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Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Scholars Program
in the Arts and Humanities
Hope College
Holland, MI 49422-9000

 

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholars
Program in the Arts and Humanities

Student Profile: Madalyn Muncy

 

Q&A with Madalyn Muncy:

Why did you apply to Mellon Scholars Program?
I applied to to the Mellon Scholars Program for a number of reasons. I knew that it would greatly enhance my research skills, allow me to meet other students with similar research interests, as well as put me in a position where I could work one-on-one with faculty members on my very own research projects. However, the main reason I applied was the opportunity to discover my own research interests and develop skills in new media that would be helpful to me in either graduate school or in a future career.

What have you found most challenging about it?
Mellon is a very challenging program, particularly in the first semester; however, what I continue to find most challenging is the fact that I have other research papers and projects that I have to pursue as part of my other classes. This past semester, all I wanted to do was work on my Mellon project because I enjoyed what I was researching so much. Not only is it difficult to balance several major research projects (time management is essential!), but because Mellon allows me so much "creative license" so to speak, I usually would much rather throw all my energies into the project I have the greatest interest in.

How do you think your experience in the program has contributed to your experience at Hope College?
I definitely believe that the Mellon Program has opened a lot of doors for me at Hope. Last summer, I was a part of the Summer Fellows Program where I was paid to research and create a documentary about the campus racial climate at Hope. This documentary allowed me to make so many connections with others, and as I continue to show it to audiences around the college, I am in awe of the discussions and questions that my peers have raised over something that I worked so hard on. In addition, I have made so many connections with professors that I probably would never have met or got to know otherwise.

What are your most significant accomplishments as a Mellon Scholar (i.e., projects, presentations, grants)?
Two specific instances stick out to me:
1. My May term summer grant project which I completed alongside Profs. Cole and Green and fellow Mellon Scholar Tess Angell. This project includes a website and 30-minute documentary entitled, "A Hope for Reconciliation: Building a More Inclusive College Community." The documentary has been viewed in classrooms, showcases, as well as seminars for staff members.
2. My fall 2011 research project which I worked on with Professor Dykstra. As part of her American Women Writers class, I wanted to work on a biography type project involving archives. I actually got to research a woman named Ruth Keppel, who nobody has ever done research on before. Stepping into her world at the Holland Museum Archives was the greatest research experience I have had.

What do you expect to do beyond your time at Hope College?
Right now that's an interesting question and one that I have been pondering as a second-semester junior. Often graduate school for a Master's in library science has enticed me, but now that I'm spending a semester in Washington, DC I continue to come back to law school as a possible option. Hopefully I figure it out quite soon! Either way, I hope to put what I've learned in the Mellon program to work, whether in graduate school or in a career.

What advice would you give to a student who is considering the program?
My ultimate advice would be stick with it. There were so many times where I considered quitting and now that I'm in my junior year, I am so glad I didn't. In addition, take advantage of your professors. Stop by Prof. Pannapacker or Heath's office and sit down with them. They are valuable resources that want you to succeed. I remember Prof. Heath looking at my first research paper five times before I turned it in. They really do care about how you're doing and feeling, so don't be intimidated. I recommend this program for those who are really willing to work hard and discover what it means to do research and the kinds of interesting things you're able to do within the humanities.


Madalyn Muncy in Mellon News and Events:

Madalyn Muncy, "'Shakespeare’s Sister'– Victorian Women and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights Through the Lens of Elizabethan Drama," April 15, 2011.
Eight Mellon Scholars present projects at Celebration for Undergraduate Research.