Grand Challenges for the Liberal Arts Initiative (GCLAI) strengthens the University of New Hampshire’s engagement with grand challenges (GC) through teaching, research and public engagement. GC are urgent, widely-shared problems that call for large-scale, long-term, coordinated responses. Because GC cross disciplinary boundaries, so must responses to them. Colleagues in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) increasingly call for collaboration with the broad range of liberal arts disciplines in order to address GC. Examples of GC include climate change, food sovereignty, global health and interpersonal violence.
The liberal arts at UNH have long been engaged in GC work. GCLAI will catalyze this work through student opportunities, high-impact research and positive community engagement. It will demonstrate why responses to GC must include a robust liberal arts component. GC are not just technical problems in need of technical solutions, but rather raise fundamental questions about who we are and how we ought to live.
GCLAI has three main objectives:
- Support undergraduate education
- Catalyze faculty research
- Enhance public engagement