Wayne State College awarded $50,000 grant from National Endowment for the Humanities


Wayne State College has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the creation of a new interdisciplinary minor.

The project, “Creating a Minor: Regional Awareness and Social Dynamics,” is a one-year project designed to create an interdisciplinary minor that would help students understand the changing cultures of their region.

According to the award letter, support for the project comes in part from NEH’s “American Tapestry: Weaving Together Past, Present, and Future,” a special initiative that leverages the humanities to strengthen our democracy, advance equity for all, and address our changing climate.

Dr. Allyn Lueders, professor of communication studies at Wayne State, served as co-director for the project with Zach Drees, an assistant professor of English at Wayne State.

Lueders teaches undergraduate courses in public relations and interpersonal communication and graduate courses in public relations leadership. She serves as chair of Wayne State’s Communication Arts Department. Drees teaches English courses on campus. He also works as an editor for the Wayne State College Press and as a reviewer for the Nebraska Territory Review.

“After working on this project for two years, we are very grateful to have been awarded this grant,” said Lueders. “I’m especially looking forward to the Northeast Nebraska regional focus highlighted in our proposal. Even students born in or close to Wayne might not know about all the cultural, artistic, and historical opportunities available here.”

"Earning this minor will give students a heightened cross-cultural understanding of our region’s increasingly diverse population,” continued Lueders. “The minor’s blend of humanities courses and methodologies with non-humanities courses and methodologies also offers students ways to capitalize on skills such as empathy, teamwork, and critical thinking for success in any career field.”

Lueders is optimistic the new minor will be available for the Fall 2025 semester.