Mellon grant to fund new pre-orientation program
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant of $49,000 to Kenyon to develop a pre-orientation pilot program that enhances writing and critical thinking skills and promotes intellectual community among first-year students. Drawing on the expertise of faculty members from a range of disciplines and on the success of the Kenyon Review Young Writers summer workshop, the program will bring sixty first-year students to campus for ten days prior to orientation.
"It's designed to encourage writing across the curriculum," says Professor of English Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, who has been working with others to plan the program. "We want to get the students excited about academics right away." The College plans to introduce the program in August 2007.
The students will be housed together, forming learning communities, Lobanov-Rostovsky says. The program is intended to bring together a diverse group of students, with a range of talents, abilities, and perspectives.
"We want to get them excited about the place, to get them thinking in new ways about their writing process and the ideas they will encounter," Lobanov-Rostovsky says. "I hope that the students
will come out of the program wanting to take courses in departments they might not otherwise have considered."
The initiative will afford another pre-orientation option for first-year students, in addition to a community-service program that Kenyon has offered in recent years. Among those working with Lobanov-Rostovsky to plan the program are Robin Cash, director of special projects in enrollment; David Lynn, editor of the Review ; and Jane Martindell, dean for academic advising.
Previous Mellon grants have provided funding for the establishment of the Five Colleges of Ohio consortium, programs for information literacy and foreign-language instruction, and hiring of additional faculty in the classics, history, and political science departments.