NEH Challenge Grant

In 2010 the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Siena College’s Center for Revolutionary Era Studies (now the McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution) an NEH Challenge Grant. NEH challenge grants are capacity-building grants.  NEH has awarded the Center $500,000 and the College is expected to raise an additional $1.5 million within five years. Together, the federal funds and non-federal funds will establish a $2 million endowment for the McCormick Center.

The NEH award is meant to support four specific initiatives:

  1. Expand the Distinctive Curriculum of the Certificate for Revolutionary Era Studies (CRES). Recruit more faculty from diverse disciplines to teach courses that serve the CRES mission, and provide funding for faculty who develop courses that combine liberal arts and technology or liberal arts and civic engagement. The funds will also support undergraduate students engaged in challenging research opportunities in Revolutionary Era Studies.
  2. Train a new generation of American Revolution Scholars to teach in Liberal Arts Colleges. The funds will enable CRES to sponsor a visiting scholar working in any number of humanities fields, including archeology, history, literature, religious studies, political science, and the fine arts. Hosting a visiting scholar will diversify the course offerings of the College, promote liberal arts scholarship, and gives Siena the opportunity to train a newly minted Ph.D. to teach in a liberal arts college that stresses student-faculty engagement and gives him or her a chance to experience the rewards of mentoring undergraduates.
  3. Expand CRES program offerings for the Capital Region Community. CRES has supported a number of education initiatives in collaboration with community partners, including a teacher’s workshop, the Musicians of Ma’alwyck’s production of The Poor Soldier opera, the summer lecture series in collaboration with Ten Broeck Mansion, the annual sponsored lecture by a distinguished scholar of the American Revolution, and of course, the History Club’s Day of Living History. Challenge grant funds will ensure that we can continue to work with our community partners to maintain current programs and develop new programs for the community.
  4. Create a Center for Digital Humanities. A portion of the NEH Challenge Grant will be applied to purchase a new digital audiovisual workstation. This new digitization workstation will make it possible for CRES students to extend digitization services to local history groups. In other words, individuals and small history organizations holding historic records -letters, diaries, farm ledgers - can work with us to digitize those records and make them available to students and scholars working in New York records.

For more information on the McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution or the National Endowment for the Humanities, contact Jennifer Dorsey and to donate, contact Brad Bodmer.