David A. Berry

National Humanities Medal


wants community colleges across the country to have strong humanities programs. To accomplish this he has been involved in several projects to strengthen and broaden the humanities curricula in these two-year schools of higher education. He has led summer institutes for college faculty on topics ranging from classical Greek character to the interrelations of culture and technology in modern life. He has played a leading role in the curriculum development projects of the American Association of Community Colleges to advance general humanities programs, foreign language study, and American studies.

Berry is executive director and chair of the board of directors of the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA), a national nonprofit association he helped create. Its aim is to help the humanities flourish in the nation's two-year colleges. Berry is a professor of history at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey, and an adjunct faculty member at New York University.

Berry directed a joint project of CCHA and Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year college students, as part of NEH's National Conversation initiative. In his continuing role as crusader for humanities education, Berry serves as a mentor to many community colleges that are trying to strengthen their humanities.

By Maggie Riechers

About the National Humanities Medal

The National Humanities Medal, inaugurated in 1997, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities and broadened our citizens' engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects. Up to 12 medals can be awarded each year.