2000 Woodrow Wilson Innovation Award

Martha Norkunas (Anthropology & American Studies) and Terry Sullivan and Rick Cherwitz (Office of Graduate Studies and Graduate School Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program) received a $10,000 "Woodrow Wilson Innovation Award." These awards recognize and support departments and programs in the humanities that encourage Ph.D. students to interact with the world outside the academy as part of their graduate training. UT was one of only two schools to receive the highest award ($10,000). UT's project is entitled, "Interpreting the Texas Past: A Model Program for Graduate Student Professional Development."

Background: Named to honor America's foremost citizen educator, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (WWNFF) strives to maximize the effects of education for the public good. In October 1998, the Foundation began an initiative to unleash the humanities into the world by ensuring that the most learned among us do not become the most irrelevant. The Innovation Award is part of that initiative.

The University of Texas will expand its cooperative partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife. The program, which focuses on graduate student training and research around a case study site of public interest, will develop a new women's history trail in Austin. The program encourages interdisciplinary study and integrates theoretical and applied knowledge, Combining graduate seminars with internships, the program allows graduate students in the humanities to reach out into the wider community as well as to develop new skills such as conducting interviews and creating project budgets. Graduate students apply themselves to the myriad issues surrounding interpretations of the past and the education of a broad public through close study of and interaction with a local site of public and historical significance.