The Levitt Center supports students, faculty, and staff who aspire to understand and address pressing local, national, and international challenges. These persistent and complicated challenges require a deep understanding of the issues, specialized and interdisciplinary knowledge, wide-ranging skill sets, and sophisticated leadership capacities.
The Levitt Center’s programs recognize this complexity, and encourage cooperation between disciplines, invite dialogue between theory and practice, prize knowledge as well as skills, and leverage the strengths of the academic and the co-curricular. The programs listed below may be of particular interest to faculty and include experiential learning courses, course development grants, research and study group opportunities, and speakers and workshops. These programs are open to faculty in all departments and divisions of the College.
Theory and Practice of Social Change Course Development Grant
The dean of faculty and the Levitt Center provide grants designed to support faculty who wish to incorporate the theory and practice of social change, using the lens of transformational leadership and social innovation, into a new or existing course. These grants aim to support Hamilton College’s educational goals of a curriculum that fosters creativity as well as ethical, informed and engaged citizenship. Courses may be taught in any department, and topics and pedagogies may vary. It is expected that faculty will teach a course, in their field of study, that helps students gain the academic knowledge and relevant skills needed to address persistent social problems in an effective, innovative and meaningful way. Each grant will provide $2,500 for the development of a new course, plus up to $1,500 for materials and travel expenses. An additional stipend of $1,000 will be provided after the course has been taught twice. A one-time $750 stipend is provided for faculty who wish to add a leadership and social innovation component to an existing course. These grants aim to advance the recommendations of the Campus Planning Committee on Outcomes and support Hamilton College’s educational goal of a curriculum that fosters ethical, informed and engaged citizenship.
SHINE and VITA Course Development Grants
These grants are intended to broaden the offering of courses that incorporate experiential learning in the community. Three awards will provide $750 apiece for faculty members who integrate Project SHINE for the first time into an existing or new course. Faculty may choose to incorporate Project SHINE either as a recommended or required component of the course. Instructors have incorporated Project SHINE into the classroom in a number of different ways: in classroom discussions, as a form of fieldwork and through journals, papers or multimedia projects. Two additional grants will provide $750 per grant for faculty who integrate VITA into an existing or new course for the first time. Students are asked to complete at least 15 hours of electronic tax filing to participate in VITA. These grants aim to support Hamilton College’s educational goals of a curriculum that fosters ethical, informed and engaged citizenship and understanding of cultural diversity.
Public Opinion Polls
See past polls and results here
Levitt Research Group Grants
Levitt Research Group Grants support groups of faculty and students working collaboratively on research projects over the summer. The grants are intended to encourage faculty and student publications. Fieldwork or original analysis of existing data is generally required, with preference given to teams doing research in the local community. Projects that will be useful for policy makers and other researchers are also encouraged. Stipends: $4000 for each student and $2500-$4000 for faculty members depending on the number of students supervised. Faculty members from all divisions in the college are encouraged to apply. Learn More
Faculty Research and Innovation Awards
Faculty research and innovation awards are intended to support faculty-initiated work that engages with contemporary issues, problems, or challenges and that is not narrowly disciplinary. This work should engage with contemporary social issues or make connections between theory and practice. It may be done in a variety of traditional and non-traditional media. Specifically, the Levitt Center invites applications from faculty for research and related projects not currently supported by existing research funding programs at Hamilton such as Emerson, Levitt, Science grants, etc. Examples of proposals could include developing online academic or public interest journals, research that is focused on a non-traditional research outcome, hosting conferences or workshops, or projects focused on the local community.
Public Philosophy Study Group
The Levitt Public Philosophy Seminars empower Hamilton faculty to host discussions, workshops, and lectures to highlight the intersection of academic knowledge and public engagement. These events, involving Hamilton faculty and speakers invited to campus, serve as supplements to faculty-led initiatives that address value-laden questions from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Faculty Workshop & Talks
The Levitt Center hosts a Faculty Workshop each year, as well as Faculty Talks that offer faculty members the opportunity to present and discuss research on topics relevant to public affairs.
The Levitt Center Speaker Series enhances the academic experience of Hamilton students by introducing them to a wide array of intellectually challenging speakers organized around four program areas: Inequality and Equity, Public Health and Well-Being, Justice and Security, and Sustainability. The Series features many speakers with substantial academic and policy experience, and students and other audience members have the opportunity to engage speakers in thoughtful discussion following each lecture. Many faculty members either require or strongly encourage their students to attend these lectures.