PASADENA— The California Institute of Technology has received a $350,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to increase the number of minority students in doctoral programs.
The grant will allow the Institute to participate in the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program, which will be funded for the next six years. With the Mellon Foundation support, Caltech will recruit and mentor exemplary undergraduate students who wish to pursue doctorates in certain science fields that have traditionally attracted very few underrepresented minorities.
Caltech will select five fellows per year over the next four years, with sufficient funding to assure year-round faculty mentoring and research activity. Recipients will also receive a summer research stipend and sufficient financial support to attend professional conferences in their respective fields.
In addition, Mellon Fellows who graduate and pursue a Ph.D. in Mellon-designated fields are eligible to receive up to $10,000 toward their undergraduate indebtedness.
According to Caltech President Thomas E. Everhart, the Mellon Foundation grant is an important component of Caltech's goal to diversify its student body. The Institute is already providing special presidential scholarships to exceptionally talented minority applicants, and the administrative support for minority affairs has been increased with the recent creation of an associate deanship.
The faculty coordinator for the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program will be Dr. Douglas Flamming, Associate Professor of History at Caltech. Flamming, an expert in African-American history and labor history, is writing a book on the role of African Americans in the making of Los Angeles. He also created the Race, Politics, and Region Program at Caltech.
The administrative coordinator will be Cheryll M. Hawthorne, who is Associate Dean and Director for Minority Student Affairs at Caltech. Hawthorne's expertise in academic support programs and instructional methods contributes eight and one-half years of student affairs experience and 13 years of science eduction experience to the Mellon program.
Students eligible for the program are members of minority groups traditionally underrepresented in the physical sciences—specifically, African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans. In addition, Mellon Fellows must be either citizens of the United States or permanent resident aliens.
Caltech joins a growing list of outstanding American undergraduate institutions that participate in the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program. Among other participants are Cornell University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago.