Announcing the 2019 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows


The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the newest Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows. This year’s 20 fellows will take up two-year, full-time positions with top nonprofit organizations and government agencies in public policy, civil rights, arts and culture, and environmental conservation. The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program, now in its ninth year, is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“ACLS partnered with the Mellon Foundation in 2010 to create a program that could demonstrate the serious practical value of the doctoral education in the humanities,” said John Paul Christy, director of public programs at ACLS. “The 2019 fellows will bring the skills and capacities honed through advanced research and teaching to organizations advancing equitable access to affordable housing, researching and promoting best practices in the justice system, fostering new opportunities for transatlantic cooperation in civil society, and much more. Through the impact of their work, Public Fellows highlight the dynamic potential of the humanities PhD to address pressing social issues.”

The fellowship offers recent PhDs in the humanities or humanistic social sciences career-building experience and provides an annual stipend of $68,000 and funds for relocation and professional development activities. Fellows receive professional mentoring from their host organizations as well as peer mentoring through the Public Fellows alumni council.

The 2019 Public Fellows, who represent diverse fields of study in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, were selected on the basis of their academic and extra-academic accomplishments, as well as their demonstrated fit for the position and organization. All applications are read by peer reviewers whose expertise covers a range of humanistic disciplines as well as a broad spectrum of career experience beyond the professoriate. Finalists are then interviewed by senior staff at the partnering host organizations.

The 2019 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows are:

Jessica Bird, PhD, History, Temple University
Appointed as Communications Project Manager, Center for Court Innovation

Jessica Ann Carey-Webb, PhD, Spanish and Portuguese, University of Texas at Austin
Appointed as Campaign Advocate, Latin America Project, Natural Resources Defense Council

Benjamin G. Clary, PhD, Comparative Literature, Emory University
Appointed as Senior Research Analyst, American Public Media

Jennifer E. Cossyleon, PhD, Sociology, Loyola University Chicago
Appointed as Policy Advisor, Community Change

Elandre Dedrick, PhD, Cultural Anthropology, Stanford University
Appointed as Program Officer, German Marshall Fund of the United States

Elizabeth H. DeYoung, PhD, Irish Studies, University of Liverpool
Appointed as Policy Analyst, Reinvestment Fund

Annie Galvin, PhD, English, University of Virginia
Appointed as Associate Editor, Public Books

Nicole Marie Gervasio, PhD, English & Comparative Literature, Columbia University
Appointed as Festival Programs Manager, PEN America

Joseph Haley, PhD, English, Johns Hopkins University
Appointed as Program Manager, World Justice Project

Madhuri Karak, PhD, Cultural Anthropology, City University of New York, The Graduate Center
Appointed as Community Engagement Manager, Center for Behavior and the Environment, Rare

Margarita Kompelmakher, PhD, Theater History, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Appointed as Community Engagement & Audience Development Manager, Alliance Theatre

Molly Laas, PhD, History of Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Appointed as Editor, Data & Society

Lara R. Langer, PhD, Art History, University of Maryland, College Park
Appointed as Grants Manager, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Meryleen Mena, PhD, Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado, Boulder
Appointed as Policy & Budget Analyst, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York

Ira S. Murfin, PhD, Theatre, Northwestern University
Appointed as Program Manager, Chicago Humanities Festival

Daniel Threet, PhD, Philosophy, Georgetown University
Appointed as Research Analyst, National Low Income Housing Coalition

Caroline F. Tynan, PhD, Political Science, Temple University
Appointed as Research Manager, Committee to Protect Journalists

Shuxuan Zhou, PhD, Feminist Studies, University of Washington
Appointed as Senior Researcher, Seattle Office for Civil Rights

Amanda Zoch, PhD, English, Indiana University, Bloomington
Appointed as Legislative Policy Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures

Scott Zukowski, PhD, English, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Appointed as Outreach Programs Manager, Library of America

Learn more about the fellows and their work here.

Contact: John Paul Christy,