SJU Grad Students Awarded MLA/Mellon Summer Institute Grant!

We are pleased to announce that two of our own PhD students, Sarah Glessner and Amity Nathaniel, have been awarded fellowship support to attend the MLA / Mellon Foundation Summer Institute in Reading-Writing Pedagogy.

Amity Nathaniel

MLA and the Mellon Foundation have funded this Institute, including honorary stipends for all participants, to strengthen the teaching of English at access-oriented institutions (AOIs) — community colleges and other colleges that prioritize access over selectivity in admissions.

Amity Nathaniel describes the opportunity that this Summer Institute provides to her to be
in community with like-minded scholars who are interested in addressing pedagogical concerns for students who attend access-oriented institutions. The concern of college “access” for low-income students, particularly Black and brown low-income students, extends beyond college admission; from financial aid hurdles to canonized and weaponized teaching styles and materials. Many of these students feel rejected by lack of diversity and seemingly lack of care. I know these challenges too well, as I have battled against these same collegiate obstacles.

I am honored that I can participate in a program that will directly address these concerns and I am looking forward to using my own experiences to help dismantle these barriers that have kept people who look like me from succeeding in the academy. I am hoping to develop pedagogy that prioritizes equity and bridges literature and humanities courses to the real life human experience.

Sarah Glessner

Sarah Glessner also notes that she is looking forward to having this Institute shape her teaching and institutional understanding:

I’m hoping this institute will allow me to consider the connections between college writing courses, students’ languages and identities, and institutional hierarchies. I’m also very much looking forward to meeting and learning alongside teachers and scholars in my field. 

We at St. John’s English are proud and honored by our students’ successes. We celebrate their contributions to Access Oriented Education and to supporting students and communities in need.

About Steve Mentz 1265 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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