Pitzer College Students Receive Mellon Foundation Environmental Summer Research Fellowships

Pitzer College

Claremont, Calif. (April 17, 2013)—Pitzer College students Evelyn Byer ’14, Zoe Elkin ’15, Karina Faulstich ’15, Jessica Grady-Benson ’14 and Robert Little ’15 have been awarded Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Environmental Analysis Fellowships for Summer Research. The fellowships are funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation to support the intercollegiate environmental analysis program at the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges.

Byer, who is majoring in Spanish, plans to examine the impacts of salinity and temperature stress on the growth and distribution of bull kelp in the waters around Vancouver, British Columbia. Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Branwen Williams will oversee Byer’s project.

Elkin will document the success of small-scale farmers in rural Massachusetts. Scripps College Professor of International Political Economy Nancy Neiman Auerbach will be Elkin’s faculty adviser.  

Faulstich will employ a mixed-media analysis to narrate environmental explorations of ghost towns in the US Southwest. Assistant Professor of Media Studies Ruti Talmor will supervise Faulstich’s project.

An environmental analysis major, Grady-Benson will conduct a multi-site investigation of the fossil-fuel divestment movement, exploring the possibilities and limitations of a campaign for climate action. Grady-Benson was also recently named a 2013 Udall Scholar. Assistant Professor of Environmental Analysis Brinda Sarathy will serve as faculty mentor for Grady-Benson’s project.

Little, a resident assistant and a double major in environmental analysis and sociology, will examine the social framing of low-cost, potable water in Ghana.  Associate Professor of Environmental Analysis Melinda Herrold-Menzies will guide Little’s work.

“The Mellon summer research fellowship is a tremendous opportunity for students to directly engage in the process of critical inquiry, while also honing their skills in field work and data analysis,” Professor Sarathy said. “Students selected for these fellowships exhibit self-direction and sophistication in the formulation of their proposals, and their summer research experience often leads to continuing scholarly engagement.”

Awarded through a competitive process, the fellowships support domestic or international summer research projects. Proposals are evaluated on their merit, their relationship to the environmental analysis framework, their academic and scientific value, and their proposed outcomes. Faculty members from the 5Cs provide individual supervision for each project.

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.

Press Releases, 2013–14 Academic Year