Scholarship in Action

Student pointing to map of Worcester

The College of the Holy Cross brings world-class scholars to New England’s second largest city. Now, thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Scholarship in Action program (SIA) advances Worcester-based faculty research that makes an impact and that provides rich experiential learning opportunities for Holy Cross students. Through SIA, our community partners and faculty find innovative solutions to universal problems, and our students get a taste for how the liberal arts and the Holy Cross mission can reshape the world.

There are three main components to the program:

  • To encourage the Worcester community to come to Holy Cross with problems that we can address, using the talents, capacities, and skills of our faculty and students.
  • To encourage Holy Cross faculty to think Worcester first when developing research agendas, envisioning ways that their research can make a difference right here at home.
  • To encourage faculty to always bring their students into their work in Worcester, helping them see ways to connect their liberal arts education with our community.

The Program is managed by the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World at Holy Cross, which facilitates experiential learning opportunities for Holy Cross students. 


Scholarship in Action awards grants to projects involving Worcester-based faculty research.
  • are proposed jointly by Holy Cross faculty and local community partners
  • develop agendas for continuous long-term involvement in the local community
  • involve students at every stage of the research process. 
  • Produce immediate real-world impacts through scholarly research.

How to Apply

For applications instructions, please see the Application Guidelines. The deadline for 2021 SIA grants is April 19, 2021.

Seed Grants

SIA Seed Grants are modest grants of $2,000 that can help faculty jumpstart community-based research by providing faculty and their community partners with resources to embark upon community projects together. To learn more about the seed grants, please see the SIA Seed Grant guidelines.

2019 Recipients

Professor Florencia Anggoro

With her expertise as a cognitive developmental psychologist, Florencia Anggoro, associate professor of psychology, will collaborate on research with EcoTarium, the children’s museum of science and nature in Worcester. The primary goal of this research is to improve our understanding of how children learn in informal settings, including museums and science centers and will result in the renovation of the EcoTarium’s early childhood science exhibits. 

Professor Lauren Capotosto

As a specialist of adolescent literary instruction, Lauren Capotosto, assistant professor of education, will work with Burncoat Middle School on a multi-year study aimed to increase adolescents’ book access and reading engagement through a justice-oriented summer reading program.

Professor Daina Harvey

With his expertise as a sociologist of food and the environment, Daina Cheyenne Harvey, associate professor of sociology, has partnered with the Community Harvest Project and South High School to develop a nutrition curriculum that will address food equity among Worcester’s youth and a larger study about food movements in urban spaces.

Professor Cynthia Stone  Professor Justin Poche

Given their longstanding work on Latino history, Justin Poché, associate professor of history, and Cynthia Stone, professor of Spanish, have partnered with the Latino History Project of Worcester and with the Worcester Historical Museum to expand the Latino History Project’s archive and showcase it in public-facing digital form. Their work will lead to a 2021 exhibit at Worcester Historical Museum that will narrate and document the diverse and dynamic history of the Latino experience in Worcester.

2018 Recipients

Professor Susan Rodgers

Professor Emerita of Sociology and Anthropology Susan Rodgers was awarded a Scholarship in Action grant in May 2018. Drawing upon five years of collaboration with the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project and with the Refugee Artisans of Worcester, Rodgers’s “Refugee Resettlement in Worcester” entails an anthropological ethnography about how refugees now living in our city are making new homes and new lives for themselves here after fleeing extreme violence in their countries of origin. Rodgers and Holy Cross student researchers are conducting life history interviews with refugees and former refugees, ages l8 to 70, about various aspects of their resettlement journeys. Additionally, an exhibition of refugees' crafts (curated by Rodgers and students) will be displayed at Worcester Center for Crafts in 2020 as part of the project.

Professor Stephanie Yuhl

Professor of History Stephanie Yuhl was awarded a Scholarship in Action grant in May 2018. Following years of public history consultation, including her curation of the “Worcester in 50 Objects” exhibit at the Worcester Historical Museum, Yuhl’s project, “From Margin to Center” partners with the museum and various community representatives to make visible and accessible Worcester’s rich, but long-overlooked, LGBTQ+ history. This project includes collection management and archive building, an oral history project, and an object-based exhibit that together contribute to the museum’s larger strategic mission to become more inclusive, democratic, and collaborative in both its holdings and in its storytelling.

More Information

Please contact Mary Conley with any questions or to learn more.