Instructor Melissa R. Sipin is the recipient of the full-tuition assistantship in community engagement and narrative writing at Mills College. Here’s more on the assistantship:
Mills College Graduate Assistantship in Narrative Writing and Community Engagement
Mills College is pleased to offer one full-tuition assistantship each year to an entering student in the MFA in creative writing prose program. This assistantship provides full tuition for either the two-year or three-year MFA program. Candidates for the assistantship will design and implement a narrative writing-related community project during the course of their degree program. The assistantship does not require a teaching commitment. Under the mentorship of Mills’ renowned faculty, the successful candidate will have the unique experience of pursuing her/his MFA degree while implementing a community engagement project of her/his own design. This is a high-profile opportunity to explore narrative writing’s possibilities for transformative dialogue—at Mills and beyond.
Continuing the Mills tradition of experimentation in graduate education, this newly created assistantship is designed to support the development of innovative, even risky ways of teaching and/or presenting narrative prose in non-academic settings. As the number of full-time teaching positions in higher education decline across the United States, Mills seeks to explore the possibilities of making creative writing available outside traditional academic confines to broaden access and utilize creative approaches to literature as a force for social change.
This assistantship aligns with the goals of the existing Mills Community Teaching Project which offers students the opportunity to teach residents in the communities surrounding the College. Mills graduate students lead writing workshops in a variety of alternative venues, including after-school programs, elder homes, community centers, half-way houses, lock-down facilities, and battered-women’s shelters.
Proposals should not replicate the Community Teaching Project but should re-imagine the socially transformative possibilities of narrative writing. Applicants are encouraged to imagine a project that in some way propels narrative into new encounters outside the academy.