NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University has been awarded a three-year, $138,917 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation for “Building a Humanities-Centered Interdisciplinary Curriculum to Foster Citizen Scholars,” the Norwich Humanities Initiative’s second phase. This work aims to create an interdisciplinary minor that combines the humanities with technical and professional studies.

The Norwich Humanities Initiative launched in 2018-19 with the support of a $35,000 Humanities Connections Planning Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The initiative was created to promote interdisciplinary teaching and learning and to foster the development of citizen-scholars. In May 2020, Norwich University was awarded a $100,000 Humanities Connections Implementation Grant from the NEH to continue this work.

In 2019-20, the Norwich Humanities Initiative introduced a pilot curriculum, co-designed and team-taught by professors in the humanities and those in other disciplines including geology, business, nursing and criminal justice. It demonstrates the relevance of humanities-based approaches to global problems that cadets and civilian students will face upon graduation.

Pilot courses included “Narrative Medicine,” which examines the power of storytelling in caring and healing; “Geoarcheology of Lost Cities,” which examines how scientists, historians and archaeologists work across interdisciplinary formats to develop new questions about past cultures; “True Crime,” which explores the bridges between the real world and the fictionalization of serial murder cases; and “Game Theory: The Art of Strategy,” in which students test theory with socioeconomic behavior experiments that simulate real-world scenarios.

The Davis Educational Foundation Implementation Grant will support the creation of a permanent humanities-centered general education curriculum with a library of interdisciplinary courses to serve as the foundation for an interdisciplinary minor; a strong collaborative of over 40 faculty involved in designing innovative research and experiential opportunities for our over 200 future citizen-scholars; and a network of internal and external partnerships.

“The integration of the humanities with STEM and professional fields, and the engagement with our local and global communities are foundational to Alden Partridge’s vision of a Norwich education,” says Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease, the Norwich Humanities Initiative’s co-director and an associate professor of English. “This initiative realizes that vision for a new generation of students, exposing them to a range of perspectives and challenging them to engage global issues through collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to learning.

“The skills developed in our courses will allow them to become empathetic, responsible, and successful citizens of the world,” she adds.

The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’ retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets Inc.

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Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Capt. Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

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