UTEP Professors Earn National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grants

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded research grants to The University of Texas at El Paso’s Professors of English Isabel Baca and Robert L. Gunn.

Their grants to advance research at Hispanic-Serving Institutions are part of $12.8 million that will support 253 projects across the country.


Baca, Ph.D., will receive a $100,000 Humanities Initiatives grant. She plans to organize faculty training and develop curricula for an undergraduate bilingual professional writing certificate with a focus on translation theory, rhetorical theory and ethics.

Her project is called “Developing a Humanities-Based Bilingual Professional Writing Certificate for Undergraduates.”

Gunn, Ph.D., earned an Award for Faculty grant for $50,400 to support his research into the relationship of multiple time-keeping practices to literary and storytelling form between indigenous, Spanish, Mexican and U.S.


residents in western North America borderlands from the 17th to 19th centuries. He said he would use the data to write a book.

Both UTEP professors were excited to earn this highly competitive, peer-reviewed award. The NEH, which has supported the nation’s most significant humanities projects for more than 50 years, only funds about 10 percent of the proposals it receives.

Stephen Crites, Ph.D., interim dean of UTEP’s College of Liberal Arts, said NEH fellowships and grants are among the most prestigious and competitive awards that faculty in the humanities can receive. He added that this recognition exemplifies the kind of quality work that is done through the college.

“It is a tremendous affirmation of the quality of research and of program development in UTEP’s Department of English that Dr. Baca and Dr. Gunn have received these awards,” Crites said. “They reflect the exemplary accomplishments of these two individual faculty members.”

In a congratulatory note, Jon Parrish Peede, acting NEH chairman, said the agency welcomed the opportunity to support the varied research.

“The humanities offer us a path toward understanding ourselves, our neighbors, our nation,” Peede said. “These new NEH grants exemplify the agency’s commitment to serving American communities through investing in education initiatives, safeguarding cultural treasures, and illuminating the history and values that define our shared heritage.”