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Funded Projects Query Form
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Grant number like: AC-50147-12

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Page size:
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University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus (San Juan, PR 00925-2512)
Elsa Marin-Lopez (Project Director: July 2011 to February 2013)
Melba M. Martinez (Project Director: February 2013 to September 2013)
Brenda Ann Camara (Project Director: September 2013 to May 2015)

Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic-Serving Institutions
Education Programs

$97,045 (approved)
$63,774 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2012 – 1/31/2015

El Puente a UPR-RP y Hacia el Mundo (The Bridge to UPR-RP and the World)

A three-year project offering a yearly summer bridge program engaging at-risk high school students in humanities study at the university, followed by additional school-year support.

"El Puente: A Bridge to the University and the World" is a three-year project beginning in 2012 to offer a yearly summer "bridge" program at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (UPR-RP), engaging at-risk high school students in humanities study at the university, followed by additional school-year support. The goal of the project is to broaden the worldview and deepen the humanities knowledge of students from neighboring secondary schools, where project directors find that "thousands of at-risk public high school students who live across the pedestrian bridge to UPR-RP believe their chances of attending it, or any university, are as remote as their chances of visiting Antarctica." A ten-day interdisciplinary humanities workshop takes place each of three summers, reaching eighty students: twenty students each year supported by NEH, and an additional twenty in the first year supported by the college. In one workshop session, philosophy department chair Anayra Santory Jorge leads students in an examination of ethics through current news articles. In others, professors open up their disciplines for students by focusing their study on the Caribbean-its music and writing; its cultural history; its connections to West Africa; and its masks in comparison with other cultures' mask traditions. The workshop requires daily writing and oral presentations from the students to strengthen their analytical and communication skills and engages them in working with resources in the university library, museum, and Hispanic Studies Seminar Room. High school teachers from participating schools assist in sessions and four upper-level humanities undergraduates serve as tutors. This bridge program also takes advantage of a little-known university policy permitting high school students to enroll in university courses but defer tuition and fee payment until they are officially admitted as first-year students. Students thus enrolled in university courses during the academic year are supported by a network drawn from their summer program experience, including workshop tutors, faculty, and project director Elsa Marin-Lopez.