UNH Receives Mellon Foundation Grant to Take the Humanities to the Public

May 30, 2018

Thompson Hall

The University of New Hampshire has received a three-year $724,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which will be used by the Center for the Humanities to host residential summer institutes that will train humanists to work in the public realm and embrace community engagement.

“We’re thrilled to have this support from the Mellon Foundation,” said Burt Feintuch, director of the UNH Center for the Humanities and professor of folklore and English. “The humanities help us think about how to live good lives in complicated times. This work is critically important in public life, and our week-long boot camps will help faculty and students think about how to contribute to the public good, how to reflect on social issues, how to think about the present in the context of the past, how to figure out what matters in the face of massive change. Our goal is to help humanities faculty develop innovative and meaningful ways to connect to civic life and for students to think about real-world applications of their classroom experiences and about possible career paths.”

The New England Humanities Consortium, a network of academic humanities centers and institutes in the region, will co-sponsor the boot camps. Member institutions will nominate participants and the boot camps will also include faculty and students from Howard University, building on a history of successful collaboration between UNH and Howard.

“The humanities are vital to our democracy and for addressing the grand challenges of our age, such as health care, urbanization, food sovereignty and the role of technology in human relations and discourse,” said Heidi Bostic, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “We have a well-established history of engaged scholarship and the summer boot camps are a natural next step for the university in the evolution of our public-facing trajectory. We are grateful for the support of the Mellon Foundation as we continue to prepare our students for professional success and meaningful lives that support the wider society.”

This grant is part of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s continued support for academic institutions as they endeavor to demonstrate, through counter-narratives offered by public humanities programs and initiatives, the essential relevance of the humanities to productive civic dialogue.

Post written by Erika Mantz.


Young Philosophers Talk Responsible Citizenship

March 10, 2017

students participating in HYPE

For the past seven years, the Souhegan High School Ethics Forum has hosted HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts), inspiring high school students all over New England to participate in philosophical discussions that promote leadership, citizenry and ethics.

This year’s HYPE event is hosted and co-sponsored by the University of New Hampshire and will take place on March 16, 2017. Fourteen hundred students and 100 faculty are anticipated to attend, representing high schools from all over New England. The keynote speaker is Governor John Lynch, who will also run an educator session.

This year’s HYPE guiding question, What does it mean to be a responsible citizen?, coincides with activities conceived and coordinated by Constitutionally Speaking, a partnership project of New Hampshire Humanities, NH Institute for Civics Education, UNH School of Law, NH Supreme Court Society, Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth and Saint Anselm College’s NH Institute of Politics.

Three years ago, the Ethics Forum was awarded a renewable prestigious RGSCP Grant (Responsible Governance and Sustainability Citizenship Project) from UNH to fund HYPE. This grant has led to the UNH Philosophy Department’s formal endorsement of the Ethics Forum and the use of the UNH Durham campus each year. It has also led to the affiliation of HYPE with UNH’s emerging summer philosophy program called FLI or The Future Leaders Institute and the LEAP or Leadership Empowering Authentic Progress Conference held each year at UNH Manchester. The results of this support can be seen in the rising levels of attendance at the HYPE conference and the emerging programs that HYPE has spurred.

The Ethics Forum was also awarded the 2014 Granite State Award by the University System of New Hampshire for the group’s “dedication to creating an academically rich environment for New Hampshire students to connect through philosophical discussions.” Besides its largest sponsor, UNH Durham, the Ethics Forum continues to build a strong coalition of post-secondary institutional support including Granite State College, Merrimack College, Saint Anselm College, UNH Manchester and the University of New Orleans.

The latest Ethics Forum documentary highlights the program and its work.

Excerpted and edited from an article written by Christopher Brooks, HYPE Coordinator, Ethics Forum Advisor, Teacher; Souhegan High School, Amherst N.H.

Photo source: NH Humanities.


UNH Awarded Federal Grant to Get STEM Teachers in Rural N.H. Schools

October 4, 2016

Thanks to a five-year $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the University of New Hampshire will prepare and support 60 highly qualified elementary and secondary math and science teachers for rural, high-need New Hampshire schools beginning this summer.

“We are excited to bring our excellence in teacher preparation to the North Country,” said Leslie Couse, professor of education and department chair in the College of Liberal Arts. “Grant opportunities that focus on rural communities are rare. This grant will provide the means for deep clinical training during a year-long residency, a hallmark of high-quality teacher preparation and allow students to graduate with less debt, while becoming connected to the community.”

The University of New Hampshire Teacher Residency for Rural Education (UNH-TRRE) is a 15-month graduate level program designed to prepare elementary and secondary STEM teachers to teach in rural New Hampshire communities. It will support “residents” in learning, teaching, and living in rural NH communities. During their first summer, residents will take graduate coursework, observe in schools, and complete a community-based internship to learn about the resources of the communities in which they will teach. During the academic year, residents will complete a yearlong “residency” alongside an experienced master teacher in an elementary, middle, or high school classroom.

Residents will receive a living wage stipend and substantial scholarship during the program and will commit to teaching in a rural New Hampshire school for at least three years after graduation. Upon completion of the program, UNH-TRRE will continue to support its graduates during their first two years of teaching.

More.

 


Unearthing World History at Oyster River Middle School

December 16, 2015
students participating in mock dig

UNH student Joe Thibeault leads a group of seventh graders at Oyster River Middle School through a mock dig.

Earlier this month, UNH anthropology students, led by lecturer Marieka Brouwer Burg, created a mock excavation for seventh graders at Oyster River Middle School as part of the school’s world civilizations unit. The outreach program was “a big hit,” says Brouwer Burg.

Ninety Oyster River students participated in six teams. Each team had an excavation box, excavating tools and worksheets with which to explore, analyze and record artifacts using proper methods and techniques. The teams had to figure out which world culture they had unearthed in their boxes, based on what they had already learned about the artifacts of various early civilizations in their classes.

The activity was meant to be hands-on fun. Along the way, students learned quite a bit about the study of archaeology as well as the process of archaeological field and lab work.

“Students also learned about some of the misconceptions of archaeology – namely that archaeologists study people not dinosaurs, that we excavate to answer research questions and that we never sell artifacts,” says Brouwer Burg.

UNH students Maddy Moison, Chaya Sophon, Ashley Blum and Joe Thibeault prepared the materials for the dig and led the Oyster River students through the process. They also gave a presentation about the field of anthropology.

More pics here.


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