Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

June 15, 2011

JC Instructors attend NEH Workshops

By Mary Lewis, Social Sciences Department chair Guest contributor
Jacksonville Daily Progress


Over the past several years, members of the faculty of Jacksonville College have made applications to and received stipends from the National Endowment for the Humanities to attend Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops designed for community college faculty.

Last summer, Alice Dillon, director of the Jacksonville College library, and Dr. Patricia Richey, instructor in history and government, attended workshops.

This year Richey, and Mary Lewis, chair of the department of social sciences, have been accepted to go to the summer workshops.

Lewis will attend a workshop in Alpena, Mich., at Alpena Community College and Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The workshop, which will be held from July 24-30, is entitled “United by Water, Shipwrecks and Maritime Landscapes of the Great Lakes.”

The weeklong explorations will include visits to museums and archives, lighthouses, beaches, industrial waterfronts, and the shipwrecks themselves while studying the maritime history of one of the United States’ natural wonders, the Great Lakes.

According to co-director Cathy Green, seminars during the week will “reveal the watery connections and maritime people that created the foundations of the modern American Midwest and contributed to the nation’s rise to continental and economic prominence during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”

Lewis looks forward to learning much more about the Lakes and bringing that information back to her classes in American History to enrich her student’s learning experience.

Richey will attend the “Revolution to Republic” workshop held in Philadelphia this June. This workshop will include lectures by leading scholars on topics ranging from Native American history through the early national period; behind-the-scenes tours of Philadelphia's most prominent historic institutions including the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell.

It will include opportunities for research in primary source collections at the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the American Philosophical Society, and Independence Seaport Museum.

Richey states, “I am excited about the upcoming workshop in Philadelphia. The NEH workshops always offer new insights that enhance my teaching. Participants have access to rare and important documents. In addition, the speakers are leaders in the field.”

Aan article about how Richey has used the information from past workshops to enhance the classroom experience at Jacksonville College will be featured in an upcoming special edition of Community College Humanities Review.

Last summer, Dillon attended “Landmarks of American Democracy: From Freedom Summer to the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike.” Although Dillon currently works at an international school in China, the information she gained is available through resources placed in the campus library.

NEH Landmarks Workshops provide an unparalleled opportunity for community college educators to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture. These one-week programs will give Lewis and Richey direct experiences in the interpretation of significant historical and cultural sites and the use of archival and other primary evidence.