August 12, 2016

Wayne State receives NEH grant to transform graduate education in the humanities

Wayne State University is among 28 colleges and universities nationwide slated to receive a total of $1.7 million in grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) aimed at transforming the culture of graduate education.

The grants, titled “Next Generation Humanities PhD grants,” were created to plan and implement changes to graduate education that will broaden the career preparation of Ph.D. students beyond a career in academia.

Under the new grant program, the NEH gave awards in two categories: 25 planning grants of $25,000 each, and three implementation grants of $350,000 each, which support and expand efforts that are already underway.

The recipient of a planning grant, Wayne State’s mission is two-fold: Change faculty culture by training humanities faculty mentors to meet the changing landscape of graduate education and develop programming to enhance the skills of humanities graduate students in ways that are valuable to employers and engage the university with the public. In Detroit, this means making the bridge from humanities scholarship to the challenges facing the community—from public education and the water supply to inequality and urban development. 

“This grant will allow Wayne State to continue its role as an innovator in graduate education,” says project director and Department of History chair Elizabeth Faue. “We provide our graduate students with skills to pursue diverse careers not only in higher education, but also in the public and non-profit sectors and in the private economy. This new grant will help us train students to enter the changing labor market as well as engage the community.”

A committee from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences worked together last fall on the grant application. The planning committee included Elizabeth Faue, chair of history and project director, Sharon Lean (Political Science), Lisa Maruca (English), Elena Past (CMLLC), Krysta Ryzewski (Anthropology), and Kathryn Wrench (CLAS Research Office), supported by Anne Duggan (CMLLC), Andrea Sankar (Anthropology), John Corvino (Philosophy), Michael Mirto (Development), Heather Dillaway (Associate Dean), and Peter Hoffmann (Senior Associate Dean), among others.

A full list of institutions receiving Next Generation PhD grants is available here.


Jessica Archer
Phone: (313) 577-0833

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