UMKC Awarded $5 Million from Mellon Foundation

Grant will fund local internships in the humanities to prepare students in their chosen field
Internship Fair shirt that reads "Because One Day You Will Graduate"

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded UMKC $5 million to fund humanities internships that will support the UMKC School of Humanities and Social Sciences, students and the local community.

Funding from the Mellon Foundation’s Higher Learning Program will formalize and standardize an internship program that places more than 180 students in paid internships for the length of the grant. While internship stipends will be reserved for nonprofit organizations and research teams, small businesses and corporations will be able to participate as hosts by providing 50% or more of the of the student stipend.

The co-principal investigators on the grant are Diane Mutti-Burke, Professor of History and Jeff Rydberg-Cox, of English and Classics. They are both co-directors of the Center for Digital and Public Humanities at UMKC. Tamara Falicov, Ph.D., dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, is also a principal investigator.

Connecting students to internship opportunities is a high-impact practice correlated with increased student persistence, degree completion and post-graduation career success. Research shows students who participate in internships gain personal and professional development, including building interpersonal skills such as teamwork and communication.

“The UMKC School of Humanities and Social Sciences is thrilled to be the recipient of a Mellon Foundation grant to support Internships for undergraduate students in the humanities,” said Falicov. “This grant is coming at a critical time for students who cannot afford to enroll in unpaid internships. Thanks to the Mellon Foundation, students can apply their humanistic training within a community setting while earning a stipend. They will gain valuable skills, explore new career paths and simultaneously contribute to the success of a research project, small business or nonprofit organization in Kansas City and beyond."

The $5 million from the Mellon Foundation includes $4 million in expendable funds over five years and $1 million for endowment to support the program beyond the initial grant period. Interested humanities majors and internship providers may inquire for more information by emailing Jenni Frangos, Ph.D., Mellon internship director at, Sandra Enríquez, Ph.D., Mellon internship associate director at or Anabeth Laaker, Mellon internship coordinator at

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