Launching Ethics Across the Curriculum: NEH Grant Culminates in Student-Focused Professional Development Program for Faculty & Staff

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Launching Ethics Across the Curriculum: NEH Grant Culminates in Student-Focused Professional Development Program for Faculty & Staff

Posted by Medaille College Office of Communications

Launching Ethics Across the Curriculum Professional Development Program

Thanks to an “Applied Ethics in Criminal Justice” National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant awarded to Medaille College in 2018, a team of Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and Department of Social Sciences, Communication & Sport Studies faculty members have been able to develop a new ethics course, revamp existing criminal justice courses and incorporate high-impact experiential learning activities into student coursework. With the three-year project coming to a close in the 2020-21 academic year, the resulting curricular and student successes are now able to serve as a roadmap for incorporating applied ethics into course curriculum, research projects and community-based learning activities across every academic department and program at the College. 

To that end, all Medaille faculty and staff are invited to attend “Launching Ethics Across the Curriculum: Working in Partnerships,” a professional development program inspired by the work done with the NEH grant that will be held via Zoom on Thursday, June 3.  View more details and get the link to join.

“One of the goals of the NEH grant was to help criminal justice students be able to view their profession through the lens of ethical theories,” says Professor of History and International Studies Program Director Daniel P. Kotzin, Ph.D., who served as the project leader for the grant. “The work the students produced demonstrated that many of them achieved that goal. Moving forward, our long-term goal is to be able to help students in other majors be able to graduate from Medaille with the ability to view their professions from the framework of ethical theories.”

Professor Gerald J. Erion, Ph.D., who is the program director for Medaille’s philosophy and ethics minors, echoes Dr. Kotzin’s sentiment. “The NEH project has demonstrated the deeper understanding of ethics that our students can gain when they connect their philosophy classes with courses in their majors,” he says. “This is key to our students’ personal, social and professional development, and so we are eager to bring these lessons to programs across the campus in the years to come.” June’s professional development program is the first step in turning that goal into a reality.

An added benefit of expanding applied ethics coursework is the positive impact it can have on the surrounding community. Establishing community-based learning partners and experiential learning activities for students has been a big part of the NEH applied ethics project. “Working together as a campus community, professors and students from different disciplines can really make an impact on community partners, like the Buffalo City Mission, which has a diverse set of needs that can be addressed using a diverse set of disciplinary perspectives,” says Associate Professor of English Alice Villaseñor, Ph.D. 

The Medaille community thanks the following NEH grant team members, who worked together to oversee all grant-related work at the College: 

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