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The Mellon-Pasifika Research Fellows program is key to the development of Pacific Islands Studies at the U. The Pacific Islands Studies Initiative at the U is working to build a fertile, mutualistic relationship between Pacific Islander communities and the U with attention to the intersection of Indigeneity and Diaspora. The U’s Pacific Islands Studies Mellon grant fosters three core objectives. First, we seek to ensure that more PI students can access the U through direct first-year enrollment and bridge/mentoring programs for community college students; the attraction to this access is an interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate in Pacific Islands Studies that includes language classes and courses from across campus. Second, we aim to advance the field of PI Studies, nurturing student- and community-engaged research focused on this powerful Indigenous discipline. Third, we are strengthening meaningful relationships with PI communities in the Salt Lake City area through a diverse slate of community-engaged programming. 

Through the Mellon-Pasifika Research Fellows program, we are producing robust, original scholarship at all stages of the academic life cycle. The Post-Doctoral fellowship creates a pathway from student to the professorate, the Dissertation Fellowship provides students nearing the end of their training the support and time needed to complete their studies and prepare to enter the tenure-track job market, the Graduate Research Assistantships supports students at the beginning of their graduate studies and the Undergraduate Research Fellows (UG Fellows) program introduces students to the power of research to empower their communities, enrich their studies and, later, their careers.


Maile Arvin

Director, Pacific Islands Studies