Reese funds will be used to help defray expenses incurred by students doing independent research, with preference given to projects under the direction of Mount Holyoke faculty members that contribute to the faculty members’ work. Students apply for Ellen P. Reese summer research funding through the Universal Application (UAF). Beginning in 2010, Reese research fellowships are no longer available for the academic year.
Ellen P. Reese arrived at Mount Holyoke College as a student in 1944; she retired from Mount Holyoke faculty fifty years later. After graduating in 1948, she stayed on as a research assistant in the Department of Psychology, directed the psychological laboratories for many years, advanced through the professorial ranks, and was named the College ' s first Norma Cutts Dafoe Professor of Psychology in 1989.
During her half-century of work, Ellie Reese received widespread recognition for her work as a behaviorist and as an educator. The American Psychologist, awarding Professor Reese its 1987 citation for distinguished contribution to education in psychology, stressed her "total commitment to undergraduate education. "All of her courses,” the citation went on to say, "include laboratory or fieldwork, preferably both, and most classes follow the format of a workshop. She never asks her advisees if they want to do independent work; she asks them how soon they will get started. "
To help students get started (or get finished) the Ellen P. Reese Fund has been established by contributions from her colleagues and friends, and by Professor Reese's own bequest. The purpose of the fund is to support undergraduate independent research and scholarship in any academic department or program.