Humanities @ Work

Program will create 650 paid internships at 130 local nonprofits
logo with an illustration of a person with a book

Greensboro, NC (April 17, 2024) — The College of Arts & Sciences at UNC Greensboro has been awarded a $5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to implement a five-year paid internship and educational program for humanities students called “Humanities at Work.” This landmark grant is the largest ever received by UNCG’s College of Arts & Sciences – as well as one of the largest in the University’s history.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be one of only five universities in the country to receive this historic award from the Mellon Foundation,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.  “The Humanities at Work project will not only provide hundreds of UNCG humanities students with high-quality, paid internship experiences, but it will also help them to articulate the value of a humanities degree to potential employers, translating to fulfilling careers.”

The backbone of this program is the transformative value of paid internships, which will impact 650 students and 130 local nonprofits over five years. “This funding allows UNCG to serve as a national model for closing equity gaps,” said Dr. Maura Heyn, co-PI and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. According to a 2023 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, unpaid internships increase inequity and create longstanding hurdles in career advancement, particularly for Black and first-generation college students. Read more…

This project has its roots in a longstanding collaboration at UNCG – Liberal Arts Advantage,
which helps students to understand the value of a liberal arts education.

(l-r) Heyn, Kiss, Feather, Adams

support for the program

Dr. Jazmin Graves Eyssallenne

“This program will not only bolster students’ participation in the internship but will protect them from overload and resulting detraction from their studies, a problem that working students often face. This grant will provide a much-needed resource for our students.”

–Dr. Jazmin Graves Eyssallenne, Assistant Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies, UNCG 
mary herbenick

“The Guilford Nonprofit Consortium’s mission is to build capacity among our 300+ members to create a more efficient, effective nonprofit sector in Guildford County, NC. As a staunch supporter of the humanities and a beneficiary of strong liberal arts education, I see this project as critical to our mission as we are training up a new generation of non-profit leaders. ” 

–Mary Herbenick, Director of the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium
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