Mellon Foundation Awards Grant to Help Expand Digital Liberal Arts Programs at Whittier College

April 28, 2017

A graphic with the following text: DIGLIBARTS 2020, A new initiative for digital well-being at Whittier CollegeWith the help of a three-and-a-half-year, $700,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Whittier College will expand its Digital Liberal Arts (DigLibArts) program and continue to infuse digital media into a broad spectrum of Whittier courses through the DigLibArts 2020 Initiative. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to ensure Whittier students graduate with strong digital literacy skills prepared for advanced study as well as living and working in a digitally saturated world. 

“The DigLibArts 2020 Initiative seeks to enhance digital well-being for all campus members,” said Associate Professor of English Andrea Rehn, director of the DigLibArts program. “This new initiative grows out of the digital pedagogical and scholarly innovations made by more than 70 faculty and staff across campus over the past few years with prior support from The Mellon Foundation. Our goal now is to sustain and connect these innovations in order to make their value apparent to all.”

The grant will support faculty training, student stipends, the hiring of three new faculty members, and visits to campus by digital experts. During year three of the grant, a DigLibArts conference will be held at Whittier College to share methods and results from this project with fellow institutions. DigLibArts also disseminates its work through a blog,, and on social media as @diglibarts.

In addition, Whittier will build on existing relationships with three nearby universities – beginning with UCLA – for the mutual benefit of their doctoral students and Whittier’s faculty and undergraduates through collaboration on digital humanities projects both large and small.

“The Mellon Foundation grant will allow us to provide high quality digital education for all of our students,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Darrin Good. “It will allow them to become flexible learners who can teach themselves new skills as technologies change, as well as imagine alternative uses for existing technologies.”