Collaborative Workshops

The Mellon Foundation grant provides funds to support workshops that enable faculty members from AALAC institutions to gather and work together on a subject of mutual interest. Designed and organized by the faculty, the workshops may focus on topics relating to research, curricula, or pedagogy and, where relevant, may be either disciplinary or interdisciplinary. The workshops may take place during the academic year or summer and may be held on member institution campuses or may extend a stay at professional meetings by a day or two. Faculty-led workshops have proven to be a very successful component of the Mellon FCE grants.  A review of the range of funded projects indicated that our faculty members were utilizing the workshop format in meaningful ways. There is anticipated continued growth and the desire of some groups to meet again with a deepened agenda and include representatives from a wider group of colleges. Since the inception of the Mellon 23 grant, 27 workshops have been funded, selected by a separate steering committee of deans. Workshops have covered a wide array of topics and disciplines including:

  • Middle East Studies and the Liberal Arts (held at Grinnell, 2008)
  • Sharing and Disseminating Innovative Approaches to Teaching Neuroscience in a Liberal Arts College (Macalester, 2008)
  • Broadening Access to STEM (Carleton, 2009)
  • Workshop in Linguistics (Swarthmore, 2009)
  • Book Studies and the Liberal Arts (Oberlin, 2010)
  • Shaping the Future of Teacher Preparation Through the Liberal Arts (Middlebury, 2010)
  • Feminism and Science: Building Bridges for Teaching and Research Innovation (Scripps College, 2011)

For the upcoming round, it is anticipated that between seven and nine workshops will be funded. These workshops may take place in the summer of 2012 and during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Newly Funded Workshops -- 2012-2013

These workshops may take place in the summer of 2012 and during the 2012-2013 academic year. If you are interested in attending one or more of them please be in touch with the PI of the individual workshops.

A Semester in Harlem: Developing a Multidisciplinary Learning Community On-Site

Assessing Students' Research Skills: How Do They Research, How Do They Learn to Research, and How Good is their Research?

Bringing Study Abroad Home: Integrating the Experience Abroad with the Liberal Arts

Change and Continuity: Economic History in the Liberal Arts Context

Creating an AALAC Working Group on "Information"

Collaboration in the Arts: Building Artistic Inderdisciplinarity at the Liberal Arts College

Deaf Across the Curriculum

High Impact Educational Practices for Success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Fields for First Generation and Under Represented Minority Students: Focus on Earth & Environmental Sciences

Integrated Chemistry: Innovative upper-Level Laboratory Experiences

Science and Technology Studies (STS) in the Liberal Arts

Teaching from the Archives

Funded Workshops -- 2011-2012

Clinical Psychology in the Liberal Arts College: Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century

Connected Histories of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia Workshop

Film and Media Studies in the Liberal Arts: Curriculum Development and Research Challenges

Inorganic Chemistry

Learning and Teaching Physical Sciences in the Liberal Arts College and University 2: Identification of Supports for Student Success (Carleton College, November 13-15, 2011)

Mentoring a New Generation of Colleagues: Challenges, Prospects, Best Practices

Political Science in the Liberal Arts


Unlike the workshops which are focused on scholarly and pedagogical topics, the Assemblies are devoted to “sectoral issues” or institutional-level issues and are intended to give the next generation of faculty leaders opportunities to learn more about the sector and the challenges we face as institutions.

The first Mellon 23 Assembly was held on February 23, 2008 at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. It focused on the issue of Interdisciplinarity and was attended by teams from 20 of the 23 member institutions, where institutions developed individual projects.

The second Mellon 23 Assembly took place at Wellesley College February 6-8, 2009 and focused on the benefits and challenges of faculty-student research collaboration, and developed individual projects.

The upcoming AALAC Assembly will be held at Vassar College March 18-19, 2011 and the focus will be: Connecting the Liberal Arts College to the Real World.  The hope is that the inter-campus conversations and intensive discussions by campus teams will generate new campus initiatives but departing from past practice, the grant does not provide any funding for any subsequent campus projects.