Elizabethtown College awarded for $300,000 Mellon grant to support humanities curriculum
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $300,000 humanities grant to Elizabethtown College to support students, over the next three years, as they do research in global studies and regional history and as they integrate technology into their humanities courses.
The proposed program, “Confronting Challenges with Confidence: Humanities for Our World Today,” allows the College’s faculty to make positive and lasting curricular changes to strengthen the study of humanities. The Mellon grant will vastly increase the College’s ability to offer new courses and support the development of interdisciplinary options that bridge the humanities and other disciplines. The program centers on global and regional heritage studies and on community-based learning/research components.
Colleges across the country face hurdles in convincing students that liberal arts institutions provide a superior education worth the higher cost. As we grabble with the challenges confronting the world today, Mellon-funded activities will offer an opportunity to highlight the significance of humanistic learning. The grant provides resources to support digital humanities offerings and faculty-mentored, independent student research in these areas.
“Most exciting to me is the opportunity for a greater number of our students to experience, firsthand, the power of a liberal arts education,” said Kristi Kneas, dean for academic affairs and faculty development, who, along with Brian Newsome, dean for curriculum and assessment, will lead the program.
“This (grant) allows Elizabethtown to build on an existing strength—a strong faculty that is eager to work together across disciplines to provide meaningful learning opportunities for its students,” she said. “Our students will hone the humanities skill set that many employers, when surveyed, have highlighted as essential. While integrating that humanistic perspective with technical expertise gained in other disciplines they will better be able to address important, real-world questions.”