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Professors win grant: going global without going abroad

Two Assistant Professors of English, Dr. Bender and Dr. Busl, were recently awarded a $99,803 grant for their “Building Global Perspectives in the Humanities” project from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This grant is the first of its kind for TWU to receive, according to Anna Ryan in her update to TWU News and Events. Dr. Bender said, “Fewer than 20 percent of applicants were awarded a grant in the category of Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCUs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities.” Both professors noted this money did not fall into their laps. They were successful only after three separate tries; after each submission, NEH sent comments back, and they revised accordingly each time, and finally, they received the grant. A special note to students: when your professors write comments on your papers, they’re helping you on the revision process – accept the help.

According to Dr. Busl, the Global Perspectives project (and the $99K) will allow for a head start in the direction of strengthening Global Perspectives here at TWU beginning with the Global Studies minor that already exists. Both Bender and Busl are Assistant Professors of English, a subject that is naturally interdisciplinary. You do not have to like English or be an English major to be interested in Global Studies. The professors say this program will help faculty across departments create new or revise existing courses that will include Global Perspectives and experiential learning components like those found in courses qualified under the Quality Enhancement Plan.

According to Bender, “The grant directly addresses the mission of the university and our Quality Enhancement Plan which is “learn by doing.” Students should expect to see opportunities in this minor as these two professors set up partnerships that will give students chances to “go global without going abroad.” Busl explained, “Part of our emphasis here is that we want students who don’t necessarily have the resources to travel abroad to have a global experience. This program is designed for this school and these students specifically – humanities have a crucial impact on a global education. A Global Studies minor can fit with almost any major to help inform a student’s career.” And the career opportunities are endless: non-profit work, writing, editing, international relations, working with any business or organization with an international focus, or even as preparation for graduate school studies.

One English major, Megan Hughes, who recently switched her minor to Global Studies shared,

“I’ve always found other cultures to be interesting, and as of lately, I have taken interest in linguistic anthropology which would be to help preserve or record dying languages. I picked Global Studies because it best supports what I want to do.”

These are the kind of dreams that NEH is sponsoring through the grant they awarded Bender and Busl, so if you see either of them on campus, give them a high-five because they’re about to do some serious work for the Humanities program here at TWU. And definitely check out the minor; you’ll be glad you did.

As seen on page three of The Lasso, Vol. 104, Iss. No. 8, printed on March 7, 2018.

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