"Learning by Creating" program created with $700,000 Mellon grant

Willamette University students will receive new opportunities for artistic creation and expression through a four-year, $700,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Through the “Learning by Creating” initiative, Willamette faculty will explore, develop and implement new curricula and scholarly pursuits, while engaging students in creative collaboration across disciplines.

Mark Stewart, associate dean for faculty development, will oversee the Mellon-funded program.

“The ‘Learning by Creating’ initiative will provide faculty in the arts and humanities with integral support to advance their careers as teacher-scholars,” he says.

The initiative is based upon Willamette’s Arts, Technology, and Multimedia minor. Through the successful program, faculty from the music, art, computer science, theatre, philosophy and rhetoric and media studies departments promote interdisciplinary work using multi-media technology.

Marlene Moore, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, says the “Learning by Creating” initiative will infuse arts and humanities curricula with digital technology and multimedia course modules. It will also boost teacher-scholar career development for mid-career faculty in the arts and humanities.

“As Willamette considers revisions to its general education program, it has become clear that more students need the opportunity to create as a means of learning,” she says. “The ‘Learning by Creating’ initiative — which builds on core tenets of Willamette's Arts Technology and Multimedia minor program — is a major stride towards meeting that need.”

During the next four years, the grant will foster scholarly and curriculum development for Willamette arts and humanities faculty; increase interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty and students in the arts and humanities; and promote further opportunity for Willamette faculty and students to create, analyze and appreciate the varied uses of multimedia.