Thanks to the support of Lilly Endowment Inc., the Educating Character Initiative (ECI) has awarded 13 grants to individuals seeking to educate character in higher education. We look forward to the ways in which the recipients’ work will deepen our collective understanding of character and expand capacity to educate character in specific contexts. Congratulations to these deserving winners.

2024 ECI Professional Development Grant Recipients

ECI Professional Development Grants are intended to equip faculty and staff to become educators of character or lead efforts to educate character at their institutions. 

Roya Abbasi-Asl, Tufts University
Using Youth-Specific Approaches to Illuminate Character Well-Being Relations

Shadi Heidarifar, University of Florida
Character Education for Undergraduate Students: A Non-Western Approach

Joe Johnston, University of Missouri 
Wakonse Foundation Character Education Program

Bing Nieh, Christ Church Chicago
Exploring the Formation of Christian Character Among University Students

Elisabeth Arnold Weiss, University of Southern California
ViterbiVerse Character Building Lab

Zachary Woydziak, University of St. Mary 
The Impact of Traditional Scientific Curriculum & Research on Character Development

2024 ECI Teacher-Scholar Grant Recipients

ECI Teacher-Scholar Grants support individuals in developing their scholarly expertise in character education within higher education, expanding the pipeline of scholars doing research on character education in colleges and universities, and increasing knowledge-sharing and pedagogical innovation across institutions and disciplines. 

Karen Anderson, Stonehill College
Educating the Heart and Mind: Establishing a Data-Driven Approach to Character Development in the Holy Cross Tradition

Jamie Brunsdon, University of Memphis
Teaching Character at the College of Health Sciences

Monique Constance-Huggins, Winthrop University
Exploring Character Building in a Study Abroad Program

Kevin Gary, Valparaiso University
How to Be Bored: Wisdom for a Distracted Age

Elyse Postlewaite, Montclair State University
Cultivating Character in Higher Education: Exploring the Alignment of Institutional and Student Character Assets at MSU

Denise Vigani, Seton Hall University
Habituation and Teaching as Mutually Reinforcing Activities 

Sonya Xinyue Xiao, Northern Arizona University
Kindness to All: How College Students’ Learning and Social Experiences Relate to Their Prosocial Behavior Toward Diverse Others

The ECI is grateful to all those who submitted proposals for 2024 Professional Development and Teacher-Scholar Grants. We were impressed by the quality of the proposals we received, including many we were unable to fund in this round. We encourage all applicants whose requests were not fulfilled to reapply in our next grant cycle.