Announcing the 2016–2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows

SEATTLE, WA—The University of Washington Press, the MIT Press, Duke University Press, the University of Georgia Press, and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) today announce the recipients of the 2016–2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowships. The program is the first cross-press initiative of its kind in the United States to address the marked lack of diversity in the academic publishing industry.

The Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship was established in 2016 by the four university presses and the AAUP as a pipeline program to diversify academic publishing by offering apprenticeships in acquisitions departments. The program will create cohorts of four fellows per year for three years.

Fellowships are awarded to outstanding candidates who have significant personal experience and engagement with diverse communities and a demonstrated ability to bring the understandings gleaned from such engagement to the daily work of academic publishing.

The yearlong appointments offer each fellow opportunities for one-on-one mentoring as well as monthly cross-press video conferences led by staff at the partner presses covering a range of topics to supplement the hands-on training. Fellows are given the opportunity to connect with one another and engage with industry colleagues at two AAUP annual meetings.

The fellowship program aims to develop best practices for fostering diversity at all levels of the profession. Further, this collaboration will focus attention on the centrality of diversity to the future of global academic discourse and, it is hoped, will inspire related efforts to prioritize diversity more broadly in the publishing industry.

Although university presses have long fostered and supported diversity-related fields such as Native and Indigenous studies; African American studies; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; and Asian American studies, the fellowship program represents a significant investment in creating career development opportunities and a supportive environment for diversity in publishing.

The 2016–2017 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellows:

Maryam Arain comes to Duke University Press from Chicago, where she has been working as a freelance editor and volunteering at the Crescent Learning Center, a day care that serves refugee populations from Somalia and Burma. She previously worked as a junior commissioning editor at Oxford University Press in Karachi, Pakistan, and as a communications coordinator at the Council on American Islamic Relations in Chicago. Maryam received her BA from Dartmouth and her MA in postcolonial studies from SOAS, University of London.

Niccole Leilanionapae‘āina Coggins comes to the University of Washington Press from the department of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is currently a PhD candidate working under the direction of Paul Spickard. Her research interests focus on Hawaiian history as well as on identity and mixed-race youth. Niccole’s work with underrepresented communities includes participation in a local hula hālau (school) and various student life programs. Niccole received her BA from Carleton College and her MA in religion and society from the Graduate Theological Union.

Jesús J. Hernández joins the MIT Press. He held two visiting assistant professorships at Williams College and Mount Holyoke College, where his scholarly interests were in the areas of American/ethnic studies, Latina/o studies, literary studies, diaspora studies, and queer theory. He received his BA in ethnic studies from Brown University and his PhD in American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

Christian Pizarro Winting comes to the University of Georgia Press from Chicago, where he has been freelance copyediting and working as a research associate for a corporate recruiting company. Christian has also worked as a graduate intern on the Hemingway Letters Project at Pennsylvania State University and tutored underperforming high school students in the Chicago public school system. Christian has a BA in liberal arts from St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and an MA in humanities (American literature emphasis) from the University of Chicago.

The fellowship program is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a four-year, $682,000 grant.

Media Contact: Casey LaVela / Publicity and Communications Manager / University of Washington Press / 206.221.4994