Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

New Directions in Teaching the Humanities

Judith Jeney, Carol Pitts Hovanec, Jennefer Mazza, Thomas Heed.

Ramapo College is a thirty-three year old New Jersey institution which was created as an alternative to the traditional state college. There are no departments, and faculty in various disciplines are grouped in schools such as American/International Studies, Contemporary Arts, Theoretical and Applied Science, Administration and Business, and Social Science and Human Services. There is a faculty resource center which uses seasoned instructors to offer advice to new hires about tactics for engaging students.
Professor Mazza, a political scientist, has added a service learning component to most of her classes, giving students the opportunity to participate directly in the public sphere. She places them in various organizations in the community, from offices of lawyers and politicians, police academies, and welfare organizations.
Professor Heed, a historian who teaches both history and American Studies, has been praised highly for his use of multi-media venues in his classes. He employs video and audio presentations to make history come alive. Students are required to find their own examples as well, submitting semester projects which use at least three media to develop their subjects. Professor
Professor Hovanec, a professor of Literature, has used collaborative learning to change her classroom environment from a lecture-based to a student-based focus. Group work is planned carefully according to the principles of the sociologist Heyl, who has written widely on the topic. Group exercises are designed, and timed, for maximum effect. Group dynamics, including the roles of all the members, including the spokesperson and the recorder, are factored to insure that the workshops make students into their own teachers, thus improving their understanding of the material and its relevance to themselves.
Judith Jeney, Director of the Ramapo College Library, will discuss new data bases and library services and how they facilitate not only research but classroom learning and the use of technology in the humanities.
We will illustrate our principles with handouts and visual material.


Judith Jeney  (United States)

Carol Pitts Hovanec  (United States)
Professor of Literature
American/International Studies
Ramapo College of New Jersey

Professor of literature and former dean of the School of American/International Studies at Ramapo College. Former president of the faculty and recipient of many awards. Published author of articles on American literature, composition, and pedagogy.

Jennefer Mazza  (United States)

Thomas Heed  (United States)

Ramapo College

  • Innovative tactics to teach the humanities

(60 min Workshop, English)