The Teagle Foundation awards Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life $260,000 for next major step of the JUHAN project


Image: JUHANFairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life has been awarded a $260,000 grant by The Teagle Foundation for an exciting new chapter of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN), an endeavor educating students with a calling to work in the humanitarian field.

The three-year grant - the second such grant from the New York City-based Teagle Foundation for JUHAN - concerns preparing students for responsible civic engagement as well as professional careers in humanitarian service at three Jesuit institutions - Fairfield University, Georgetown University and Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Nicaragua.

The need for expertise in domestic and international humanitarian relief has never been greater, as recent conflicts and natural disasters across the globe, including Hurricane Sandy which recently struck the local Tri-State Area, have sadly illustrated. In the five years since JUHAN's inception, Fairfield students have implemented a number of projects that include helping communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy, rebuilding homes destroyed by tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, and establishing the "Stand For" initiative which helps advocate to keep "forgotten" emergencies - those no longer in the headlines - on the public agenda, such as the devastating monsoon floods in Pakistan.

"Through this grant, we will continue our JUHAN work with Fairfield leading a collaboration with Georgetown and UCA," said Rev. Richard Ryscavage, S.J., director of the Center for Faith and Public Life and professor of sociology. "This groundbreaking initiative underpins the Center for Faith and Public Life's belief that students - and particularly our JUHAN students - will be the next generation of ambassadors in the world of global humanitarian actions."

Image: JUHANMore specifically, the grant will fund a new project called, Collaborative Project in Student Learning: The Examination of Enduring Questions through Humanitarian Education. It will further integrate civic and moral responsibility into the undergraduate curriculum. The three schools will work to equip students to deal more effectively with some of the large clusters of "great questions" they will one day confront in humanitarian situations at home and abroad, whether they provide relief services after a tsunami in Indonesia, work in refugee camps in Somalia or help resettled refugees in their own communities in the U.S. (These questions include "What is the responsibility to protect, who should be protected, when and how? Why are human rights important? Why are some populations more privileged and others more vulnerable? Why is there human suffering in the world?")

As part of this project, Fairfield will launch an "Emphasis in Humanitarian Studies," which will allow students to pursue an interdisciplinary focus that they can link to their major or minor areas of study. This will provide the flexibility needed to enable a larger number of students with greater disciplinary diversity to pursue this academic option.

"JUHAN is grounded in the Jesuit tradition of developing 'men and women for others,'" explained Julie Mughal, assistant director of the Center for Faith and Public Life. "JUHAN has also seen some amazing growth - the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 enrollment totals in JUHAN-designated courses has reached over 350 with 17 courses offered."

In 2009, the Teagle Foundation awarded a grant to Fairfield, Fordham, and Georgetown Universities to found JUHAN and to engage students, faculty, administrators and staff at Jesuit universities with the endeavor via conferences and other projects. For more information, visit the press release. For more information about the Teagle Foundation, visit www.Teagle.org.

 

Images: Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life has been awarded a $260,000 grant by The Teagle Foundation for an exciting new chapter of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network. In 2012, more than 100 students from Jesuit universities worldwide convened at Fairfield for the JUHAN Student Leadership Conference.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 20, 2013

Vol. 45, No. 228