CSU Dominguez Hills, Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum Receive National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded California State University, Dominguez Hills and Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum a $171,788 grant through its Landmarks of American History and Culture program to offer two weeklong professional development workshops next summer for high school teachers across the country. The proposal also received a “We the People” designation for its “efforts to strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture,” according to an NEH press release.

Professors from CSU Dominguez Hills, along with staff in the university’s Service Learning, Internships and Civic Engagement (SLICE) and Archives and Special Collections offices will partner with Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum to conduct a multiple-disciplined, experiential learning program that explores the history of the Dominguez family from colonial days to the 1920s. Workshop participants will attend lectures, visit historic sites like the Rancho San Pedro, Mission San Gabriel and Olvera Street, and work with artifacts and original documents, all of which will help them gain a deeper understanding of the different cultures that shaped America and further enrich their classroom teaching.

“Family history is the framework, and that opened opportunities to examine a number of issues that are essential to understanding the development of not just California’s, but the nation’s history,” said Laura Talamante, assistant professor of history at CSU Dominguez Hills and project co-director. “It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase what we have here in Carson, at CSU Dominguez Hills and the rancho.”

“As the home of the family who helped shape L.A. and southern California, the rancho is a physical representation of history,” said Dominguez Rancho executive director and project co-director Alison Bruesehoff. “Getting a chance to work with actual objects that go back hundreds of years is a rare experience, and the museum is excited to partner with the university to provide such an experiential learning opportunity for teachers.”

Each week-long session will be open to a maximum of 40 teachers from across the country. Notices about the workshops and how to apply will be sent to schools and through various education venues beginning in early spring 2011. The selected teachers will receive a stipend for travel expenses.

The grant was one of 201 grants totally $31.5 million that NEH awarded to humanities projects nationwide. For details, visit www.neh.gov/news/archive/20100810.html.

For more information about the CSUDH/Dominguez Rancho “American History Through the Eyes of a California Family 1780s to 1920s” project, call project coordinator Cheryl McKnight, director of SLICE, at (310) 243-2438.