Purchase College Professors Awarded Major Grant

Purchase College President Milagros (Milly) Peña, PhD

Purchase College, SUNY, has announced that Associate Professor of History Leandro Benmergui, Assistant Professor of Language and Culture Alfredo Garcia-Pardo, and Associate Professor of Literature and Director of the School of Humanities Aviva Taubenfeld have been awarded a major grant in the amount of $150,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support Humanities Initiatives for Hispanic Serving Institutions.


The purpose of the grant is to support “Building Community and Belonging Through the Humanities,” a three-year language, literature, and oral and urban history project. Focused especially on Spanish heritage-speaker students and their families, this project will include writing an open-source Spanish language digital textbook for heritage speakers, collecting and incorporating local and familial oral histories, building a digital humanities archive, and creating bilingual community events at the Port Chester Library, among other locations. 


The central goal of the project is “to enable Purchase College as a Hispanic Service Institution to foster an appreciation for Latinx identity among our students and to work closely and collaboratively with the broader communities surrounding our campus,” said Professor Benmergui. 


“We hope that by providing students with meaningful resources and community-building opportunities, they will be enticed to delve deeper into study of Hispanic literatures, histories, film, and art—all areas in which Purchase College’s faculty have significant expertise,” added Professor Taubenfeld.


Purchase College President Dr. Milagros (Milly) Peña said, “I congratulate Drs. Benmergui, Garcia-Pardo, and Taubenfeld on this prestigious grant, and on their dedication to inspiring meaningful research and to fostering a deep appreciation for Latinx studies through the lens of the Humanities. I believe their work will have a profound impact on our students and help us meet our mission as a proud Hispanic Serving Institution.”


Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.


 Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

 For more information about the college, visit www.purchase.edu.