Writing Program receives grant for new Public Writing Fellows program

Congratulations to faculty members Dave Fisher, Kathleen (Kt) Leuschen, Ben Miller, and Mandy-Suhr-Sytsma, Writing Program coordinator David Morgen, and PhD candidate Jess Libow for their successful proposal for a new fellowship program for advanced PhD students (typically in their sixth year) in any field at Emory.   They have received a grant from the Mellon Humanities PhD Intervention Project in the impressive amount of $107,876.63 for a two-year pilot program, the Mellon Public Writing Fellowship, which facilitates opportunities for students to work with Atlanta-area non-profit organizations on research and writing projects of broad public importance. 

The grant will provide funding for two fellows per year to take on writing projects with community partners in the fall and then return to campus and disseminate information about their work and develop related pedagogical materials during the spring.   Fellowship projects could include writing grants or other proposals for funding; developing educational and training materials; researching and reporting on policy or technology issues; collaborating on organizational documents such as annual reports, press releases, and profiles; designing, developing, and contributing content to organizational websites; or assisting with data visualization, analysis, interpretation, and publication.  When the students return to campus in the spring, they will conduct public-writing and proposal-writing workshops, share information and ideas with students in a range of classes, and develop new assignments for writing classes.

Partnering organizations for the 2020-2021 academic year are Common Good Atlanta, a non-profit organization that “provides incarcerated people with broad, democratic access to higher education so they can develop a better understanding of both themselves and the societal forces at work around them” and Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, a non-profit that does pro bono legal work for “low-income Atlantans as they demand safe and stable housing, insist on fair pay for an honest day’s work, and break free from domestic violence.”

Once the program is up and running, Kt Leuschen will be its director.  Says Leuschen about the project: “My hope is that the Mellon Public Writing Fellowship offers graduate students an opportunity to develop mutually beneficial writing projects with partnering organizations to broaden graduate students’ understanding of how their doctoral work might be used inside and outside of academe, especially in order to serve the communities of Atlanta.”