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In 2013, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences established a commission to study the importance of integrating the STEM fields and the humanities in K-12 and higher education environments. The resulting report, entitled The Heart of the Matter, concluded that:

“Scientific advances have been critical to the extraordinary achievements of the past century, and we must continue to invest in basic and applied research in the biological and physical sciences. But...we must recognize that all disciplines are essential for the inventiveness, competitiveness, security, and personal fulfillment of the American public...The humanities remind us where we have been and help us envision where we are going” (9).

The term STEAM, which is featured in The Heart of the Matter, refers to adding “art,” broadly conceived, into the STEM curriculum.

In response to this call to action, my Academic Leadership Academy project poses these questions:

  • What can the WMU English Department do to enhance its involvement in preparing WMU undergraduates to take both the STEM fields and the humanities into account as they pursue careers in a variety of disciplines?
  • How can English Department faculty work with colleagues across the university to encourage STEAM initiatives?


This poster was presented at the Teaching and Learning Bash on September 19, 2014 at Western Michigan University. NAME was part of the 2013-14 Academic Leadership Academy cohort.