College of Liberal Arts



The ESI Fellows’ seminars introduce the fellows to University of Texas and regional scholars and innovators who can guide and instruct them as they envision the public-facing extensions of their Ph.D. dissertations and research. The ESI workshops are designed for more hands-on, technical and practical skills, ranging from website building and sustainability of digital archives and multimedia content, to computer language instruction, to writing for the public, and digital editing. Individualized instruction for the graduate fellows will support their respective public-facing postdoctoral year presentations and local and institutional partnerships. The ESI undergraduate fellows will benefit from similar hands-on training that will enable them to partner with the ESI graduate fellows, as they are introduced to post-baccalaureate Humanities research and scholarship.

Fall 2021 Workshops

Spring 2021 Workshops

Fall 2020 Workshops

September 4
Introduction to Engaged Scholarship

September 11
The Traditional to Community-Based Research Spectrum

    Model projects:
    • Black Austin Tours
    • Tejano Trails
    • Play Ball! (Downs Field performance art/public installation)

September 18
Alternatives to Damage-Centered Research

    Model projects:
    • Looking at Appalachia
    • The Black Yearbook Project
    • UndocuJoy

October 2
Community-Led Public History & Feminist Research Methods

    Model project:
    • I’m Still Surviving: Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Chicago (a partnership with Humanity Moves)

October 9
Memory, Trauma, and Community-Based Interviewing
Guest Speaker: Dr. Ricardo Velasco, presenting his documentary After the Crossfire: Memories of Violence and Displacement

October 23
Graduate School SOP Workshop

October 30
Capstone Project Workshop

November 13
Zines & Curricula as Public Scholarship: Resources from The Chicago Prison-Industrial Complex Teaching Collective

November 20
Zines & Grassroots Publishing Workshop

December 4
Capstone Project Workshop & Winter Break Planning

Spring 2020 Workshops

January 10
Digital Humanities Workshop
Guest instructor Allyssa Guzman (Digital Scholarship Librarian, UT Libraries) will lead an instructional workshop on two open-source digital tools: Omeka, a free content management software, and Scalar, a web-based publishing software used to host multimedia scholarship projects.

February 3
Optional Project Workday
All ESI Fellows are invited to attend a drop-in workday to troubleshoot project issues or receive feedback on their ongoing research. Our “Writing for the Public” working group will also meet for the first time (details tba).

February 10
Models of Engaged Scholarship / Capstone Vision Plan Workshops
In the first half of this seminar, ESI Fellows will present and discuss models of community-engaged research, highlighting projects that are relevant to their own research interests. In the second half, we’ll workshop the seniors’ Capstone Vision Plans and complete a professional development goal-setting activity.

February 17
Digital Humanities Consultations
Guest instructor Allyssa Guzman will conduct one-on-one consultations with all undergrad Fellows who plan to use Omeka, Scalar, or other digital tools.

March 2
Grad-Undergrad Fellows Focus Group
Sarah Ropp (Mellon ESI Grad Cohort II) will lead a focus group to generate and test ideas for her yearlong public-facing project. Additional details to follow.

March 9
Works in Process I
Four Fellows will present excerpts from their ongoing research and/or public-facing work. All materials will be circulated in advance.

March 23
Applying to Conferences I: Roundtable Discussion
Undergrad Fellows will learn the basics of applying to and presenting at academic research conferences. We will discuss how to locate relevant opportunities, interpret Calls for Papers, prepare paper abstracts, and apply for conference funding. Lastly, we will close with a roundtable discussion and Q&A session with our graduate and postdoctoral Fellows.

March 30
Applying to Conferences II: Interactive Workshop
This optional follow-up workshop will provide additional training and support to undergrads who wish to present their work at an academic conference. Fellows can expect to leave this workshop with at least one CFP for an upcoming conference in their field and an outline for a proposal based on their research.

April 6
Works in Process II
Four Fellows will present excerpts from their ongoing research and/or public-facing work. All materials will be circulated in advance.

April 9
Synth Sounds of the Texas Triangle
ESI Mellon post-doc Dr. Christine Capetola presents her public-facing project at the Austin Public Library, followed by UT Austin South Mall.

April 13
Optional Project Workday

April 20
Optional Project Workday

April 27
Looking Forward, Looking Back
In our last seminar, we'll reflect on the work we’ve done this year, both as individuals and as a community of scholars. In addition to celebrating our successes, we’ll discuss the challenges and unexpected obstacles we encountered along the way, drawing on our experiences to generate advice for the incoming cohort of ESI Fellows.

Dates TBA:
Mellon ESI Fellows Luncheon
An event to honor our graduating seniors and newly minted Ph.D.s, and to introduce our new class of Fellows.

