UPenn Receives $5.1 Million to Boost Latino Faculty in the Humanities

The University of Pennsylvania has announced a $5.1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of efforts to increase the number of Latino professors in the humanities at U.S. colleges and universities.

With the grant, the Center for Minority Serving Institutions in Penn's Graduate School of Education will launch Pathways to the Professoriate, an initiative to prepare ninety students from Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) for Ph.D. programs over five years. Undergraduates selected to participate in the program will take part in intensive summer research programs and cross-institutional conferences, while receiving mentoring and assistance applying to and enrolling in graduate school. Partners in the effort include three HSIs — Florida International University; the University of Texas, El Paso; and California State University, Northridge — and five research institutions — New York University; the University of California, Berkeley; Northwestern University; the University of California, Davis; and Penn.

"As the demographic profile of the U.S. changes, the country has a compelling interest in obtaining the full participation of previously underrepresented communities," said Mellon Foundation vice president Mariët Westermann. "The past decade has seen considerable gains in doctoral degree attainment for Latinos, yet these gains have not kept up with the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population. We have every confidence that this program will build on the successful pipeline programs piloted by the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions at Historically Black Colleges and Universities."