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Moravian College Receives Mellon Foundation Grant to Optimize Humanities for 21st Century

College to train professors and redesign humanities courses to include technology and new learning styles

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Bethlehem, Pa., April 9, 2015—Moravian College recently received a $100,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support faculty in the redesign of humanities courses through implementing the greater use of technology, digital storytelling, and new learning models.

The grant, from the Mellon Foundation will fund an 18-month plan to strengthen the importance of a humanities education by utilizing the latest digital learning and storytelling tools to excite and engage students and reinvigorate how they pursue and internalize life’s enduring questions.

“Despite the humanities’ centuries-old roots, there is a new pressure on undergraduate students to approach their education with a career focus,” said Bryon L. Grigsby ’90, president of Moravian College. “As an ‘All MacBook and iPad Campus,’ this grant helps us accelerate our faculty’s efforts to increase our use of digital technology in a classroom so that students learn how to apply their liberal arts education to a world where the digital is everywhere. Our students develop skills that are transferable across multiple disciplines and help prepare them for today’s increasingly technology-driven workplace.”

Faculty who choose to participate will attend conferences and workshops led by nationally-recognized figures in digital pedagogy, as well as smaller workshops that focus on the technical skills to support larger initiatives. Through digitally-informed learning, students will develop the ability to adapt to change and problem-solve in a dynamic environment. By creating iPad and iBook Author courseware or drawing on the possibilities afforded by blended learning and digital storytelling, faculty can expand the learning community as well as students’ options for reflective, well-considered engagement with the digital realm.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Earlier this year, Moravian College was one of 20 colleges and universities selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to join its Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction. The college will continue to explore the benefits of online teaching methods as feasible alternatives to traditional upper-level undergraduate courses in the humanities for the next two years.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies. To this end, it supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. The Foundation makes grants in five core program areas: Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities Arts and Cultural Heritage; Diversity; Scholarly Communications; and International Higher Education and Strategic Projects.

Moravian College is a private coeducational liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college and the first to educate women. For over 270 years, the Moravian College degree has been based on a liberal arts curriculum where literature, history, cultural values and global issues, ethics, and aesthetic expression and the social sciences are infused with multidisciplinary perspectives. Visit to learn more about how the Moravian College liberal arts curriculum prepares its students for life-long success.