AUP students enjoying an evening picnic at the Seine river.

Academics

The American University of Paris Receives 1.1 Million USD Mellon Grant

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a 1.1 million USD, three-year grant to AUP for “Building Leadership and Capacity for Digital Liberal Arts across AMICAL.”

The AMICAL Consortium is founded and hosted by AUP. It’s a consortium of 27 American-style liberal arts institutions in 21 countries across Europe, Central and Southern Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The grant uses digital scholarship and pedagogy as a focal point for bringing librarians, faculty and technologists to work together on their shared teaching and learning missions. Members of the AMICAL Consortium tend to be locally isolated because of their American-style approach to higher education in globally dispersed locations. This grant will help AMICAL continue to build bridges between them and collaborative capacity among them.

Jeff Gima, the AMICAL Consortium Director, explains some of the opportunities represented by the grant. “Faculty and learning tech staff interested in experimenting collaboratively with digital projects will see some exciting opportunities in this grant. But librarians even more so. They’re uniquely able to make connections between digital projects, which tend to be idiosyncratic and ephemeral, and the library’s longstanding roles – like information organization and access, curating local scholarly production and cultivating information literacy. The grant will help librarians lead that side of the digital liberal arts.”

AUP President Celeste Schenck notes that the AMICAL Consortium has “strengthened with every year since its founding.” She goes on to say that “Jeff Gima’s leadership on behalf of both AUP as the founding institution and AMICAL itself has been an essential driver of this multinational, multilingual experiment in sharing Anglophone resources across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.”

In combining the information expertise of librarians and technologists with the diverse local resources of students, faculty and their environments, this grant will help member institutions to explore their unique opportunities for developing liberal arts education that is both international and digital.