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SPRINGFIELD — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced its support of Western New England University’s proposed project entitled “Interdisciplinary Ethics Training for Students in the Biosciences.” The grant provides $35,000 in funding through its Humanities Connections grant program, an initiative designed to expand the role of the humanities in undergraduate education.

Under the direction of Assistant Professor of Philosophy Valerie Racine and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Devina Jaiswal, the grant funds will be used to develop a certificate program in Ethics of Scientific Research and Technological Innovation, with a focus on creating experiential learning opportunities for students, and fostering cross-college faculty collaborations in teaching and research.

“We believe this initiative will help break down disciplinary silos and establish a flourishing partnership between the humanities and science and engineering at Western New England University; one that will better equip our students to face the complex challenges of tomorrow,” said Racine.

The NEH Humanities Connections awards support innovative curricular approaches that foster productive partnerships among humanities faculty and their counterparts in the social and natural sciences and in pre-service or professional programs (such as business, engineering, health sciences, law, computer science, and other technology-driven fields), in order to encourage and develop new integrative learning opportunities for students.

“By providing coursework in the Liberal Arts and Humanities for all undergraduates, the Western New England University College of Arts and Sciences plays an important role in holistic student development. A foundation in the liberal arts and humanities provides context for ethical decision-making, social responsibility, and the role humanity must play in harnessing technology and science for good,” said WNE University Interim Provost Dr. Curt Hamakawa.