American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at The Graduate Center, CUNY, Partners with Queensborough on NEH Grant to Expand Study of Latino History and Culture

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $359,659 grant, Bridging Historias through Latino History and Culture to the American Social History Project/Center for Media Learning at The Graduate Center, CUNY in partnership with Queensborough Community College, as part of the NEH Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges Initiative.

The mission of Bridging Historias is to develop curricular materials that will deepen and expand the teaching and understanding of Latino history and culture across the humanities disciplines.

The program, which will commence in the summer 2013 through spring 2015, will involve faculty members and administrators from 36 community colleges throughout the greater New York region.

Dr. Megan Elias, History and Michele Cuomo, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, both at Queensborough, have been named the grant’s Lead Faculty Mentor and Administrator’s Program Leader, respectively.

Ms. Cuomo said, “Queensborough is taking the lead on Bridging Historias because of its rich offerings provided by the faculty in Latino history and cultural studies.” She added, “The purpose of the grant is to join scholarly forces in order to raise awareness among faculty and administrators about how educational and cultural experiences affect responses to classroom dynamics, spoken expression, critical thinking and rhetorical style.”

“Latino students who see themselves as an important part of American history will be empowered,” said Dr. Elias. “And those who become teachers will bring this history to a new generation of learners.”

Additional QCC faculty members who are playing an integral role in the projects are Dr. Aranzazu Borrachero, Foreign Languages and Literatures; Dr. Amy Traver, Social Sciences; and Dr. Ian Beckford, Academic Assessment Manager, Learning Outcomes, Academic Affairs.

Acting as principal investigator of “Bridging Historias” is Dr. Pennee Bender; working with her from ASHP/CML are Donna Thompson Ray and Andrea Ades Vásquez.

“Despite the increasingly influential body of scholarship on the importance of Latino culture in American history, Latinos remain under-represented in most college history textbooks and teaching collections,” said Dr. Bender.

Bridging Historias will also develop an interactive website that will be used as a private space for faculty teams to develop and share their ideas and receive feedback from lead faculty and mentors. As each team’s work reaches completion the various resources developed in the program will be made public.

Queensborough Community College, established in 1960, is located on a lush 37-acre campus in Bayside, New York. The College offers a rich liberal arts and science curriculum as well as career and pre-professional courses. Comprising one of the most diverse populations of any college in the U.S., nearly 16,000 students pursue Associate degrees or Certificate programs and another 10,000 students of all ages attend continuing education programs.
The College boasts several Dual/Joint Degree programs with its sister CUNY institutions: Nursing with Hunter College and York College; Biotechnology with York College; Criminal Justice and Forensic Accounting with John Jay College of Criminal Justice; and Education with Queens College.
Over half of the faculty holds doctorates, compared with 21% of faculty in other community colleges nationwide.
Queensborough has the distinction of being awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant in the amount of $500,000 and was recently named one of 12 colleges nationwide to lead the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) project—funded by Met Life—to support and expand effective student success strategies at community colleges. The College’s prized cultural beacons, The Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives; QCC Art Gallery; and Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC) continue to bring renowned world-class exhibits, fine art and performances to the entire community and beyond.