By Shira Kipnees, Staff Writer ||

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded a $700,000 grant to F&M in order to provide operating support for the College’s new Faculty Center over the course of the next four years.

In order for the Faculty Center to win the grant, F&M faculty had to conduct research to conceptualize the Center, located inside the Shadek-Fackenthal Library.

“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a strong supporter of liberal arts colleges, [and] F&M faculty conducted significant research to conceptualize the Faculty Center,” said Mary Ann Levine, associate professor of anthropology and interim director of the Faculty Center. “The Mellon Foundation liked the concept and awarded the College a competitive grant to implement it fully.”

The College will use the grant money to fully staff the Center, supporting faculty participation in a wide variety of programming, and bringing expert consultants to campus to offer top-quality faculty development opportunities.

“The Faculty Center focuses on faculty development and is specifically dedicated to offering pedagogical and research support as well as building community through informal interaction,” Levine said.

The Faculty Center, which opened on Oct. 7, 2013 offers a lot of programs to promote faculty development and excellence in teaching and research, including faculty writing circles.

“The Center has hosted faculty writing circles, sponsored a series of post-sabbatical research talks, and coordinated workshops on developing courses for the new Connections curriculum, teaching international students, facilitating community-based learning, preparing for junior faculty leave, and applying for grants and fellowships,” Levine said. “The Faculty Center has also assumed responsibility for New Faculty Orientation and the Academic Innovation and Enrichment Fund and hosted a popular series of social events for faculty.”

Levine explained that the main goal of the Faculty Center is to support, sustain, and celebrate faculty in their roles as teachers, scholars, and college citizens. Levine also noted that she believes the grant will greatly help the Faculty Center, an important resource on

“I am absolutely thrilled that the Mellon Foundation has made such a substantial award to the Faculty Center as it will afford us the opportunity to grow and flourish for many years to come,” Levine said. “The Faculty Center is an important and vital resource for every member of our exceptionally talented faculty and this fabulous award ultimately benefits our student body.”

Levine also explained that the Faculty Center events have been well-attended thus far and has been embraced by the faculty.

“Since its October 7 launch, the Faculty Center has established considerable momentum and has been enthusiastically embraced by the faculty,” Levine said. “The Faculty Center’s inaugural year has featured a wide variety of innovative and well-attended events to promote faculty development and excellence in teaching and


Junior Shira Kipnees is a staff writer. Her email is