse disciplines have opted to participate in the initiative, which is intended to encourage integrative learning through cross-disciplinary collaboration and to promote immersion in subject matter through role-play, experiments, games, simulations, and other experiential learning activities.

This fall and spring, small groups of faculty are exploring a variety of integrative and immersion pedagogies. The groups are expected to present their research findings at a faculty symposium in June 2017. Participants will then have the opportunity to redesign existing courses or develop new courses based on their findings.

“In a world awash with information and conflicting opinions, a contemporary liberal arts education must powerfully encourage students’ mental agility, empathy, and informed decision-making,” said President Kerry Walk, who took office on July 1, 2015. “The purpose of this initiative is to enrich approaches to teaching that will equip students for a lifetime of success in a continuously changing environment.”

The three-year grant is the fifth grant received from The Mellon Foundation within the decade. A 2013 grant supported the revitalization of the general education curriculum through the creation or development of over 70 courses. Several of the courses are part of the College’s distinguishing New York City Seminars, place-based courses that meld learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

Of the latest Mellon-funded initiative, Katie LeBesco, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, observed: “Faculty are excited to have a formal opportunity to work together to explore innovative teaching practices. I expect their efforts to have a positive impact on both teaching and learning at MMC for years to come.”

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