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

Introducing the inaugural cohort of Mellon Public Scholars! The ten members of the 2015-16 Mellon Public Scholars cohort represent eight departments and programs, and their interests address issues and problems in history, education, incarceration, gentrification, and citizenship. They will be refining their projects and forging relationships with community organizations during the spring Public Scholars Seminar. Check in at our blog to see how these projects take shape. 

Below is a list of our scholars and their associated faculty mentors:


Simon Abramowitsch (English), Multi-Ethnic Publishing in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Community History


Desiree Martin (English), Translation and archival methods in Chicanx and border cultural texts: the novel, graphic novel, photography, music, and social media.


Cinthya Ammerman (Native American Studies), Social Media Strategy for a Q’eqchi Community Association


Liza Grandia (Native American Studies), MOSAICS: Conservation Beyond Protected Areas in the Maya Lowlands


Trisha Barua (Cultural Studies), Building Demand for Contemporary and Experimental Performance among People of Color in East Oakland


Susette Min (Asian American Studies), Comparative historical analysis of museums and art spaces that engage in a form of nation-building


Bridget Clark (Sociology), Report to California Energy Commission: What Don’t We Know About the Role of Human Behavior in Energy Conservation?


Thomas Beamish (Sociology), Collective rationalities of community movements and climate change response


Chelsea Escalante (Spanish and Portuguese), Exploring the Long-term Effects of International Volunteerism


Robert Bayley (Linguistics), Collaboration with UC Davis School of Ed. teaching mathematical concepts to English language learners


Jonathan Favero (Music), Positive Youth Justice Initiative: A Report to the Sierra Health Foundation on Barriers to Reform in the CA Juvenile Corrections System


Miroslava Chavez-Garcia (Chicana and Chicano Studies (UCSB)), A family history told through over 200 personal letters across the U.S.-Mexico border


Lily Hodges (History), Education Behind Bars


Kathy Olmsted (History), 20th- and 21st-C United States, conspiracy theories, intelligence history, and modern conservatism


Stephanie Maroney (Cultural Studies), The Promise of CRISPR to Scientists and Publics: Critically Engaging Communication about the Social Impacts of Gene Modification Technologies


Lisa Ikemoto (Law), The Embryo Economy: Constructions of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and biomedical technology


Loren Michael Mortimer (History), “You Are on Indian Land:” Visualizing Indigenous Spaces on the US-Canada Border


Elisabeth Rose Middleton (Native American Studies), Indian land rights and hydroelectric development; CA Senate Bill 18 (the “traditional tribal places law”)


Jennifer Sedell (Geography), Race, Citizenship, and Agrarian Histories: Situating Immigrant Contributions to Sustainable Agriculture in California


Julie Sze (American Studies), Environmental justice, race and space, garbage, transportation and energy

We are also proud to be joined by eight UC Public Scholars, selected by their own campus humanities centers/institutes. Their participation is made possible through a grant from the UC Humanities Research Institute.


Margaret Bell (UCSB – Art History), Collaborative Lesson Planning and Mural Painting in an Isla Vista Fifth-grade Art Classroom 


Rebeca Mireles-Rios (Graduate School of Education), Inequalities in educational outcomes; means to raise Latina/o college enrollment and retention


Michele Brewster (UCI – History), “Mexico/L.A.: History into Art, 1820-1930″: an Exhibition at Laguna Art Museum


Laura Mitchell (History), Art and meaning of the natural world in 18th and 19th C. Africa


Kendra Dority (UCSC – Literature), Educators’ Workshop: Creative and Empowering Pedagogies for Teaching Shakespeare


Sean Keilen (Literature), Early British literature; imitation; the division of the arts and sciences; creative criticism


Yessica Garcia (UCSD – Cultural Studies), Mexican Regional Music and the Experience of Latino Immigrants in the United States


Jillian Hernandez (Ethnic Studies),Racialization, sexualities, girlhood, politics of cultural production from hip hop to visual art


Audrey Harris (UCLA – Spanish & Portuguese), Stories from a Mexican Women’s Prison


Hector Calderón (Spanish & Portuguese), North American Mexican cultural diaspora through Mexican literature, film, and rock


Jared Katz (UCR – Anthropology), Printing Ancient Music: 3D Replicas of Ancient Maya Instruments for Public Engagement


Travis Stanton (Anthropogy), Collaboration with indigenous Maya potters to understand ancient Maya pottery technology


Shaina Molano (UCM – World Cultures), Access to and the Control of Water in the Pre-Columbian Central Andes


Christina Torres-Rouff (Anthropology), Mortuary archeology, cultural modifications of the body, mobility, trauma


Emma Silverman (UCB – Art History), Preserving Pond Farm: the Legacy of a Ceramics School in Guerneville CA



Jenni Sorkin (History of Art and Architecture), Gender and artistic labor; alternative spaces; art school pedagogies; global exhibition practice