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A group of three persons stand close together in front of a hanging quilt.
Sarah Papazoglakis (right) in the California Humanities office with president and CEO, July Fry (middle), and senior program director, Felicia Kelley, pictured in front of a quilt that is on display as part of a collaboration with the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland, 2016.

Student Fellows Gain Nonprofit Experience at California Humanities

Strengthening connections between the worlds of academic and public humanities has long been an important goal of California Humanities. Humanities scholars have always been well-represented on our board of directors, bringing their insights to help shape our programs and ensure rich humanities content in the projects we provide and support. Our grantmaking programs have provided support to hundreds of projects that have forged ties between campuses and communities and helped to surmount historical barriers between “town and gown.” Interpretive exhibits, community forums and dialogues, film and radio documentaries, and scores of presentations, lectures, and workshops have enabled humanities scholars and students to interact with the out-of-school public and made humanities learning and knowledge production activities part of the lives of many Californians, regardless of their educational attainment or status.

This summer, we are delighted to continue our history of collaboration with California higher education institutions by hosting two graduate students from UC Irvine’s Humanities Out There (HOT) Summer Fellowship program. Madeleine Read and Megan Cole will be joining us this summer, bringing their skills and academic training to assist us with several projects while gaining hands-on nonprofit sector work experience and learning more about careers in the public humanities field.

A photo of Madeleine.
Madeleine Read Summer Fellow 2021.

Madeleine, a PhD candidate in English, will be working as a Program Impact Analysis Fellow, investigating the impact of our CA CARES Relief and Recovery grants made with CARES Act emergency funds in 2020.

“I’m a PhD student in the English department at UCI, where my work is on the relationship between theater, democracy, and civic life. California Humanities is doing a version of the same thing, but in a much more boots-on-the-ground, real-world-impact sort of way—so I’m glad to be a fellow this summer helping to compile an analysis of the impact of CARES Act funds on California Humanities practitioners.” – Madeleine Read

Megan Cole, also a PhD candidate in English, will be working as a Public Communications Fellow, conducting research and interviews with current and past project directors to develop new content for our institutional history timeline. “I am thrilled to be working with California Humanities to showcase the immense impact of public humanities across the state and to support endeavors to preserve and promote access to the humanities for years to come,” shares Megan.

A photo of Megan.
Megan Cole Summer Fellow 2021.

Since 2015, we have been fortunate to work with several graduate and undergraduate humanities students, who have assisted us with a range of projects. In 2016 and 2017, Sarah Papazoglakis (UC Santa Cruz, Literature) and Cherish Asha Bolton (UC Irvine, History) provided valuable content that launched our institutional history timeline. Cherish also conducted a series of interviews with project directors in 2018 to learn more about the impact of our grantmaking in rural communities. In 2017, Jennifer Tinonga-Valle (UC Davis, English) began mapping humanities-focused organizations across California as part of our field-building strategy. The following year, Kiran Garcha (UC Santa Cruz, History) continued to build upon the foundation Jennifer began. In 2019, Camille Henry (a Humanities Mellon Scholar at Foothill Community College) continued to research humanities organizations in California, and last year, Kiersten Brehm (UC Irvine, German Studies) developed an infographic to share evaluation findings from our Library Innovation Lab program. Many thanks to all these young scholars for their valuable contributions to our organization and the field over the past five years!

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