Montgomery College print logo

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Dr. Rita Kranidis Serves as Voice of Experience at NEH Meeting

Display Image

Category: College/Campus News

Published: Feb 15 2018 10:12AM

Rita S. Kranidis, Ph.D., English professor and director of Montgomery College's Global Humanities Institute (GHI), was a featured speaker at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Initiatives at Presidentially Designated Institutions Project Directors' Meeting on Friday, February 2, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kranidis spoke as a "voice of experience" and shared insights based on her tenure as director of the GHI, which was created in part with funds from a prestigious NEH Challenge Grant in 2012. Dr. Kranidis served as a panelist with Barbara Bays, NEH senior program officer in the division of Education Programs.

Dr. Kranidis assumed the role of director at the GHI's inception in 2012, launching an ambitious, comprehensive internationalization education project. The GHI was created with a $1.49 million six-year "Bridging Cultures" NEH Challenge Grant, with $490,000 of the institute's funds provided outright by the NEH, and an additional $1 million raised from private donations through the efforts of the Montgomery College Foundation. Over the past six years, Dr. Kranidis has provided leadership for the successful implementation of the grant's multiple activities at MC. These included creating a year-long faculty fellowship program; designing the GHI's website; forming College partnerships with universities in China, El Salvador, and India, aligned closely with Montgomery County's Sister City efforts; creating new courses in Global Humanities and Hindi; purchasing language software; organizing a series of educational and cultural events for campus and community members; representing the GHI at professional and academic conferences; and assisting the Montgomery College Foundation in its fundraising efforts, now in the final stretch, to meet the required $1 million (2:1) match. Under Dr. Kranidis' dynamic leadership, the GHI's grant objectives have been met or exceeded, establishing the College as a leader in global humanities.

As director of the GHI, Dr. Kranidis led a faculty workgroup charged with creating innovative curriculum for teaching faculty how to add global components to humanities courses and guiding them to create Learning Communities. As director, she led Humanities Seminars Abroad to India and China, and is currently preparing for one to El Salvador, creating a content-rich experience for all participants. Dr. Kranidis expanded her efforts beyond humanities disciplines to engage faculty from other disciplines. She was selected to become a Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibility (SENCER) Leadership Fellow in fall 2015 and initiated a series of annual "STEAM" events at the College, which brought together faculty, staff and students collegewide from the Humanities and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines.

In the three years that the GHI's Faculty Fellowship Program ran during the first phase of the NEH grant, more than 45 MC faculty members received training on incorporating global humanities content into their courses. Faculty trained by this program reached more than 13,000 students total and their work continues to transform teaching and learning in the humanities. The project has had a far-reaching impact.

In addition to her work as director of the GHI, Dr. Kranidis currently co-directs the College's new NEH Humanities Initiatives at Community Colleges Grant, Global Humanities: Many Voices: One College, with Andree E. C. Betancourt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication. The $100,000 NEH Initiatives Grant, awarded in 2017, builds off the GHI's successful foundation and will enable faculty to infuse global learning into non-humanities courses.

NEH Policy Statement
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this press release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About the NEH
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Montgomery College Foundation
For additional information about how to contribute to the Global Humanities Institute, please contact Carol D. Rognrud, Executive Director of the Montgomery College Foundation and Director of Development at Montgomery College, at 240-567-7493, or email her at

Related Media

  1. Rita.gif
  2. NEHLogoMedium.gif

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


©2018, Montgomery College