Holy Cross Religious Studies Professor Receives $5,000 Grant from the Wabash Center

The award will be used to promote diversity and equity within teaching and learning at the College

Holy Cross Religious Studies Professor Tat siong Benny Liew has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion to explore teaching and learning about race and racial dynamics in ways that more effectively promote diversity and equity within the College, in keeping with its Jesuit affiliation and social justice ethos.

Professor Liew recruited six colleagues across disciplines to support this effort, including Alo Basu, associate professor of psychology; Danilo Contreras, assistant professor of political science; Alvaro Jarrin, associate professor of anthropology; Nadine Knight, associate professor of English; Jorge Santos, assistant professor of English and Lorelle Semley, professor of history.

"I am grateful for this opportunity for me and my colleagues to share our experiences and build solidarity among ourselves as a group of faculty of color across racial/ethnic and disciplinary lines," said Liew. "The Wabash grant has enabled important discussions regarding a multitude of pedagogical challenges and practices to enhance our teaching."

The Wabash Center, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and located at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., supports theology and religion faculty and doctoral students reflecting on their teaching practice — in both theological and undergraduate education.

Some of the topics discussed over the 2019-2020 grant period include: "Identity and identification: when and how to use your own life experiences to teach," "Cultural competence against cultural appropriation: how to learn and talk about other cultures without inappropriate cultural appropriation" and "Teaching (with) contemporary social events (e.g., Black Lives Matter movement)."