ACLS Names 20 Mellon-ACLS Public Fellows in 2016


The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce the 2016 cohort of Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows. Each of this year’s 20 fellows will take up a two-year, full-time position at one of a select set of nonprofit and government organizations across the United States.

The 2016 awardees join a body of now over 100 Public Fellows whose contributions to the public and nonprofit sectors demonstrate the broad value of advanced training in the humanities. The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Mellon Foundation on this important initiative,” said John Paul Christy, director of public programs at ACLS. “The Public Fellows program increases the circulation of humanistic knowledge and expertise in society and allows highly motivated, entrepreneurial PhDs to contribute their talents to organizations engaged with significant issues of policy, community, and culture.”

The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program is designed to provide PhDs in the humanities or humanistic social sciences with significant, career-building experience in the government and nonprofit sectors. Each award comes with an annual stipend of $65,000, health insurance for the fellow, and additional funding for professional development. Fellows receive professional mentoring from their host organizations and, beginning this year, a Public Fellows alumni council will work closely with ACLS staff to provide more networking opportunities among the growing body of current and past Public Fellows across the country.

This year’s fellows were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants for their academic and non-academic accomplishments, as well as their demonstrated commitment to their chosen career field. All applications to the program undergo rigorous peer-review, and finalists selected through this process go on to a round of interviews by senior staff at the program’s partnering host organizations.

The 2016 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows are:

John Carl Baker
PhD, Cultural Studies, George Mason University
Political Engagement Strategist, Ploughshares Fund
San Francisco, CA

Johanna Best
PhD, Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College
Program Manager for Scholarly and Public Engagement, Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative (SPRI)
Washington, DC

Erin D. Boon
PhD, Celtic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
Research Analyst, The Texas Tribune
Austin, TX

Emily Button Kambic
PhD, Anthropology, Brown University
Public Outreach Coordinator, National Park Service, Cultural Resource Division, National Capital Region
Washington, DC 

Kristen M. Fallica
PhD, Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Pittsburgh
Digital Programming Strategist, Chicago Humanities Festival
Chicago, IL

Carly Goodman
PhD, History, Temple University
Communications Analyst, American Friends Service Committee
Philadelphia, PA 

Nandi Dill Jordan
PhD, Sociology, New York University
Digital Content Specialist, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA

Rebecca Kaplan
PhD, History of Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco
Education Specialist, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Washington, DC

Emily Ann Lederman
PhD, English, University of Texas, Austin
Policy Analyst, Grand St. Settlement
New York, NY

Leah Lowthorp
PhD, Anthropology and Folklore, University of Pennsylvania
Program Manager, Center for Genetics and Society
Berkeley, CA

India Mandelkern
PhD, History, University of California, Berkeley
Executive Communications Specialist, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA

Jessica Mason
PhD, Anthropology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Workplace Programs Federal Policy Analyst, National Partnership for Women and Families
Washington, DC

Eric Garcia McKinley
PhD, History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Senior Research Analyst, American Public Media Group
St. Paul, MN

Cassie Patricia Miller
PhD, History, Carnegie Mellon University
Research and Investigations Specialist, Southern Poverty Law Center
Montgomery, AL

Olive Melissa Minor
PhD, Anthropology, Northwestern University
Research and Evaluation Officer, International Rescue Committee
New York, NY

Veera Eliisa Mitzner
PhD, History and Civilization, European University Institute
Global Philanthropy Specialist, Rare
Arlington, VA

Samantha Jo Peterson
PhD, French Language and Literature, Boston University
Business Development Associate, Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Enterprises
Washington, DC

Rebecca S. Robinson
PhD, Justice Studies, Arizona State University
Senior Performance Auditor, City of Atlanta, City Auditor's Office
Atlanta, GA

Adam Steinberg
PhD, Geography, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Policy Analyst, Reinvestment Fund
Philadelphia, PA

Rachel Sinsheimer Vandagriff
PhD, Music, University of California, Berkeley
Membership Engagement Manager, Center for Investigative Reporting
Emeryville, CA

Find out more about the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program here.