Humanities educators from STEM schools gather at Trine event

May 18, 2017


Trine University’s Department of Humanities and Communication hosted about 25 faculty from several institutions for its first Humanities Educators in STEM Environments (HESE) workshop and networking event.

Held Tuesday, May 16, in Taylor Hall of Humanities, the conference included educators from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the University of Findlay and Indiana Tech University as well as Trine. Alison Witte, Ph.D., and Sarah Young, Ph.D., both faculty in Trine’s Department of Humanities and Communication, organized the event.

“We discussed the fact that very few conferences address people like us who teach humanities and liberal arts courses at primarily STEM-focused institutions,” said Young. “We also noted that we humanities faculty at Trine had not done much networking with our colleagues at regional institutions. So we decided to try a small conference.”

“We wanted to exchange ideas about effective teaching to improve the quality of teaching, not only on our campus, but on other campuses,” said Witte.

Sessions included topics such as “Highlighting STEM-related Concepts and Characters in World Literature Texts,” “Using Video Games to Teach STEM Audiences Humanities Ideas” and “Poetry & STEM.”

 “From my perspective, we made important connections with peer institutions and shared strategies for both engaging STEM students in the humanities and for collaborating with our STEM colleagues,” said Young.

Witte said the department hopes to make the conference an annual event, and that several who attended said they expect to return and bring colleagues next year.

“They found it to be a really useful experience and they got lots of new ideas to take back with them,” Witte said.

Photo: Justin Young, left, assistant professor in Trine University's Department of Humanities and Communication, leads a session on "Using Video Games to Teach STEM Audiences Humanities Ideas" at the Humanities Educators in STEM Environments workshop and networking event.

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