Four Cal State San Bernardino students have been selected for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF), a two-year program that provides financial support, research mentorship and assistance with graduate school applications, primarily for underrepresented students who intend to pursue a doctorate in the humanities. The main objective of the MMUF grant is to address, over time, the problem of underrepresentation in college and university faculties.The chosen MMUF students and their faculty mentors are:

  • Jasmine Colorado, history/literatureFaculty mentor: Chad Luck, assistant professor of English
  • Natassja Martin, historyFaculty mentor: Ryan Keating, associate professor of history
  • Scott Romo, communications — media studiesFaculty mentor: Thomas Corrigan, associate professor of communication studies
  • Marmar Zakher, history/Arabic language and literatureFaculty mentor: Kate Liszka, assistant professor of history

Luck describes Colorado as an “especially gifted student and scholar” who “combines an incisive analytical mind with a broad spectrum of reading in both literature and history.”“This broad base allows her to make exciting connections across time periods, across cultural traditions, and across disciplines,” Luck said. “More than that, she brings a deep-seated passion for studies in the humanities, a passion that will propel her into innovative, interdisciplinary graduate studies and beyond.”Keating, who is the MMUF program coordinator on campus, will mentor Martin on her project about the experiences of World War II veterans in the 20th century.“Natassja is an excellent and driven student with exciting ideas about history and historical research,” he said. “Her project … promises to shed new light on the ‘Best War Ever’ by analyzing the post war lives of men who sacrificed in the name of democracy.”Corrigan considers Romo a “stand-out student” in the media studies department who can “think and write critically about the relationship between media, culture and society.”“His tentative plan is to study the rhetorical techniques of popular online conservative influencers … and their role in today's resurgent White Nationalist political movements, such as the alt-right,” said Corrigan. “The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship will provide Scott with the resources and guidance he needs to both pursue this important line of research and prepare for graduate school.”Liszka, the Pamela and Benson Harer Fellow specializing in Egyptology, will oversee Zakher, who has also completed work on Ancient Egypt.“I’m very proud that Marmar received the Mellow Mays Undergraduate Fellowship,” said Liszka. “Her work on Ancient Egyptian and Coptic economy is a unique lifelong pursuit that will make an enormousimpact on how we understand the role of religion within the intricacies of social history.”Earlier this year, CSUSB officially became part of the first-ever, four-year, five-campus consortium grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which was given to local Cal State Universities (CSU) to establish the MMUF program.The other universities in the consortium include Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Los Angeles, with the CSU Foundation as the primary grantee. The total funding is $2,211,000. CSUSB will receive $425,814 to support the program.Applicants for the MMUF program at CSUSB are required to submit an essay, resume, unofficial transcript, two letters of recommendation, a faculty mentor form, and must be interviewed.Chosen candidates will develop their research and other transferable skills, improve their understanding of what it means to be a faculty member, and prepare for the transition into a graduate program.They will be given the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills through various workshops, structured programming, faculty and peer mentoring, financial support, peer interactions, academic presentations, symposia and social events.Appointed by CSUSB Provost Shari McMahan, the MMUF program at CSUSB is led by Dorota Huizinga, associate provost for the Office of Academic Research and dean of graduate studies; Francisca Beer, professor of accounting and finance and associate dean of the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration MBA program; and Ryan Keating, associate professor of history.To learn more about the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program at CSUSB, visit the MMUF webpage at learn more about The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, visit its website at more information about The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, visit