UW-Superior faculty attend National Endowment for the Humanities conference

Two University of Wisconsin-Superior faculty members recently attended a National Endowment for the Humanities conference in Washington, D.C. This follows UW-Superior having recently received a Humanities Connections Planning award from NEH to assist with development of a new program and determine its feasibility.

Lynn Goerdt, associate professor of social work, and Jayson Iwen, associate professor of writing & library science and department chair, attended the conference held for recipients of NEH planning and implementation grants.

“I was anticipating assistance and training for project management,” said Iwen. “Since we’re about a third of the way done with our project, it was good to learn that we are in alignment with their best practices.”

The event, which had 23 institutions in attendance, included a directors meeting, training and sharing plans on how grant projects are handled.

“It was validating,” said Goerdt “At the end of this meeting, I felt like we’re doing a good job, our project is interesting to other people, we’re being thoughtful, innovative, and we’re grounding our work in the humanities.”

The proposal from UW-Superior was one of 19 out of 139 applicants selected by NEH. With the nearly $45,000 grant, research began this summer with the community to assess the development of the new program.

“We’ve had a lot of meetings with internal and external stakeholders,” said Iwen. “At this point we’re starting to design the program and conduct market analysis. We’re working on the student learning outcomes and then we’ll develop the signature features, the structure of the program and what sort of activities students will be engaging in outside of the classroom.”

The National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 created the National Endowment for the Humanities as an independent federal agency. The law identified the need for a national cultural agency that would preserve America’s rich history and cultural heritage, and encourage and support scholarship and innovation in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, and other humanities disciplines.

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