Mellon ESI Capstone Showcase
Friends, advisors, and professors will be invited to attend this open event showcasing this year’s Capstone projects!

Fall 2019 Workshops

September 3
Introduction to Engaged Scholarship
What does engaged scholarship look like and why might we pursue it? How do academic researchers develop strong relationships with community partners? In this introductory seminar, the ESI Undergrad Fellows learned about the differences between traditional, community-placed, and community-based participatory research. We discussed the core values that guide community-engaged research, then explored a range of public-facing projects in the humanities and social sciences.

September 10
Defining Our Values as Engaged Scholars
In our first all-ESI meeting, Grad and Undergrad Fellows participated in a series of activities and small group discussions exploring the nature and purpose of engaged scholarship. Returning Fellows shared lessons learned through their own research, as well as reflections on the ethical and practical challenges they have encountered in conducting community-based research. We closed by discussing our core values and commitments as engaged scholars.

Core Values:
Love – Curiosity – Innovation – Discipline – Humility – Stability – Creativity – Envisioning the Future – Joy – Balance – Vulnerability – Teaching – Perspective – Open-Mindedness – Introspection – Equity – Healing – Social Change

Core Commitments:
As an engaged scholar...

  • I am committed to being authentic and honoring advocacy.
  • I am committed to being present.
  • I am committed to ensuring that I am putting 100% of my effort into the task or community I engage with.
  • I am committed to finding the right balance between academia and advocacy.
  • I am committed to being aware of the limits of my own perspective.
  • I am committed to centering joy and healing in my writing/teaching about queer communities.
  • I am committed to recognizing the ideas and struggles of others outside academia - recognizing them as thinkers, teachers, producers and interlocutors of other knowledges.
  • I am committed to reflective and insightful exploration of how we as humans relate to ourselves, one another and the world (and its creatures) around us.
  • I am committed to finding (or creating) venues for respectful public discourse.
  • I am committed to creating a more just, compassionate society. I believe that one avenue to this goal is education/teaching that is equally accessible and informed by social justice issues and values.
  • I am committed to bringing recognition to my community (both at home and online). Along this line of thought, I hope recognition will allow for more accessibility.
  • I am committed to being emotionally honest with myself about my limits/capabilities.
  • I am committed to empowering people.
  • I am committed to envisioning new futures.
  • I am committed to loving my work.

October 8
Zotero Workshop
Dr. Dale Correa, Middle Eastern Studies Librarian and History Coordinator at UT. Fellows learned how to develop Zotero bibliographies and create collaborative groups for sharing research with other scholars.

October 22
Archives Workshop I
Undergrad Fellows learned to describe the origins, design, and purpose of different types of archives, ranging from institutional archives to community-based grassroots projects. Fellows applied their knowledge by analyzing finding aids and online exhibits from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Queer Zine Archive Project, The Plateau People's Web Portal, the Austin History Center, and the Texas After Violence Project. We discussed how social, cultural, and political factors influence archive design, acquisition and cataloguing processes, and the accessibility of archival materials. Lastly, Fellows were introduced to Omeka, a content management platform that many community-engaged researchers use to create online exhibits and to digitize archival resources.

November 5
Project Management Workshop
In this workshop, ESI Undergrad Fellows explored best practices for planning and managing complex, long-term research projects. Fellows completed brainstorming and peer workshopping activities to break down their Capstone research into smaller, more manageable tasks. Fellows also learned to use the Kanban workflow management method to create visualizations of their project timelines for the next three months. We also looked at other software programs used for project management, including Trello, Kanban Flow, Airblade, and Scrivener.

November 12
Writing for the Public: Best Practices
Dr. Domino Perez and Dr. Sharmila Rudrappa, Faculty Practitioners associated with the UT Op-Ed Fellowship, discussed their experiences writing for the public and pitching articles for publication.

December 3
'I Write My Living and I Live My Work': Defining Our Scholarly Purpose
Part I: Cultivating Our Sense of Purpose as Engaged Scholars. Discussion & activities centered on articulating our values as scholars and (re)connecting with the commitments that drive our work.
Part II: Practical & Emotional Strategies for Avoiding Burnout. Discussions & activities around developing sustainable work habits; balancing our external responsibilities with our personal research/writing goals; and fostering caring scholarly communities.

Spring 2019 Workshops

January 22
Senior Undergraduate ESI Capstone Project & Spring ESI Seminar Orientation
Senior undergraduate fellows, Morgan Clark and Scott Spivey, presented their public-facing Capstone Projects.

February 5
Academic and Mass Market Publishing: Challenges and Opportunities
Assistant Director and Editor-in-Chief, The University of Texas Press, Robert Devens.

