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Humanities Institute Awards Local Nonprofit Professionals Grant for Collaborative Research

posted: Monday July 9, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas—The Humanities Institute at The University of Texas at Austin has announced the 2012-13 recipients of the Community Sabbatical program, which provides paid flexible leave time for staff members of nonprofit organizations in Central Texas.

humanities institute

From left to right: Rene Valdez, Andrea Marsh, Rocio Villalobos and Eugenio del Bosque

The four nonprofit professionals selected this year are:

  • Eugenio del Bosque, executive director of Cine Las Americas, who will develop a membership program that will also shed light on successful fundraising strategies for small nonprofits.
  • Andrea Marsh, executive director of the Texas Fair Defense Project, who will explore models of holistic criminal defense representation.
  • Rene Valdez, executive director of Red Salmon Arts, who will enhance a series of arts-based curricula for at-risk youth of color.
  • Rocio Villalobos, program coordinator for the Grassroots Leadership - Hutto Visitation Program, who will develop an oral history and writing program for women detained in a nearby detention center.

Since 2005, the Humanities Institute has provided 20 grantees the opportunity to research an issue or develop a new program related to their organization or constituencies. Each will receive a $5,000 stipend, access to the University of Texas Libraries system and research support from a University of Texas faculty member.

Pauline Strong, director of the Humanities Institute, said she is excited by the continuing success of the Community Sabbatical Research Leave Program.

 “The program has supported work that seeks to impact positive change on local communities and has shown the benefits of intellectual collaboration between the university and nonprofit organizations,” Strong says.

Some of the past sabbatical recipients include Gail Rice, community advocacy director of SafePlace, who worked on integrating practices from the restorative justice movement to counter domestic violence in Travis County, 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 online.