What we urgently need...is a more inclusive view of what it means to be a scholar--a recognition that knowledge is acquired through research, through synthesis, through practice, and through teaching.

-- Ernest Boyer

Scholars and Mentors

View the 2016 Scholars

View the 2017 Scholars

View the 2018 Scholars

2019 Scholars

Introducing the 2019 cohort of Mellon Public Scholars! The scholars represent nine departments and programs, and their interests address arts access, education, and performance, as well as organizing in the Sacramento area among gender non-confirming musicians, Black communities, Asian American and Pacific Islander women, and incarcerated people.

Hannah Adamy (Music), Building Alliances Among Women and Gender Non-Conforming Musicians in Sacramento

This is a research-based community organizing project to help musicians in the Sacramento music scene better understand differences they experience based on gender, music performance genre, sexual identity, race, ethnicity, and education. Hopefully in understanding the experiences of these musicians, more collaborative music-making opportunities for women and gender non-conforming musicians will form through this project.

Tory Brykalski (Anthropology), Authors of Our Lives: Studying Gender and Liberation with the Gharsah Center in Al-Marj, Lebanon
Tracy Corado (Design), Imagining America

Working with Imagining America’s staff and Commission on Publicly Engaged Design, this project will develop a national interactive map of community engaged design projects. I will curate and present the project along with members of CoPED at the 2019 IA National Gathering in Albuquerque, NM.

Mia Dawson (Geography), Expanding the Research Capacities of Black Lives Matter Sacramento

This project will develop participatory action research to support Black Lives Matter Sacramento’s Abolish & Rebuild initiative in creating community alternatives to policing. Through partnership with the Center for Regional Change, the project will work to make the equipment, training, and space needed for research accessible to organizers and volunteers while building coalition between UC Davis students and the movement for black lives.

Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana (Spanish & Portuguese), Who Are the Real Childhood Arrivals to the U.S.?

This humanities-based project will produce a bilingual publicly accessible web archive of digital stories produced by childhood arrivals to develop a framework for identifying which migrants who arrived in the U.S. as children should be given special consideration and to advise what such consideration might entail. In response to the multifaceted issues at the heart of the heated public debates surrounding both the DACA program and the DREAM Act, this inquiry is meant to address the limited legal options available to childhood arrivals to the U.S., along with the legal penalties to which they may be subject, most specifically deportation, ancillary consequences, including most especially those associated with the imminent or future deportability.

Rebecca Hogue (English), Pacific Islands Rise: A Digital Archive of Climate Change Activism

This project will consist of designing and organizing a digital archive for a history of Pacific Islander climate activism in California.  By establishing a central portal for the many extent videos, images, speeches, and other arts of the Pacific Islander activist movements in diaspora, the project will hopefully create greater awareness for environmental justice issues in Oceania.

Gwyneth Manser (Geography), California Food Policy Advocates: Faces of California Hunger Project

I will be working with to California Food Policy Advocates to capture the overlooked “faces of hunger” in California through storytelling related to elderly and undocumented populations. We will also leverage those stories to impact hunger-related policy at both the state and national level.

Kristin McCarty (Sociology), California Arts Council: Arts & Culture Landscape Framework Project

I will work with the California Arts Council (CAC) to create an updated portrait of arts and culture organizations across the state. I will develop a framework for a new study of the California arts and culture landscape, including data on number of active nonprofit arts organizations, organizational sizes, program activity, and staff and board demographics. The framework will propose a timeline for the project, develop a methodology, and evaluate available resources and partners to guide the execution of the study.

Marlené Mercado (Cultural Studies), Expanding the Network and Reach of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee Chapter in Sacramento

This project is a collaboration with the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) Chapter in Sacramento where I plan to widen the reach of support networks in and outside of prisons. The end goal is to create a more diverse Sacramento IWOC chapter that has more critical tools for dismantling the local carceral system.

Katherine Nasol (Cultural Studies), Rise, Resist, Unite: The Stories of AAPI Women and Girls

“Rise, Resist, Unite” is a story-gathering project that aims to understand the lives of low wage Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls through the telling of their own voices. Due to the lack of disaggregated data on AAPI communities, particularly AAPI women and gender expansive people, the project addresses this gap by focusing on how AAPI women experience their everyday realities, build community, and develop their own political power.

Ante Ursic (Performance Studies), Prescott Circus Theatre: Social Justice and Circus

I will work with Prescott Circus Theatre (PCT), a nonprofit organization that serves underprivileged youth in Oakland. I choose to work with PCT because of its unique and established community presence, its dedication to developing circus disciplines that emerge out of Black traditions, and its mission to empower black and of color Oakland youth to transform their communities and the Bay Area through an explicit engagement with the performing arts. I will serve PCT through my experience, both as a circus practitioner and performance studies scholar whose research is invested in the political potential of circus practice and performance.

Jasmine Wade (Cultural Studies), California Department of Education: Native American Model Curriculum Project

The California Department of Education is developing a Native American Model Curriculum which will offer a flexible framework on which districts can build meaningful, interdisciplinary courses relevant to their students’ experiences. I will work independently and collaborate the CDE’s Curriculum and Instructional Resources Division to research current Native American and Indigenous studies best practices, including a literature review centered on the recommended coverage of U.S. and California Native American history and educational best practices. I will also engage with Native American education stakeholders throughout the state, including Native American communities across California, university departments and groups that have Native American curricula, and California teachers.