Ohio State faculty and staff receive grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Marian Moser Jones, associate professor of health services management and policy at the College of Public Health and associate professor at Department of History, joined The Ohio State University this year. One of his first projects was completing his grant application for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Earlier this month, she received $200,000.

“I’m really excited to be here,” Jones said. “And I’m so thrilled that the NEH has confidence in my vision to make this happen on the Ohio State campus.”

“This” will be a week-long institute that traces the history of public health in the United States, with particular emphasis on the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Planning for next summer, Jones hopes 30 scholars from around the country will come to Columbus for a workshop that will help bring the story of public health to institutions of higher learning.

“I want to tell people why public health matters,” Jones said. “What really appeals to me is this: it’s fundamental in the history of the United States. We have such a strong ideology of individualism in this country and yet this country has been prone to many health issues that compel people to work together. What fascinates me is what brings people together and what separates them.

Jones hopes to attract faculty from historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, institutions with large numbers of first-generation students, and community colleges.

“[Public health history] is something that, when taught broadly, you introduce different perspectives,” Jones said. “Some of these people will continue to do scholarships in this field. It’s a longer-term goal: to broaden the scope beyond such a narrow group of people.

Jones wasn’t the only one recognized by NEH. The second recipient of the Ohio State grant is Gayle Strege, curator of the Historical Costume and Textiles Collection. This is Strege’s third NEH preservation assistance grant.

Strege said her first reaction after learning she had won the grant was relief.

“We still use the funds for preservation projects,” Strege said. “We have a lot of needs”

“I share my congratulations with Marian and Gayle on achieving national recognition and support for their scholarship,” said Melissa L. Gilliam, Executive Vice President and Vice President. “Rigorous scientific inquiry in the humanities is fundamental to who we are as a university and a land-grant institution. It reminds us of the lessons of the past so that we can shape a better future for the communities we serve.

The Historical Costume and Textile Collection is a scholarly and artistic resource from the culture of clothing and textile materials from the mid-18th century to contemporary 21st-century designers, and includes objects relating to central Ohio and the American fashion industry.

Gayle StrègeThe $10,000 grant awarded to Strege will be used to purchase rolling shelves and archival boxes for storage. The university’s collection is currently housed in Campbell Hall, which is about to undergo a major renovation project. Therefore, historical items must be stored offsite.

“The funds will help prepare clothes – many of which are over 100 years old or fragile, like feather-trimmed dresses – for transport and storage,” Strege said.

Maintaining the university’s collection is a job that Strege takes seriously. She considers it an invaluable resource in a retail-focused city like Columbus.

“As a historian, I have always believed in the importance of history, especially when it comes to knowing your product – how consumers interacted with it from a retail perspective. is always good to know, not to mention the social and psychological aspects of fashion,” she said.

Having access to items from designers like Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Ann Lowe is a plus for students, she added.

“There are real objects in the collection,” Strege said. “We don’t have to recreate it from scratch. We can go see the real thing.

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