“I’m a social scientist, so the idea of supporting postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities was appealing to me,” says Pamela Kiecker ’80, who with her partner, William Royall, committed $300,000 to support a $1.5 million matching grant Carleton received from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “We wanted our gift to support a College priority.”
“For Carleton to have the resources to support postdoctoral fellowships is a real luxury,” says Pamela Kiecker ’80, a former professor of marketing who now heads research and issue analysis for Royall & Company, a firm that specializes in marketing and analysis of college recruitment and admissions materials. “I know what a benefit these young and newly trained faculty members can be to the College, infusing a youthful energy into the departments they join,” Kiecker says.
The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in the Humanities and Social Sciences, which Kiecker’s gift supports, is a valuable initiative for Carleton’s teaching and learning environment. The program enables departments to explore new approaches to disciplines, often with the teaching fellows providing new perspectives. Their presence also provides release time for a full-time faculty member to engage in research related to professional development.
In 2007 Carleton received a $1.5 million matching grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support this program. David Smith Jr. ’88 has committed $125,000 toward the match in addition to Kiecker’s gift of $300,000. The funds will provide two two-year postdoctoral fellowships in such interdisciplinary areas as Middle Eastern/Islamic studies, cross-cultural studies, ethics, visuality, and quantitative inquiry, among others.
Kiecker encourages alumni to give consistently to Carleton, not waiting until “you think you can do something that is going to be large enough to be impactful,” she says. “I think too many people are thinking ‘I can’t make an impact at this stage in my life, so I’m just going to wait. My $1,000 doesn’t seem like much compared to $100,000 or $1 million.’ But even if your individual contribution doesn’t seem significant, Carleton has a way of combining resources and making the most of every dollar. We should allow our alma mater to leverage our gifts to the best advantage for the College.”