Gustavus Awarded $498,005 Grant from National Endowment for the Humanities

The sizable grant will advance a series of humanities-based initiatives at Gustavus.
Posted on November 23rd, 2021 by

Gustavus Adolphus College has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) “Sustaining the Humanities Through the American Rescue Plan” (SHARP) grant that will support multiple projects in the humanities including a Humanities Research Lab pilot, new faculty hires, opportunities for collaborative student-faculty research projects, funding for the College’s Indigenous Relations work, and support for the College’s Learning for Life @ Gustavus podcast. 

The Gustavus grant proposal, titled “The Humanities at Gustavus Adolphus College: Meeting Challenges with Excellence,” was led by Dean of Arts & Humanities Dr. Elizabeth Kubek and Assistant Dean of Research Dr. Sarah Bridges. The project is one of only two at higher education institutions in Minnesota selected by the NEH for funding and will ultimately receive $498,005 to support a variety of humanities initiatives. The nearly 300 organizations who were selected for the grant will use the funds to do everything from hiring staff to maintaining mission-critical operations to building and rebuilding programs and projects that were impacted by the pandemic.

“This grant will fund multiple Humanities initiatives that are central to the College’s liberal arts mission, core values, and strategic goals,” Kubek said. “It will enhance teaching and learning, support student/faculty research and creativity, and help us reassess our history in dialogue with the community around us.”

Gustavus initiatives supported by the NEH SHARP grant include:

  • Challenge Curriculum Capstone Seminar Development
    • Creation and execution of a one-week workshop for faculty to learn about project-based pedagogy, as well as create, discuss, and refine their syllabi for the College’s new Challenge Curriculum Capstone Courses
  • Humanities Research Lab
    • Funding to pilot the Humanities Research Lab, which will be a laboratory-style humanities research environment modeled on the sciences in which undergraduate students take responsibility for discrete, level-appropriate research tasks related to a professor’s research.
  • Podcast Studio
    • Equipment and supplies to support podcasts on campus such as Learning for Life @ Gustavus, which highlights the opportunities and outcomes of a liberal arts education.
  • Immigrant History and Indigenous Relations
    • Funding will help continue the translation, historical analysis, and publication of key documents written in Swedish for the Gustavus community to learn and grow. This will be done through a faculty-student research collaboration. Additionally, funding will help bring in national and regional indigenous leaders and educators for dialogue and educational meetings with the community.
  • Salary support for five new tenured-track faculty in the humanities
  • Funding for six student researchers who will partner with Gustavus faculty members in the humanities.

“Gustavus Adolphus College strives to fulfill its mission to equip students to lead purposeful lives and act on the great challenges of our time through an innovative liberal arts education of recognized excellence,” the College writing team said in its grant proposal. “Without a strong humanities component to the curriculum, excellent humanities faculty, and broad humanities programs, we [would] cease to be a liberal arts institution. This grant would support humanities faculty positions, curriculum, faculty development, research, and community engagement that may not otherwise be possible in the coming years.”

“We are thrilled to receive this grant. It will serve the purpose the NEH intended, to provide generous support to the humanities at a time when budgets are most at risk” Bridges said.

“The Humanities at Gustavus Adolphus College: Meeting Challenges with Excellence” has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this press release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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