Pitzer College Receives Grant to Help Fund Center for Critical Global Community Studies

Claremont, Calif. (November 17, 2004) — Pitzer College has been awarded a $45,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help fund the development of the Center for Critical Global Community Studies, which will integrate aspects of Pitzer's existing interdisciplinary, community-based, and international programs. These aspects will be brought together within a common administrative infrastructure with an academic emphasis on the broad comparative analysis of global urbanization. The Center is expected to eventually be a national model for advancing understanding of (sub)urbanization issues globally. It will also seek to provide inventive solutions to the ongoing marginalization of international exchanges and community-based programs that are often seen in colleges and universities. By combining the global perspective with the analysis of the urbanization process, the Center will focus on uncovering the "foreign" in the domestic and help people to understand that the problems of other nations are actually their own.

In this project, the Center faces the challenge of how to approach difference in a way that builds bridges between cultures and nations. Pitzer plans to study the complex global urban issues by taking advantage of its various locations locally and abroad (Australia, Botswana, China, Ecuador, England, India, Italy and more) to develop a model that can be emulated by other colleges.

"This is an outgrowth of something we've been working on for years, starting with the Urban Studies program in Ontario," explains Dean of Faculty Alan Jones. "By starting out looking at the urban in Southern California and expanding it to the world at large, the Center will connect our External Studies programs to academic programs here on campus, using the tools for analyzing community structures that were learned through our program in Ontario."

Pitzer College already stresses the importance of social responsibility and community-based research and learning in the curriculum. The Center for Critical Global Community Studies will offer a new major for students who want to add additional concentration on these topics. By further expanding on its inherent values in such a fashion, Pitzer College can exemplify a transformative liberal arts education that sharpens perception and questioning, cultivates humanity, and democratizes knowledge in an increasingly turbulent world.

Thanks to the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Pitzer College can continue to bridge the divisions created by distance, cultural differences, and mistrust around the world.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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