Humanities Institute Announces 2008-09 Community Sabbatical Recipients; Program Helps Professionals Improve Non-Profit Services

The Humanities Institute at The University of Texas at Austin has announced the 2008-09 recipients of its Community Sabbatical program, which provides flexible leave time for staff members of non-profit organizations in central Texas.

For three years, the Humanities Institute has provided community sabbatical grantees the opportunity to research an issue or develop a new program related to their organization or constituencies. In addition to awarding grantees a stipend of $5,000, the Humanities Institute also matches them with university faculty members who advise and collaborate on the proposed research project.

"The community sabbatical program opens up new ways for faculty to put their knowledge to use on behalf of central Texas non-profits, and exemplifies the university's commitment and responsibility to the surrounding community," Evan Carton, director of the Humanities Institute, said.

This year's three non-profit professional selected are:

  • Jennifer Peters, senior institutional relations officer for Capital Idea, who will research best practices in educational programs at the community college level;
  • Rebecca Jones, director of education for Austin Children's Museum, who will study trends in cognition and learning to create exhibits for the museum's new facility;
  • Catherine Lee Doar, design coordinator for Austin Habitat for Humanity, who will investigate cost-effective wall assembly techniques to improve cooling and shade for new housing projects.

Past sabbatical recipients include Brian Radley, director of middle school programs at Breakthrough Austin, who studied barriers undocumented immigrants face in pursuing their college goals, and Victoria Camp, director of operations for Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, whose project played a vital role in the passage of House Bill 1751, which increased funding to improve services available to victims of sexual violence.

For more information, visit the Humanities Institute Community Sabbatical program.