Kaskaskia College is one of three community colleges nationwide to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as a part of their Humanities Initiatives at Community Colleges program for 2023. The grant, totaling $116,488, will fund the “Caring for the Dying/Caring for Us All: Death and the Meaning of Life in Healthcare” project under the direction of KC Professor of Philosophy Scott Crothers.
“Questions about the meaning of life, the significance of suffering and death, as well as human attitudes toward both lie at the heart of the humanities,” states KC Professor of Philosophy Scott Crothers. “While philosophers often grapple with these issues in the abstract, healthcare professionals must confront daily their practical reality.”
This project will enhance communication, nursing, philosophy, psychology, and pre-medicine teaching and learning while engaging the broader community in reflection on end-of-life care. The project officially begins on July 1, 2023, and will end on June 30, 2026. “This grant will help Kaskaskia College be a national leader in preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals, professionals who go beyond treating patients to caring for the whole person, by connecting humanities scholarship on death, dying, and bereavement with educators and students in the health sciences,” said Crothers.
On January 10, 2023, NEH announced $28.1 million in grants for 204 humanities projects across the country. Numerous grants have been awarded to support new innovative projects that will use emerging digital tools and technologies to further humanities research and increase the accessibility of public programs, cultural and archival materials, and educational resources for large audiences. KC’s grant specifically falls under the Humanities Initiatives Grant Program, which awarded 29 grants at $4.2 million.
Illinois received a total of eight of the NEH grants, awarded to the following: Kaskaskia College, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Elmhurst Art Museum, and three grants to Northwestern University.
The National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 created the National Endowment for the Humanities as an independent federal agency. The law identified the need for a national cultural agency that would preserve America’s rich history and cultural heritage and encourage and support scholarship and innovation in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, and other humanities disciplines. NEH is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. The Endowment awards grants to top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.