Home University of Mary Washington joins four U.S. colleges in $25K NEH grant funding to explore AI
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University of Mary Washington joins four U.S. colleges in $25K NEH grant funding to explore AI

Rebecca Barnabi
Artificial intelligence
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The University of Mary Washington and four other public liberal arts colleges in the United States have been awarded a $25,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to navigate the world of artificial intelligence (AI).

The funding, awarded to Miriam Wallace, dean of the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and Emily Todd, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Connecticut University, through a partnership with the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), will support collaborative curricular design by humanities faculty.

Also participating in the grant funding are Eastern Connecticut State University, Northern State University and Evergreen State College. Participants will form learning communities and share progress first on their own campuses, and then meet in the summer of 2025 to share insights and experiences during a COPLAC workshop at Innovate Springfield, UIS’ business incubator in downtown Springfield.

The project, “Developing a Public Liberal Arts Humanities Curriculum: Empowering Students to Navigate an AI World,” will enable faculty at all five colleges to develop classes, units or short modules in humanities courses focused on the positive and negative aspects of generative AI.

As part of the grant, the institutions will also create open-access AI teaching resources, such as syllabus modules, readings, activities and assignments for all COPLAC institutions to utilize.

UMW’s Center for Teaching, directed by Victoria Russell, associate professor in the College of Education, will lead the effort at UMW.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.