February 19 and February 26
Individualized Training
Adobe Photoshop and Creative Cloud with Suloni Robertson and LAITS Design Team


March 5
Transitioning from an Academic to an Essayist, Journalist, Novelist
Amy Gentry, English Ph.D. (U. Chicago).

Amy Gentry, English Ph.D.

Dr. Gentry will be teaching a workshop on transitioning from an academic to an essayist, journalist, and novelist.


March TBD
Curriculum Development with Matt Russell and Adria Battaglia, Faculty Innovation Center


March 12
Premiere Pro Digital Editing

LAITS Daniel Garza

March 26-Early April
Undergraduate ESI Fellow Recruitment
Members of Cohort II will interview and select the new cohort of undergraduates.

April 9
All-Cohort Work-in-Progress Session
Dean Esther Raizen.
A panel of Undergraduate and Graduate ESI Fellows will present their works-in-progress, which can be a seminar essay, an honors thesis, a forthcoming conference paper, article submission, etc.

April 23
Senior Capstone Vision Plan Session
Continuing Undergraduate ESI fellows will meet to discuss and conceptualize their public-facing projects.

May 7
Graduate Cohort I Working Dinner: Public-Facing Projects
Cohort I will meet to plan the post-doc year, including discussing needed resources.

Fall 2018 Workshops

September 4 
Methodologies: Archival Research Seminar Workshop
Chris Babits, Kristin Canfield, Lauren Henley, Michael Reyes, Ricardo Vellasco.

Lauren Henley

ESI Fellow Lauren Henley presenting, Methodologies: Archival Research Workshop, Fall 2018


September 11
Cohort II Website Building
Stacy Vlastis.
September 18 
Undergraduate Cohort I Website Building
This session is a basic introduction to building a web page with HTML and CSS.  During the session students will produce a simple, handcrafted website.  At the end of the session they will be able to: describe the basic anatomy of a web page, use browser tools to inspect and analyze a web page, and write basic HTML and CSS.

ESI Fellows Christine Capetola, Michael Reyes, and Ricardo Vellasco

ESI Fellows Christine Capetola, Michael Reyes, and Ricardo Vellasco

September 18
Facing the Public: Media-Presenting for Television, Radio, and Film 
Dr. Michael Webber, Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources; Deputy Director, Energy Institute.
September 25 
Cohort II Website Building
Stacy Vlastis.
October 2
Writing Workshop
Amy Vidor, Christine Capetola, and Paul Edgar.
Writing fellowship and application essays.

ESI Fellows Scott Spivey, T.J. Bolt, Max McCready, Joey Castellano, Colin McCormack

ESI Fellows Scott Spivey, T.J. Bolt, Max McCready, Joey Castellano, Colin McCormack

October 9
Cohort II Website Building 
Stacy Vlastis.
October 16 
U.T. Humanities: Collaborating with the Thinking in Public (TiP)
Dr. Joan Neuberger.
For more on Dr. Joan Neuberger's public scholarship project, see TiP's site: 

October 23
Cohort II Website Building
Stacy Vlastis.
October 30
Introduction to Photogrammetry & 3-D Imaging Workshops
Joey Castellano.

Photogrammetry workshop with Graduate Fellow Joey Castellano

Photogrammetry workshop taught by graduate fellow, Joey Castellano


November 6
Introduction to Coding & Python 
Micah Bateman and TJ Bolt.
November 13 
Introduction to Photogrammetry & 3-D Imaging Workshops.
Joey Castellano.

Photogrammetry workshop with graduate fellow Joey Castellano

Photogrammetry workshop taught by graduate fellow, Joey Castellano


December 4
Writing Workshop
Amy Vidor, Christine Capetola, and Paul Edgar.
Writing for the Public.

Spring 2018 Workshops

January 23, 2018, 4:00-7:00
Creative Commons, Fair Use, and Copyright Workshop
Colleen Lyons, U.T. Libraries.

February 6, 2018, 4:00-5:00
Website building & instruction: individualized curriculum consultations
College of Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS) instructor, Stacy Vlasits, Senior Software Developer, Analyst

February 20, 2018, 4:00-6:00
Website building & instruction
Stacy Vlasits.

ESI Fellows Micah Bateman, Sarah Ropp and Chris Babits

ESI Fellows Micah Bateman, Sarah Ropp and Chris Babits


March 6, 2018, 4:00-6:00
Website building & instruction
Stacy Vlasits.

March 20, 2018, 4:00-6:00
Website building & instruction
Stacy Vlasits.

April-May, 2018
Individualized Instruction.

