BGSU Departments of History and English receive NEH CARES grant

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Cross-department study explores teaching methods in response to the COVID-19 crisis

Bowling Green State University Departments of History and English received a $273,000 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for a joint project titled, “Toward a Pedagogy from Crisis: Adaptive Teaching and Learning at Bowling Green State University During COVID-19.”NEH logo

The $273,000 grant will fund training and development activities to retain faculty members in the humanities and support the development of thoughtful and deliberate teaching methods in response to the pandemic.

“Toward a Pedagogy from Crisis” is a response to the impact of COVID-19 at BGSU and to humanities education in general. The pandemic necessitated the rapid adaptation to distance learning for institutions across the nation, which disrupted usual teaching routines, created technical difficulties, and further exposed issues of access and inequality for students and faculties. This project allows for cross-department collaboration in reflecting on the teaching and learning of the humanities across face-to-face and distance learning environments.

The NEH awarded $40.3 million in new CARES Act economic stabilization grants to retain staff, preserve and curate humanities collections, advance humanities research, and maintain buildings and core operations at more than 300 cultural institutions across the country. BGSU’s grant proposal was selected from a pool of more than 2,300 eligible applications.

“Over the past few months, we have witnessed tremendous financial distress at cultural organizations across the country, which have been compelled to furlough staff, cancel programs and reduce operations to make up for revenue shortfalls caused by the pandemic,” NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede said. “NEH is pleased to provide $40 million to preserve thousands of jobs at museums, archives, historic sites and colleges and universities that are vital to our nation’s cultural life and economy.”

Dr. Chad Duffy, assistant professor of English, and Dr. Amilcar Challu, associate professor of history and department chair, are co-directors of the grant project.

“This grant positions BGSU as a leader in handling the crisis and leverages the combined strengths of our units,” Challu said. “We are thrilled about this.”

The project executive board includes Dr. Lee Nickoson, professor and chair of English; Dr. Andy Schocket, professor of history and American culture studies; and Dr. Jolie Sheffer, associate professor of English and American culture studies. Core personnel for the project’s pedagogical dimension are Dr. Rachel Rebellino, assistant teaching professor of English; Dr. Lauren Salisbury, teaching associate of English; and Dr. Matt Schumann, assistant teaching professor of history.