Willamette University awarded grant to support student research

by University Communications,

Research experiences in the arts, humanities and human sciences are expanding at Willamette University through a $700,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The grant is funding “LARC 2.0: Integration of Research Across the Curriculum.” Through the program, more than 70 courses will be developed, redesigned and enriched to include interdisciplinary research and exploration.

“By giving Willamette students more research opportunities with faculty in the classroom, we hope they will become better prepared to do research their senior year,” says Gretchen Moon, associate dean of curriculum. “LARC 2.0 will enrich existing courses at all levels and will transform students from consumers to producers of knowledge.”

In addition to curriculum development, the grant is supporting a collaborative forum each fall, interdisciplinary research for 12 students and six faculty members each summer and travel expenses to regional and national conferences for the next four and a half years. Afterward, other funding sources will support the program activities.

LARC 2.0 builds on the Liberal Arts Research Collaborative (LARC), a three-year, Mellon-funded pilot program. Through the offering, 48 students and 33 faculty members have discussed, consulted and explored their shared academic topics through summer research projects.

“LARC is now woven into Willamette’s curricular fabric,” says President Steve Thorsett. “Like its science-based programs, LARC has helped student participants transform curiosity into comprehensive thesis projects and graduate school pursuits. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has bolstered Willamette’s continued efforts to offer innovative curriculum.”