Fall 2017 Workshops

August 28, 2017
Nonprofit Budgets and Finance
Regina Rogoff, CEO of the People’s Community Clinic
Wonder how finances work in the nonprofit sector? Regina Rogoff, CEO of the People’s Community Clinic, will discuss the rules that govern nonprofit organizational finance, the kinds of financial expectations a person starting a career at a non-profit should have, and will provide observations based on her experience in this sector.

August 29, 2017
Personal Financial Literacy
Diane Todd Sprague, Director of the Office of Financial Aid at UT
It’s never too early (or too late) to develop a personal financial strategy. Diane Todd Sprague, Director of the Office of Financial Aid at UT, will address topics such as planning to repay student loans, considering income levels that might come with future jobs, planning for retirement, and other issues relevant to navigating your finances now and after graduate school.

September 8, 2017
Higher Education Budgets and Finance
Kimberly Biar, Chief Business Officer of the College of Liberal Arts
This workshop looks at finances from a departmental, college, and university perspective considering the main budget components relevant to each. Is there room for negotiation at your first job out of graduate school? What is the difference between soft money and recurring expenses? How do reimbursements work? Kimberly Biar, Chief Business Officer of the College of Liberal Arts, will provide context for those who seek positions at both research universities and teaching colleges.

September 12, 2017
Dr. Julia Mickenberg, Associate Professor of American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
Archival research; public-facing scholarship; audience and media engagement
Dr. Mickenberg’s presentation featured her interdisciplinary archival research in Russia and the former Soviet Republics, and her public and multi-media promotion of American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the Soviet Dream (U. of Chicago P., 2017). Dr. Mickenberg’s engagements and interactions with various radio, television, and print-media venues highlighted the dynamic challenges and unique opportunities involved with the public presentation of scholarly research.

September 15, 2017
Development and Foundation Funding
Maria Nehring, Director of Foundation Relations at UT
What should a college faculty member or a staff member at a non-profit organization know about fundraising? Maria Nehring, Director of Foundation Relations at UT, discussed the ways that development works in both the university and non-profit contexts. This workshop provided insight into major concepts and vocabulary of development, including endowments, planned giving, and work with foundations to generate funds.

September 26, 2017
Dr. Nancy Schiesari, Documentary filmmaker and Professor of Radio-Television-Film, The University of Texas at Austin
Directing Documentary Interviews and Shorts
Dr. Schiesari’s workshop preceded the fellows’ instruction in digital film editing. Schiesari taught the fellows how to frame archival and textual objects and shoot talking-head and dialogical interviews for production of short films for their research, websites, and scholarly and public presentations.

ESI Fellow Christine Capetola, Directing Documentary Shorts Workshop with Filmmaker Dr. Nancy Schiesari


October 3, 10, and 17, 2017
Simone Khan, Freelance Film Editor, Austin, Texas
Intensive Digital Editing
Simone Khan’s Digital Editing workshop trained the ESI graduate fellows in the fundamentals of digital editing. Khan’s instruction in Adobe Premier Pro will enable the fellows to edit short digital films that highlight their fieldwork, research interviews, and cinematically enliven their archival and performative exhibitions. The forthcoming undergraduate ESI fellows will also be trained to digitally edit; they will gain hands-on, resume-worthy technical skills and professional expertise by supporting the graduate fellows’ scholarly research and local and regional public partnerships.

October 26, 2017
Dr. Tanya Clement, Associate Professor, The iSchool, The University of Texas at Austin
Understanding the Digital Humanities; digital archives; sound technology; curating public exhibitions
Dr. Clement’s presentation introduced the fellows to Digital Humanities scholarship being conducted across the disciplines. A complex understanding of some of the current issues and data-driven innovations in the field of Digital Humanities enabled the ESI fellows to think conceptually about the Digital Humanities methodologies, the relationship quantitative and qualitative disciplines, and the evolving systems of knowledge production that aim to broaden the impact of 21st C. scholarship and research.

November 14, 2017
Dr. Joan Neuberger, Professor of History, The University of Texas at Austin
Thinking in Public: Public-Facing Scholarship and Blogging
Dr. Neuberger’s workshop introduced the fellows to the visionary public history sites Thinking in Public: Public Scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin, Not Even Past, and her podcast series with Christopher Rose, Fifteen Minute History. Dr. Neuberger highlighted the importance of local knowledge, public and digital archives, and the importance of promoting and sharing Humanities scholarship.

November–December 2017
ESI Fellows indivdualized instructional workshops
Fellows will benefit from individualized technological and instructional workshops that will prepare them to partner with local and regional organizations and institution, and to present and publicly share their respective doctoral research. The current ESI fellows’ cohort’s individualized instructional goals for 2017-2018 include computer literary (coding) and computer languages (JSON; Python); Humanities’ uses of Excel; the visualization of statistical data), and media marketing and professionalism.