Seminole State College of Florida has been awarded its first grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop a 10-year, collegewide cultural understanding and diversity initiative.
“A college education should provide an awareness of the diversity of cultures and beliefs that make up our society,” says Dr. Laura Ross, vice president of Academic Affairs at Seminole State College. “This initiative will expose students to diverse perspectives and help them understand how different cultures contribute to and enrich our collective worldview.”
The $100,000 NEH grant, which will be paired with a $200,000 match from the Foundation for Seminole State College, is the first major grant for the Center for Global Engagement, which was established in 2012.
Preliminary plans are to focus on gender issues; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues; and the infusion of cultural content into business and healthcare programs as the first three annual themes of the 10-year projects, Ross says. The initiative will be driven and supported by an interdisciplinary faculty and staff advisory committee.
Possible programs and activities may include a speaker series; faculty/curriculum development; exhibits and events; cultural service learning activities; study abroad; and acquisitions. The types of programs, many of which also will benefit the Central Florida community as well as students, will become clearer once the committee forms in early 2014, Ross says.
Dr. John Gyllin, executive director of the Foundation for Seminole State, noted that the College is looking for partners who would be interested in supporting this $300,000 cultural initiative.
The NEH is an independent federal agency dedicated to supporting research, education and public programs in the humanities.
The Center for Global Engagement promotes interaction among students of all cultures and develops a culturally-enriching learning environment by providing programs and services to facilitate international diversity and foster global understanding and awareness.