Faculty Earns NEH Grant

A joint project meant to encourage civil discourse through classroom discussions and community outreach is underway through an $83,820 grant awarded to Susquehanna professors from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Promoting Civil Discourse in a Polarizing World is a two-year curriculum development project creating two interdisciplinary courses for students as well as workshops that Susquehanna professors will conduct for other universities to help them build their own projects.

“We know we live in divided times, where people tend to be more isolated from those who have opposing worldviews,” Betsy Verhoeven, associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of English and creative writing, says. “Our project will engage students and faculty in projects that allow them to build and practice meaningful dialogue despite political and social differences.”

The project has three core subject areas:

  • Rhetoric engages students in the study of making better arguments.
  • Political Science helps students understand aspects of partisanship and ideological polarization.
  • Marketing allows students to gain a greater understanding of rhetoric within the modern infrastructure, particularly online platforms and social media.

Co-directors are Nicholas Clark, associate professor of political science, and Emma Fleck, associate professor of management.

Susquehanna’s grant was awarded through the NEH’s Humanities Connections program, aimed at expanding the role of the humanities in undergraduate education. Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the NEH supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer reviewed proposals from around the nation.

Professors Receive Distinguished Awards

Every year at Commencement, the university honors three members of the faculty with awards for scholarship and creative activity, teaching and advising.

The John C. Horn Distinguished Service Lectureship was awarded to Karla Kelsey, professor of English and creative writing, in recognition for her outstanding scholarship and conscientious service to the university. Kelsey joined the faculty in 2005. Since that time, she has built an impressive record of publications, including four books and two additional manuscripts in press. Each successive publication has expanded her reputation and recognition.

The Susquehanna University Donald D. Housley Teaching Award was given to Olu Onafowora, professor and chair of the Department of Economics. Since joining the faculty in 1989, Onafowora has established himself as a passionate teacher and prolific scholar. This past year, he led a joint project on inclusive pedagogy, the goal of which was to increase rigor and student understanding and success in economics.

The Lawrence A. Lemons Distinguished Academic Advising Award was given to Andrea Lopez, associate professor of political science. Lopez has been an active scholar and an excellent teacher since joining the faculty in 2000; however, her work as an advisor has been truly outstanding. She has worked with a range of students across several majors with complex curriculums. She is known as a font of information, a sympathetic ear and a supportive mentor.



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