AWC recipient of $400K National Endowment for the Humanities 1-to-1 match grant

August 14, 2018

Funds to be used for campus academic library renovations

Yuma, AZ (August 14, 2018) – Arizona Western College, in collaboration with the AWC Foundation, was recently awarded with a $400,000 Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The funds, as well a 1-to-1 match requirement, will be used to enhance student learning experiences by expanding AWC’s academic library services over the next four years.

“We are very pleased to be one of the first-time recipients of this prestigious award,” said AWC Director of Grants Susan Dempsey.

The proposed project, Project Impact, will revamp the campus academic library to include a Conservation Lab as well as a Digital Humanities Center that supports the college and its three partner universities.

The development of the Conservation Lab will allow scholars to practice the craft of arts preservation and cataloguing while preserving local art collections. The establishment of a Digital Humanities Center will provide students access to multimedia and a multidisciplinary learning space dedicated to preserving the region’s unique intellectual content of materials relevant to the area by converting content to a digital format and disseminating it to a much wider audience (e.g. Southwest Border Collection).

AWC is home to the only academic library in the 10,031 square miles comprising Southwest Arizona, serving approximately 12,000 people each year. The library is also available to Northern Arizona University - Yuma, University of Arizona, and Arizona State University students, which equates to a total of nearly 120,000 visitors and 17,700 assistance questions annually.

Both library additions will help meet the significant demand of digital resources for the 21st Century user with the changing needs of academia. The project will provide students with access to meaningful and relevant learning experiences, giving them tools to thrive academically and professionally in today’s fast-paced global environment. This aligns with AWC’s Vision of cultivating, generations who value knowledge, foster independence, eliminate poverty, and create vital, equitable and sustainable communities.

The proposal for this grant was developed by Dean for Academic Resources and Campus Locations Jana Moore, Director of Library Services Angie Creel, and Director of Grants Susan Dempsey, with key contributions from Chief Human Resources Officer Kari Gardner, Director of District Operations Steve Eckert, Institutional Grants Coordinator Jacqueline Viskup, Director of Financial Services Diana Doucette, Information Technology Librarian Wendy Hoag, Distance Education Librarian Tina Sibley, Acquisitions Librarian Tymmi Woods, and Reference Librarian Camille O’Neill and support from a significant number of faculty and staff at AWC, NAU - Yuma, UofA, and ASU.

“This commitment from such a diverse group of stakeholders was essential to our ability to be competitive in receiving this NEH Challenge Grant,” said Dempsey.

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:

Jana Moore
Dean for Academic Resources & Campus Locations
Arizona Western College
(928) 317-6052