What Faculty and Administrators Say About the Program

When asked why they participated in the program, faculty responded enthusiastically.

Associate Professor Michael Menser (Philosophy), who has mentored several students:

I have been a part of the Mellon Undergraduate Transfer Student Research Program for four semesters, and I keep coming back for at least four reasons: First, I often have students who would relish an opportunity to go beyond the typical class format and conduct an in-depth study with more direct attention and guidance. While an independent study is a nice option, the MTSRP gives more focus especially on the research dimension. Second, it’s an opportunity for me to focus on a research topic and loop in a student (or two or three or even four) who wants that opportunity to work together in a more high-level team environment. Third, the additional funding for students gives them an incentive they don’t normally have along with the attention of the whole seminar group and that can be inspiring for them; and the public presentation elements are a really safe and supported opportunity for them to talk about their work in ways they are rarely able to do. Fourth, the couple hundred dollars of support for the faculty member is nontrivial and can help support travel and research expenses in a time when our university has few resources.

Professor Chia-Ju Chang (Modern Languages):

I have been participating in the MTSRP since 2016. The reason why I do is because this program is so committed to help transfer students to success in academic learning and research. I have witnessed how both the program and students grow. This program provides a great opportunity for my Chinese students, mostly 1.5 generation immigrants, to come out of their own ethnic circle to connect and immerse themselves in Brooklyn College’s vibrant cultural diversity and intellectual energy. This experience, I believe, is valuable to prepare them to become cosmopolitan thinkers, cross-cultural communicators, and leaders of their community.

Professor Jocelyn Wills (History):

The Mellon provides significant opportunities for our transfer students and allows them to gain the kind of intellectual confidence they might not receive elsewhere. Last year, my Mellon mentee worked on a project that opened a window into the struggles that undocumented workers in New York City face, and the Mellon’s resources provided space for her to complete an honors thesis that ultimately won her first place in New York City labor arts contest. I witnessed, firsthand, her maturing scholarly abilities as well as confidence in her own abilities to craft and see through to completion an important piece of work.

Professor Bernadita Llanos (Modern Languages and Literatures):

I have really loved participating and seeing my students so motivated to learn. This is a unique opportunity for students to discover and explore doing research with a faculty mentor. Also unique is the fact that the program provides a community and place where students and faculty gather to share their thoughts, findings, and experiences.

Ken Gould (Sociology), Former Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, who has participated in the program as a faculty mentor twice:

The MTSRP enhances student success and retention by providing them with an opportunity for deep intellectual engagement with a faculty member. The mentorship relationships formed through the MTSRP help our transfer students feel a part of the knowledge creation process, a part of an intellectual community, and help create a sense of belonging on a commuter campus.

Brooklyn. All in.