Project Humanities Accolades

Project Humanities Director Touted as 'Invisible Hero'

If academia were Hollywood, it would be sweeps season for Neal A. Lester. Lester, who is the founding director of ASU’s Project Humanities and Foundation Professor of English, was presented with the 2015 Invisible Heroes’ "UMOJA" Award at a Feb. 3 ceremony at Mount of Olives Lutheran Church in Phoenix. It is Lester’s sixth award in less than a year.

Tempe Names ASU’s Lester as 2017 MLK Award Recipient


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 ASU professor Neal A. Lester has won several awards and recognitions throughout his academic career, and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day he’ll receive one that ranks right near the top.

Project Humanities Director Receives Annual MLK Diversity Awards 2017

Project Humanities Director talks about Impact of MLK Day in Arizona         

TEMPE, Ariz - Today, the City of Tempe announced winners of the annual MLK Diversity Awards. This year's winners include the creator of ASU’s Humanity 101 Movement, Tempe's Challenge Day organizers, a welcoming church, a group that helps at-risk youth of all backgrounds and other outstanding community members.

Project Humanities Director Inducted into Echo Magazine’s Hall of Fame

Arizona State University’s Project Humanities was conceptualized in 2010 when Neal Lester, Ph.D., served as Arizona State University’s dean of humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

Lester’s university-level initiative engaged those within ASU and beyond in critical conversations about humanities research as well as about what’s happening in the world. 

What was initially slated to be a “Year of the Humanities” with intense humanities programming across disciplines has, with president Michael M. Crow’s support, become a year-round offering of diverse programming that continues to bring individuals and communities together to “talk, listen, and connect.” 

Echo: As the founding director of ASU Project Humanities, can you tell us a little about your process of realizing this was a need wishing the community and what it was like to bring this effort to life? 2010?

Project Humanities Receives National Award in Washington, D.C.

ASU’s Project Humanities was selected as the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s inaugural recipient for the Key of Excellence Award at a Dec. 4 ceremony in Washington, D.C. The ceremony was the launch of The Phi Beta Kappa Society’s National Arts & Sciences Initiative, which recognized the project for its leadership and impact.

Dr. Neal Lester Receives Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Award

The ASU Committee for Campus Inclusion has announced that Dr. Neal A. Lester of Ahwatukee is the 2016 recipient of the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Faculty Award. Lester is the founding director of the award-winnning Project Humanities initiative and a foundation professor of English at Arizona State University. The committee, in its announcement, highlighted Lester's dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion at Arizona State University. Rachel Kemmerle, committee co-chair, noted Lester's hard work and persistence in making campus environments an enriching, positive one for all students, faculty, and stuff.

Invisible Heroes "UMOJA" Award

663 Invisible Heroes Photo by Bruce Platt

By Hana Khalyleh – Feb. 12, 2015 (main photo by Bruce Platt)

The 2015 Invisible Heroes Awards were presented Feb. 3, 2015, at the Mount of Olives Lutheran Church. The recipients, Neal Lester, Donna McHenry and Robbie Fields, were selected by United Gay Informed Men of African descent (UGIMA) for recognition of their activism within the LGBT and African-American community.

Project Humanities Director Receives ADE Francis Andrew March Award

Tempe, AZ- Dr. Neal A. Lester, Founding Director of ASU Project Humanities and Foundation Professor of English, was presented the 2014 Francis Andrew March Award by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) at the Annual Convention in Vancouver (Canada) on January 10, 2015. 

The Francis Andrew March Award was established by the Association of English Departments (ADE) Executive Committee in 1984. The award is named for Francis March (1823 – 1911), professor of English at Lafayette College and the first professor of English in America. The Andrew Francis March Award honors those who have committed exceptional service to the profession of English.

(Inaugural) Key of Excellence Award, from The Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

ASU’s Project Humanities stepped into the national spotlight again and was recognized today by a leading higher education organization for its innovative effort to engage communities with the arts and sciences.

The Phi Beta Kappa Society selected Project Humanities as its inaugural recipient for the Key of Excellence Award at a Dec. 4 ceremony in Washington D.C. The ceremony was the launch of The Phi Beta Kappa Society’s National Arts & Sciences Initiative, which recognized Project Humanities for its leadership and impact.

(In Picture) Anne Wise, director of Phi Beta Kappa's National Arts & Sciences Initiative; Neal Lester, director of ASU's Project Humanities and NPR's Shankar Vedantam.

2014 Man of the Year Award - Project Humanities Marks Anniversary of Service to Homeless

Tempe, AZ – In February 2014, Project Humanities launched a volunteer initiative to benefit the Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS).  Every other Saturday from 6:45 – 8:00 am, student and community volunteers come together to serve the homeless population of Phoenix by distributing gently used clothes, shoes and other essentials. What started out as a spontaneous Day of Service has now turned into a habitual gathering of volunteers. Saturday, February 14th marks the one-year anniversary and 2015 kickoff of the program. This service project is one example of the many different ways that the award-winning university initiative continues its mission to engage members of the community by talking, listening, and connecting.