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  • Home / News / Ursuline receives National Endowment for the Humanities grant for focus on rustbelt revival | Ursuline College - Liberal Arts Education in Ohio

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    Ursuline receives National Endowment for the Humanities grant for focus on rustbelt revival

    April 3, 2019

    Ursuline College will receive a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to support the development of new courses focused on social solutions to rustbelt problems of poverty, discrimination, neglect, and population decline. The courses will emphasize digital skills, mapping, and storytelling to analyze the history of the region.

    The $34,586 NEH grant will enable Ursuline faculty – in collaboration with invited community partners – to develop these creative new courses while balancing existing teaching schedules.

    “We are thrilled that NEH reviewers see the value in our project and are giving us the opportunity to develop these courses,” said English Department Chair Katharine Trostel, PhD, shown above, one of three faculty directors of the project. “Our intention is to create meaningful learning experiences for our students, giving them the intellectual framework to engage locally with the community as problem-solvers and critical thinkers in Cleveland’s specific cultural context.”

    She said student findings from this project, titled Cleveland Divided: Rust Belt Revival, will be shared with the public.

    “Cleveland and its inner-ring suburbs include an array of distinct neighborhoods that are historically divided by ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status,” Trostel wrote in the grant application. “But Cleveland’s story is far from finished. Ursuline College’s students are the citizens who will help to write the next chapter of rustbelt revival.”

    Ursuline President Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, PhD, said these new courses will be incorporated into the core curriculum for undergraduate students. “By tackling this timely topic through research, storytelling and mapping, our faculty members are re-invigorating the humanities,” she said.

    The English courses associated with Cleveland Divided: Rust Belt Revival will explore the themes of books that have won Cleveland’s Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Administered by the Cleveland Foundation, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards are the only juried prize in the nation for books that confront racism and celebrate diversity.

    In November, the College was awarded a grant from the Modern Language Association (MLA) for Trostel to develop an English course based on the Anisfield-Wolf canon. The new, NEH-funded project builds on this foundation and will include courses in other disciplines, including graphic design and historic preservation.

    On March 28, the NEH announced this round of 233 grants totaling $28.6 million and awarded to colleges and organizations across the country. Ursuline is one of 23 in the Humanities Connections category, a collection of grants meant to expand the role of the humanities in the undergraduate curriculum at two- and four-year institutions. The remaining grants were spread across 13 categories ranging from public humanities exhibitions to infrastructure grants for cultural institutions.

    The NEH reported the grants in a news release. The NEH also published a full list of this round of grants by geographic location. Ursuline’s is one of nine grants, and the third largest, made to Ohio institutions.

    Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in Ursuline’s project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


    About Ursuline College – Founded in 1871, Ursuline College is an accredited liberal arts college rooted in Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry and social justice. Ursuline educates students for service, leadership and professional excellence through an array of undergraduate, graduate and degree-completion programs in the liberal arts, nursing, and professional studies. At Ursuline, women-focused undergraduate programs and co-educational graduate and degree-completion programs foster lifelong learning. The College offers 11 sports competing at the NCAA Division II level.

    About the National Endowment for the Humanities – Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: