Westchester College Gets Grant For Humanities Institute
Valhalla, NY - Westchester Community College has been awarded a $300,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant for Two-Year Colleges to establish a Humanities Institute.This challenge grant will require the Westchester Community College Foundation to raise an additional $600,000 bringing the full value to $900,000. Ultimately, the funds will be used to create an endowment to support the activities of the Institute beyond the initial grant period.
The Institute will be led by the two Westchester Community College English professors who wrote the grant, Dr. Frank Madden and Dr. Heather Ostman, who see the Institute as a campus-wide initiative supporting and supported by the research and scholarship of faculty, students, and members of the community.
“By developing and supporting the humanities from the perspective of the immigrant experience in a globalized world, the Institute will shift and expand the study of the humanities from a traditional, western perspective to a multicultural lens in order to promote global understanding,” says Ostman. The Institute’s events and activities will include conferences, speaker series, reading series, exhibits, films, and community partnerships. The mission is to advance pluralistic and international approaches to humanities education by illuminating the differences and similarities within the disciplines of literature, language, history, philosophy, cultural studies, and communications.
“This is an ideal setting for the Institute,” says Madden. “Westchester Community College serves an increasingly diverse population. Here in Westchester County, one in four area residents is foreign born,” he adds.
In response to the needs of the community, the college has emerged as a leader in immigrant education and has committed significant efforts and resources to the 2010 establishment of The Gateway Center, a $40 million facility dedicated to supporting an expansive mission including immigrant education. This Institute will extend the breadth of the college’s educational resources for the surrounding community and beyond with broadened humanities programs and curricula that concentrate in the immigrant experience.