College of Education’s Ethan Ris Receives Research Fellowship from National Endowment for the Humanities

(March 12, 2020)

When the review process began, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) received over 1,000 applications from all 50 states. As outside experts are consulted and councils are formed, the chairman eventually rejected over 90% of all applicants. Ethan Ris, an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, received a $30,000 fellowship to fund his book on how a few powerful people permanently changed higher education decades ago.

Ris had applied the year before and, although he was rejected, received positive feedback on the application. He is now one of only two University faculty members to receive the fellowship over the last 20 years.

“One of the great things about the NEH, as opposed to a lot of similar competitive fellowships, is that they provide feedback from the reviewers who look at the application,” Ris said. “I revised and resubmitted, but my expectation was very much ‘I got rejected last time, I’m probably going to get rejected again, that’s OK.’”

Ris’ upcoming book explains the history of how certain incredibly influential people, some of which include Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller, changed the landscape of education through actions leading to valuing practicality in higher education, creating community colleges and setting back historically black colleges.

Nevada Today