Dean's Strategic Initiatives

Dean Kathleen Canning's strategic initiatives — which promise to spur new forms of innovation while responding to overwhelming student demand — hold enormous potential for fulfilling her bold strategy for a more fully integrated and "connective humanities" at Rice.

Through these interdisciplinary areas, we aim to raise the visibility of the Humanities at Rice and help to equip our undergraduate and graduate students with an outstanding education that will prepare them to lead in addressing humanity's most pressing and intricate challenges.

Our strategic initiatives are:

  • Our Medical Humanities program, which trains humanist scientists and scientific humanists, and the Medical Futures Lab, where students conduct research to solve real-life medical challenges. Medical Humanities is fostering research projects on the human behavioral aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students also pursue internship and research opportunities in the Texas Medical Center through our Health, Humanism and Society Scholars Program;
  • Our newly founded Center for African and African American Studies, which aims to become a research hub while hosting visiting artists, writers and scholars, and building collaborations with local Houston institutions and community organizations. Conjoining seven academic departments and almost 20 faculty members, the center is offering a new undergraduate minor and graduate certificate in Fall 2020;
  • Our Center for Environmental Studies that supports a wide range of research, teaching and outreach, including the Environmental Studies minor, which takes a multidisciplinary approach to the issues facing us now. Never has there been a more important time to understand the worlds in which we live and the living systems of which we are a part.
  • Our Politics, Law and Social Thought program that allows Rice students to successfully engage with the big political questions relevant to contemporary society in a global setting through a robust minor, and judicial and legal practicum and internship opportunities;
  • Our new building for the Visual and Dramatic Arts department. In bringing our studio arts, theater, cinema and photography programs together under one roof in the Rice arts corridor, we will advance the place of the creative arts in a Rice liberal arts education.
  • Our emerging Ethics Institute, which will be a hub for researchers and scholars at Rice working in various areas of ethical inquiry, challenging conventional wisdom and asking the hardest questions about what lies ahead.

Your support is crucial to the advancement of the Humanities. Please contact us to learn more and to discuss gift opportunities.