Deadline is March 16 to apply for grants for women...

Deadline is March 16 to apply for grants for women-focused courses

Money to infuse courses with the experiences and perspectives of women is available at MTSU for university faculty with a new application deadline.

PCSW graphic webMonday, March 16, is now the deadline for faculty to apply for the Curriculum Integration Grants offered by the university’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

The commission will award three grants worth $1,800 each to support revising a course or a general-education course for a study-abroad program, creating a new course, reconceptualizing a current minor or creating a new minor.

Applicants are encouraged to include how women’s concerns intersect with aspects of race/ethnicity, class and sexual orientation. The 2014 grant winners came from MTSU’s human sciences, music and English departments.

Dr. Lauren Rudd

Dr. Lauren Rudd

Dr. Lauren Rudd, an assistant professor of textiles, management and design, used her funding to revise “Social Aspects of Clothing,” a course that examines the cultural, psychological, sociological and economic impacts of clothing and textiles.

“Big designers have been using cultural influences in their runway designs for several years now,” Rudd said. “The students see this, but have no concept of the traditions and importance related to those cultures.

“They also need to be able to design, style, merchandise and sell apparel-related product to a global audience.”

Dr. Deanna Little, a professor of music at MTSU, revamped the “Private Instruction in Flute” course to educate her students on the proportions of males and females in the profession.

Dr. Deanna Little

Dr. Deanna Little

“As a woman flutist, performer and teacher, I feel it is important to bring awareness of the realities of the profession to my students,” Little said. “This will prepare them better for future careers in music and hopefully empower them to succeed.”

Little said the history of both flute and music composition shows more men at the top of the profession than women, although the ratio of men to women at the top is inconsistent with the ratio of men to women in the profession as a whole.

Dr. Elyce Helford, a professor of English, created “Topics in Sexuality: Queer Studies” to “explore the history and diverse uses of the concept ‘queer’ in local and global contexts.”

Dr. Elyce Helford

Dr. Elyce Helford

“When we study what theorists and activists call ‘queer,’ we are studying those identifications, attractions, attitudes and appearances that resist simple boundaries, such as ‘straight/gay’ or ‘masculine/feminine,’” said Helford.

“Queer studies, therefore, helps us to think outside restrictive labels for self and world,” she added.

Little’s course began this spring. Rudd’s course is scheduled for summer 2015 semester, and Helford’s class is slated to begin in 2016.

Courses developed or revised for the undergraduate curriculum, and those that can be implemented within two years, will receive priority consideration for the grants. Only faculty who have not received a Curriculum Integration Grant in the past four years are eligible to apply.

Proposals should include innovative teaching techniques. The commission is particularly encouraging proposals that engage students in a better understanding of violence against women in the wake of the recent reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

Complete application guidelines are available at

Inquiries should be directed to Dr. Leah Tolbert Lyons at 615-898-2982 or

— Gina K. Logue (