Mellon Awards Consortium $1.25 Million – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Mellon Awards Consortium $1.25 Million

The New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium, of which HWS is a member, has been awarded a three-year, $1.25 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support new collaborations in the areas of globalization and language learning.

The funding will back the New York Six International Initiative, which will assist the institutions in advancing global aspects of their academic programs and engaging students and faculty in the study of global issues, both on campus and abroad. Other Consortium institutions are Colgate University, Hamilton College, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, and Union College.

“We are very pleased to be able to explore new opportunities to collaborate with the other members of the New York Six,” says Tom D’Agostino Ph.D., associate dean for global education. “This new grant will enable us to explore additional areas and possibilities for collaboration, providing an array of new international opportunities for our students.”

Established in 2009 with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Consortium facilitates collaboration among its member institutions in fulfilling their educational missions and serving the public good. Through the sharing of expertise and resources, the Consortium enhances options for students, faculty, and staff, while reducing colleges’ individual and collective operating and capital costs.

D’Agostino says that in addition to the International Initiative, HWS maintains a number of significant initiatives with partner institutions, including a long-standing and successful collaboration with Union College for the ‘Partnership for Global Education’ initiative, which is also funded by the Mellon Foundation. The initiative facilitates The Aleph, a journal that premiers the best poetry, prose, photography and art produced by international and abroad students from both institutions.

With nearly 50 semester-long study abroad options and several short-term programs, HWS has a robust set of offerings for students and faculty interested in engaging, studying and thinking globally.

Through the HWS Center for Global Education, students have access to transformative learning experiences that connect them to other cultures and languages, while providing perspective on the concept of what it means to be a global citizen. At HWS, nearly 60 percent of students study abroad. In 2010, NAFSA: Association of International Educators named HWS one of only five recipients of the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

Although each institution has independently made significant commitments to global education, the grant provides additional opportunities while finding efficiencies through collaboration.

“Our members have long recognized the importance of international perspectives in the liberal-arts as preparation for virtually any career our students may pursue,” says Amy Cronin, executive director of the New York Six. “At the same time, the schools are committed to operating in the most cost-effective manner possible, and collaboration in areas related to global education is just one example of the ways we are finding savings and efficiencies across the Consortium. The extraordinary support of the Mellon Foundation will advance our academic and operating partnerships significantly.”

The Mellon-funded International Initiative includes five key areas:

The New York Six Upstate-Global Collective: This initiative will support teaching and learning around academic themes that have historical roots in upstate New York but that also are of current consequence worldwide, such as sustainability and human rights.

Study Abroad Collaboration: The six institutions will share existing off-campus programs on a space-available basis, at each school’s discretion, in order to maximize efficiencies in programming. Students also will be encouraged to choose a study-abroad experience that will enable them to further explore the theme they are studying under the Upstate-Global Collective.

Language Learning Groups in Less-Frequently Taught Languages: Maintaining broad offerings in languages is at the heart of liberal-arts education, and the Consortium will use grant funds to test ways to pool resources for more efficient and effective delivery of language instruction.

The New York Six International Student Community: By establishing a greater sense of community among international students across the six campuses, the Consortium seeks to enhance their experiences while enabling faculty and students to benefit more fully from the unique perspective that international students provide.

The New York Six Connected Consortium Partnership (CCP): The CCP will build on existing and successful collaborations in information technology and the libraries to create both virtual and in-person learning communities. This will facilitate greater curricular exploration, innovative use of new technologies, and more robust teaching and research partnerships across the Consortium.