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Middlesex has been awarded two grants
to promote curriculum and faculty
development as part of the national
Bridging Cultures Initiative, supported
by the National Endowment for the
Humanities (NEH).
MCC is one of 10 community colleges
from eight states selected by the
Association of American Colleges and
Universities (AAC&U) and The
Democracy Commitment to take the
lead in Bridging Cultures, a new
initiative to promote civic learning
through the humanities.
Middlesex and Mount Wachusett
Community College were selected from
Massachusetts, along with eight other
U.S. community colleges, to play a
leadership role in this three-year NEH
curriculum and faculty-development
"Many Middlesex students are in the
position of having to negotiate between
two cultures the culture of academia
and their home cultures," said Matthew
Olson, MCC dean of Humanities &
Social Sciences. "Through this grant, we
hope to provide students with the tools
and support they need to make their
unique voices heard, bringing the
strengths of their communities to the
greater world, and creating a stronger
and richer dialogue about the very real
issues we face as a democracy."
As part of Bridging Cultures, teams of
humanities faculty and administrators
from the 10 colleges will infuse
questions about difference, engaged
community, and democratic thinking
into transfer courses in the humanities;
and create a series of humanities-
enriched professional-development
opportunities for faculty especially
adjunct faculty.
The nationwide Bridging Cultures
Initiative has also named MCC one of 15
community colleges from five states to
participate in a collaborative three-year
project, funded by the NEH, to develop
Asian Studies curricula, focusing on
China and Southeast Asia.
Coordinated by the East-West Center
(EWC) in Honolulu, a core group of 45
faculty and administrators will work
with EWC's Asian Studies Development
Program to create new course syllabi,
Web resources and public outreach
activities exploring how different Asian
societies approach issues of cultural
"For more than 20 years, Middlesex has
been a regional center of the Asian
Studies Development Program with a
mission of promoting global awareness
inside and outside the classroom
through teaching, scholarship and
learning," said Dona Cady, MCC
associate dean of humanities & Asian
studies. "As one of the five cohort
leaders in this Asian Studies Bridging
Cultures grant, we are strongly
committed to the view that sharing
languages, philosophies, histories,
literatures and arts of different peoples is
the most profound basis for building
bridges and creating respect and civility
among cultures."
This Bridging Cultures Initiative will
also explore how Asian perspectives on
cultural difference might complement
those that are prevalent in American
undergraduate classrooms.
Kathy Register
MCC Takes Lead in National Bridging Cultures Initiatives