WSU launches Center for Arts and Humanities

Goal is to encourage creativity, innovation among students



People gather to support the opening of WSU’s own Center for Arts and Humanities on Thursday evening in the Honors College Lounge. The event was led by Jon Parrish Peede, chairman for the National Endowment for Humanities, who announced the recipients of the Pollart scholarship.

SHANEL HAYNES, Evergreen reporter

WSU opened its new Center for Arts and Humanities during a reception held Thursday afternoon in the Honors College Lounge.

During the event, WSU faculty spoke about the goals of the CAH to encourage innovation and creativity among students.

“The launch of the center marks the beginning of opportunities for humanities research and service to make a greater impact on campus and throughout the community,” said graduate student Tabitha Espina, who attended the event. “This is a significant contribution to the humanities landscape overall.”

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, director of digital humanities and professor of English at Michigan State University, attended the event. Fitzpatrick led two different workshops this week, one aimed at WSU faculty and the other at graduate students. Her workshops focused on humanities and human connection.

Jon Parrish Peede, chairman for the National Endowment for Humanities, led the event. He said the WSU staff is the center of the humanities program and is a major part of how it functions.

He said without staff at WSU the center would not be as strong. Arts, humanities and sciences all have the same goal, which is to help students advance in their education, he said.

“The Humanities Center is a place for the meeting of the minds,” Peede said. “It also helps bring people in to find their passions.”

Peede then discussed how much money the NEH donates for humanities projects. He said he wants the new center to help create grants and scholarships in the future.

He said he worries about institutions that do not have places for scholarly discussions like this new center brings.

He said he also worries about universities that do not share the same viewpoint on how valuable humanity sciences are. Bringing together the gap between liberal arts and humanities is something he hopes can be achieved in the future.

Ending the event Peede announced the two students that received the Pollart scholarship. Aracely Mendoza, senior anthropology and digital technology and culture double major, was one of the recipients of the scholarship.

“It feels kind of surreal, I wasn’t expecting to get the scholarship, but I am honored to receive it,” she said.

Mendoza was nominated by one of her WSU professors for the scholarship, she said. She had to write an essay and fill out paperwork as part of the nomination process.

Rebecca Valdovinos, junior business administration major and a friend of Mendoza, attended to support Mendoza.

“I’m really proud of her because I know how hard she has been working and I know how much work she has put into pursuing her education,” she said.