Longtime ASU Humanities Professor Dr. Neal Lester has been honored with the 2022 ASU Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Servant-Leadership Award. We talked to Dr. Lester about the award, and his signature program, “Project Humanities,” which is now in its 10th year.
Dr. Lester said that the award speaks to the impact that project humanities is having.
“Anytime that my name is in the same breathe as Dr. Martin Luther King JR. I’m excited and humbled, but also challenged by that because that’s a huge legacy of values,” Lester said.
Dr. Lester said his initial focus with Project Humanities was on how to recruit more humanities majors, but then he wanted to expand so that they bring all students at ASU and beyond into thinking that is more “humanist specific” and “humanist centric.”
He said that any successes he has had, or that project humanities has had is because of collaborations.
These collaborations have allowed for ten years of successfully and impactfully bringing individuals and communities together to talk, listen and connect in various formats, Lester said.
“And 10 years has definitely given us a lot to think about, a lot to look back on and reflect on, but also some challenges to think about as we go into the next 10 years,” Lester said.
Moving forward, Dr. Lester said he plans on expanding their support base, attracting new resources and coming up with some programs that they never imagined prior to covid, Lester said.