The college has received a $2 million gift from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation to establish a new major in experimental humanities, and provide funding support for humanities research projects.
With this gift, the foundation is pleased to support two categories of initiatives:
- Enhanced funding to members of our faculty for individual and collaborative projects, especially those that integrate the arts and humanities with STEM and that involve student participation, through our Expanding Horizons Initiative; and
- Support for faculty development of a new interdisciplinary undergraduate major—provisionally titled Experimental Humanities—that will integrate the arts and humanities with STEM applications. This major, built upon the foundation of a strong humanities education, will enhance the ability of humanities students to enter a range of sectors (industry, government, nonprofit) where their insights and skills are sorely needed. The curriculum may include courses in coding, extended reality, machine learning/AI, natural language processing, and ethics and technology, along with new and existing courses offered by our humanities departments.
As Dean Joy Ward shared with all college faculty and staff, this gift was made possible because the Mandel Foundation expressed initial admiration for the faculty’s collaborations across the disciplines while mentoring the next generation of thinkers, leaders and innovators.