The LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars program enriches LaGuardia students’ understanding of the Humanities, and helps them build academic and career pathways in the Humanities. Through biweekly meetings and additional humanities enrichment activities, the Humanities Scholars are exposed to modes of critical and creative thinking, various historical and cultural perspectives, and aesthetic appreciation. They will also further develop their skills in research, oral and written communication, collaboration, project management, and digital literacy.
The Humanities Scholars designs and creates a project that will be usable for the individual student and the college-wide community. With the student at the center, this group determines what they need to succeed to towards graduation and their future careers. They work in the program, their major courses, and humanities activities, and are advised by peers (vice-versa), graduate fellows, and faculty mentors to engage in a project that will advance them towards baccalaureate and graduate degrees as well as their future careers. In addition, they will work within student affairs to share their exploration with the LaGuardia community.
The inaugural year of the LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars began with 11 scholars, of which 10 completed the workshops for the year. Six scholars completed their year-long self-designed independent projects in time for the student-curated exhibition Showcase at the end of the year.
The LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars exhibited student-designed projects they had been working on over the 2016-2017 academic year around this year’s program theme of “Risk.” The showcase was intended not only to reflect the students’ learning over the past year, as they developed their projects with the help of faculty mentors, but to prompt the audience to reflect on their own understanding and assumptions about the students’ diverse fields of study. Over the course of two hours, the Scholars led groups of participants in a carefully orchestrated tour of their projects, which spanned a number of disciplines—from education, to public health, to media studies, to literature—but which all similarly employed humanistic modes of inquiry to pursue vital, exciting, and original research questions. The meaning and value of education–from early childhood to college and beyond–was a parallel theme running through each project.