Siena Heights News

Siena Heights University Receives Nearly $300,000 CARES Act NEH Grant

Siena Heights University received nearly $300,000 in CARES Act grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide additional support to SHU’s humanities division, including the training of 40 humanities faculty for online teaching.

Siena Heights was one of six Michigan organizations and one of only three state colleges and universities that were recipients a total of $1,197,185 in funding. SHU’s portion of the grant will be $299,566, which, once received, will provide two main purposes, according SHU grant project director Dr. Ian Bell.

“First, it will provide financial support for the humanities division to help SHU offer our students a high-quality liberal arts education that is steeped in the humanities by supporting faculty members professionally,” said Dr. Bell, who also serves as assistant dean of the College and Arts and Sciences and professor of religious studies at SHU. “Secondly, the grant will help us to develop pedagogical workshops aimed at teaching the humanities in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“As a liberal arts institution, we at Siena Heights University are appreciative of the role the humanities plays in our world today,” said SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD. “We are delighted to receive this NEH grant and want to thank our grant team of faculty members Ian Bell, Nick Kaplan, Elizabeth LaFray and Mad Mohre, our former Dean Matt Draud and grant writer Amy Carey for their efforts. This grant will help ensure that Siena Heights will continue to be able to offer outstanding programs in the humanities, both in-person and online.”

The NEH recently announced $40.3 million in new CARES Act economic stabilization grants to support essential operations at more than 300 cultural institutions across the country. NEH CARES grants were awarded across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For the highly competitive NEH CARES grant category, the Humanities Endowment received more than 2,300 eligible applications from cultural organizations requesting more than $370 million in funding for projects between June and December 2020. Approximately 14 percent of the applicants were funded, according to the NEH.

“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,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede in a press release. “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.”

For more on NEH CARES Act grant funding, visit neh.gov.

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