A federal agency provided about $33,000 through grant funding for two professors at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to plan an interdisciplinary bachelor degree program that combines the humanities and science.
The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded $28.6 million in grants to over 200 projects nationwide, according to a UTRGV news release. UTRGV was among these for its project titled “Developing an Interdisciplinary Public Heritage Bachelor Curriculum for the Rio Grande Valley.” Sarah Rowe and Juan Gonzalez, project director and co-project director will collaborate to combine their expertise in anthropology and earth science, respectively toward planning for the program.
“ Public heritage” incorporates three main fields stemming from public history, cultural heritage and museum studies toward “communicating the human value of places to the public,” Rowe said.
The prospective program would be unique as there aren’t many bachelor degree programs regarding the topics of “public heritage” available in the southwest region, she said. The plan is in its early stages.
“ We anticipate that this will be a draw not just for our students who primarily come from the local area, but even potentially beyond that,” Rowe said. “So I think we can really develop ourselves into a leadership position in this field.”