Three BMCC Professors Each Awarded $40K Mellon/ACLS Faculty Fellowships

Three Faculty

April 28, 2022

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) is proud to announce that Sociology Professor Amy Sodaro, Modern Languages Professor Chun-Yi Peng and  English Professor Jungah Kim, and have each been awarded a 2022 Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship.

The BMCC professors are among 30 awardees, who will each receive $40,000 to advance their projects, many of which include research, community engagement, and pedagogical dimensions. The fellows also will participate in a multi-day convening hosted by ACLS that brings current and past awardee cohorts together with academic leaders to share perspectives from their work.

The Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship program offers faculty teaching at two-year colleges support for research projects in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. Launched in 2018 with the support of the Mellon Foundation, this four-year initiative administered by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has recognized the vital and diverse contributions of more than one hundred community college faculty to humanistic research and teaching.

“ACLS is proud to have led this singular program, which has supported exceptional faculty working at community colleges across the country,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “The commitment of these fellows to bringing vibrant humanistic inquiry into the undergraduate classroom is exemplary, and we look forward to drawing on their experience and expertise as we develop new opportunities to support scholars in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.”

Professors share brief overview of their research

Professor Kim says her book project will bring pluralistic attention to the diverse regional representations of East Asia in Asian American literature, the discussion of which appears at present to be overwhelmed by the homogenizing construction of Asian racial identity in the United States.

“The grants from BMCC, the PSC, and the CUNY Office of Research have provided pivotal support to take up foundational research for my book project in its development and prospectus stage,” said Professor Kim.  “In Fall 2019, I was a visiting scholar at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia Law School, where I gave a talk and received vital support from diverse scholars across national borders for the development of writing about the “comfort women” issue, a chapter in my book manuscript. The Andrew Mellon/ACLS fellowship will allow me to take time off from teaching and I will use this time to continue writing my book manuscript.”

Professor Sodaro explains that her book project, “Lifting the Shadow: Memory, Race and Slavery in American Museums” analyzes a small but significant set of new museums in the US that focus on slavery and its legacies, centering racial oppression in American history.

“This research examines how the violence of slavery and its legacies is negotiated in these museums at a time of growing racial tension and white nationalism, and considers their potential to contribute to a new, more critical historical memory of race in the United States,” said Professor Sodaro.

Professor Peng’s research examines the acquisition of Mandarin by migrant workers to Taiwan from three perspectives: migrant workers, language instructors and Taiwanese society.

“The goal of this project is to advance our understanding of gender-driven language acquisition and the long-overlooked migrant worker community,” said Professor Peng.


For more information about this award and other ACLS fellowship and grant competitions, click here.

  • Awards recognize faculty at two-year institutions for contributions to
    Advancing Humanistic Scholarship
  • Award recognizes vital and diverse contributions to humanistic research and teaching
  • Each faculty member will receive $40,000 to advance research projects

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