University Park, IL,
12:28 PM

GSU Scholars Discover They are a National Model

In scholarship, peer review may be the ultimate test of quality, and good models are frequently imitated.

That's why GSU British literature expert, Associate Provost Dr. Rosemary Johnsen, was pleased when she made a surprising discovery while reviwing an application for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) “Dialogues on Experience of War” program. This is an opportunity to continue her scholarship by sharing her feedback after two successful grant proposals with co-author CAS Dean Dr. Andrae Marak, a borderlands scholar. Each of their applications resulted in $100,000 awards for GSU.

While reviewing an application for the upcoming grant cycle one evening, Johnsen made a discovery. The organizational language of the document mirrored GSU’s so closely that she went to check the NEH web site, where she discovered the “War Memory and Commemoration in the Humanities” project was prominently listed as a sample narrative for applicants.

The project helped the GSU community think more deeply about issues raised by war, and to make personal connections with the experiences and other veterans through art, literature, and film.

When asked how she felt about her find, Johnsen said, “I was astonished! We’ve had several opportunities to present our project at conferences, and I shared lessons from the field at the NEH project directors meeting in DC last May. We want to share this program with others, and we designed the projects to be adaptable and replicable. Having the narrative posted as a model is affirmation of the quality of the work being done here at GSU. It shows that as a regional comprehensive university, we are comparable to larger, research universities in our scholarship. This is just one more example of that.”

Johnsen and Marak’s first NEH grant last year was entitled “War, Trauma, and the Humanities.”

For more information on (NEH) “Dialogues on Experience of War” program, visit