Idea seeds: Humanities + Biology + Camping trip

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For the past few years, a creative team at VWCC has pulled together proposals for a competitive federal grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities. This program encourages the blending of humanities with other disciplines at community colleges ( details here ).

So far, we have been unsuccessful … but I thought I would share some “idea seeds” from other schools that might inspire some innovation right here at Virginia Western.

Oakton Community College in Illinois was awarded one of these Humanities grants to develop an eight-week summer field study called “Plants, Society and Human Nature: Scientific and Ecocritical Perspectives.”

The six-credit honors class combines biology with the humanities and is team taught by professors of biology and English. Also: The class featured a 17-day camping trip that included stops at Yellowstone and Badlands national parks.

Read more about the class at the Community College Daily …. and Oakton’s interdisciplinary Environmental Studies concentration here.

What interdisciplinary projects might enhance Virginia Western’s strengths? If we’re not doing it already, how might we take advantage of the abundant natural resources in our backyard — and integrate them into curriculum? Would we even need a grant to make that happen?

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About Stephanie

Stephanie SeagleStephanie Ogilvie Seagle has served as Grant Specialist at Virginia Western since 2016, but she prefers her honorary title: “Chief Joy Officer.” Stephanie spent most of her career at The Roanoke Times, a daily newspaper, where she served in various news and features roles including “Shoptimist” shopping columnist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies at George Mason University and a master’s of arts in liberal studies at Hollins University. Stephanie is a mom to one human daughter and multiple chihuahuas … and is obsessed with reading nonfiction, Halloween, and crafting glow necklaces inspired by the Mill Mountain Star. Glow Roanoke!