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Mellon Mays celebrates 25th year with symposium

The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a symposium at Cornell Plantations March 15. The event is free and open to the public.

The anniversary program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and begins with a roundtable of current undergraduate Mellon Mays fellows discussing the success of the Cornell program, which aims to boost the number of faculty from communities underrepresented in higher education.

“We will be celebrating the full arc of the Mellon Mays mission – the current undergraduate fellows, the fellows who are now in Ph.D. programs, and the fellows who are now accomplished professors and university administrators,” says Margo Natalie Crawford, program faculty director and Cornell associate professor of English.

Literature scholars, philosophers and anthropologists will present papers ranging from “The Spatial Aspect of Transmodernity: Enrique Dussel on Dependency and World Systems” to “Minority Like Me?: Toward a Mapping of Burakumin Subjectivities in Japan.”

The Mellon Mays program began in 1988 at eight universities and colleges around the country, including Cornell, where the program was restructured in 2004. Approximately 31 percent of the students in Cornell’s program have gone on to graduate school; 14 fellows have earned a Ph.D., and 24 are currently in graduate school.

Open to those committed to increasing diversity in higher education, including historically disadvantaged groups such as Native Americans, Latino/as and African-Americans, the program provides financial and academic support for undergraduates planning to pursue doctoral degrees in selected fields, particularly in the humanities and social sciences.

Linda B. Glaser is staff writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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