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Announcements

 

The University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the second round of Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative recipients. This latest round includes Leslie Felbain, associate professor in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies; Merle Collins professor in the Department of English and Scott Wible, associate professor in the Department of English along with Ph.D. candidates Heather Lindenman and Justin Lohr.

The 2015 recipients will lead several arts and humanities courses in the spring semester whose themes support community needs and whose products enhance student learning and engagement. The development of those courses is sponsored by the Foxworth Initiative.

One course will use interactive theater to explore self-esteem and personal boundaries with at-risk high school students. Another course will work with a local non-profit to introduce Caribbean literature and culture to traditionally underrepresented youth. A final course teams ninth graders at a local high school with “college buddies” to encourage social activism and effective change by exploring a social issue through use of rhetoric, theatre, dance or poetry.

“Funding from the Foxworths provides students an opportunity to become deeply engaged in the experiences of people of diverse heritages and economic backgrounds,” Bonnie Thornton Dill, dean for the College of Arts and Humanities, said. “They participate in meaningful cultural and civic exchanges that promote greater awareness of the value and importance of the arts and humanities.”

This initiative is made possible by the generosity of two college alumni, Domonique and Ashley Foxworth. Domonique, Class of 2004, is a graduate of American Studies and Ashley, ’06, is an English alumna. The Foxworth Initiative is intended to support learning that brings students in contact with their surrounding communities as partners and allies in practices that help transform and bring about social justice. Courses supported by the initiative provide students with skills and critical thinking that support continued community engagement beyond their college career. For more information, visit www.arhu.umd.edu/foxworth.

2015 FACULTY COHORT

Faculty Lead: Leslie Felbain, associate professor, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Course: Theatre of the Oppressed, TDPS458T

Social Issues: Violence, abuse, addiction, crime, bullying and inequity.

Approach: Students will learn about “Theatre of the Oppressed,” a form of community-based education that uses theater as a tool for social and political activism and transformation. In this case, the course will address self-esteem and boundaries as they relate to a wide range of violations that result in trauma and violence and how those experiences become normalized because of social and institutional values.

Weekly to bi-weekly workshops will be scheduled and personal exchanges between the student groups will help build trust as well as inform the scenarios and situations to be explored by both groups of students.  The course will be documented through journaling, visual arts, video and audio recordings.  UMD students will also be required to write a paper documenting their research in applied theatre.

This course will address at-risk high school students. Among the specific communities is the Maya Angelou Academy, an in-house school for incarcerated juveniles in Laurel, Md.

Community benefit:  By interacting in a safe environment a new, expanded community will develop, one in which all participants will be valued equally and learn from each other. The participants will brainstorm working solutions and strategies for topics explored. An important goal of the project is to inspire all of the participating students to expand their horizons, learn the techniques presented and share these techniques with other communities. Students will be encouraged to continue their education and become spokespeople for causes that are important to them and impact their communities.

 

Faculty Lead:  Merle Collins, professor of comparative literature and English

Course: “Caribbean Stop:  Poetry and Short Stories from the Region," ENGL368C

Social Issue:  Access to education

Approach:  This project-based course is designed to provide UMD students the chance to work with the non-profit Cultural Academy for Excellence (CAFÉ), which serves elementary school children in Prince George’s County, Md. The course will introduce UMD students to selected works of Caribbean literature. Subsequently, the students will introduce these works to students at CAFÉ. UMD students will work with young people, helping with basic homework and contributing to the development of the confidence needed to accomplish academic goals. They will also be required to submit weekly reports and keep a journal throughout the semester that outlines their activities and methodologies.

The course will also produce a musical production on the steelpan of a short story entitled “Pan,” written by a celebrated Caribbean writer.  The steelpan production will be directed by a musician who works with CAFE students.  It will give UMD students a deeper understanding of oral traditions in Caribbean literature and will benefit the CAFÉ children, who will experience working collectively on a cultural and literary production with university students.

Community benefit:  In additional to improving academic performance, UMD students will help expand CAFÉ participants’ cultural and literary abilities by teaching them about Caribbean literature. By acting as teachers and role models, UMD students—already an example of success among young adults—will show elementary students that university education is an attainable goal.

 

Faculty Lead: Scott Wible, associate professor, Department of English.

Student Lead: Heather Lindenman, Ph.D. candidate and Justin Lohr, professional track faculty member, Department of English

Course Title: Writing for Change ENGL292 and ENGL388C

Social Issues: Educational inequity, literacy, civic education, intercultural communication

Approach: “Writing for Change” connects ninth grade students from Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Md. with UMD “college buddies.” Over the course of the semester, the students and their college buddies will be co-tasked with improving their community by raising awareness of and proposing solutions to a pressing issue. Students might choose to tackle their issue through any number of genres including dance, dramatic monologues or spoken word poems. The college students will teach their buddies about writing concepts, such as audience awareness and literary strategies, while also mentoring them on time management and empathetic reasoning.  The course will be documented through letters between the high schoolers and their buddies, essays and websites created and curated by both parties but maintained by the college students.

Community benefit: In the process of composing, revising and performing their projects, the teams of students learn how to exercise their rhetorical savvy to affect their communities. For example, the issue students and their buddies choose might relate to intercultural conflicts, drug use in their community or discrimination by the police—anything that the high school students collectively decide needs to be addressed.  At the heart of the course is the notion that the arts and writing can be used to bring about demonstrable change in two ways:  by bringing together community members in a performance event and public forum and by compelling each individual composer to reconsider his or her subject position, creative capacity and civic responsibility. The high school students will not only give the UMD students an opportunity to transform words into action, but they will introduce the college students to their local communities.

The College of Arts and Humanities is accepting applications for the third cohort in its Social Innovation Scholars Program starting in spring 2015.  Offered through its ARHU Center for Synergy, the program is an opportunity for students, regardless of major, to work closely with a faculty mentor and a non-profit organization to learn how to develop and implement a strategy for social innovation in a cause they care about.   We are looking for students who are passionate, creative and talented enough to research and develop useful strategies.  Each student works with a different organization in a customized program.  Over the course of a calendar year, scholars research, design and implement their own innovative solution to the organization’s challenges. We will begin accepting and considering applications November 20 until December 8 or until filled. This program is open to all UM students, regardless of major.  

If interested, please email arichers@umd.edu by December 8 with your application form, essay, resume and nomination letter. Finalists will be interviewed. Space is limited so act fast!  This is a great opportunity to work with a faculty member and build your resume!

Please click here for the Call for Applications and for more information regarding the program.  

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A $137,500 grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to the University of Maryland’s Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity (CRGE) seeks to identify innovative practices to encourage academic environments to be more supportive and inclusive of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty. CRGE Director Ruth Enid Zambrana will draw on data from her prior study supported in part by the University of Maryland to help develop higher education policies to encourage the retention and promotion of URM faculty.

 “My work aims to capture a segment of the U.S. diversity work force that is vital to strengthening higher education’s role in addressing social and economic inequality and educating future cohorts of diverse students as citizens of the world,” Zambrana said.

African American, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and Native American full-time professors together represented less than eight percent of tenured university faculty in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Such low numbers fail to provide an inclusive and diverse educational environment for students and can magnify feelings of stress, isolation and perceptions of prejudice and discrimination among faculty. Those feelings can lead to lower retention and promotion rates among URM faculty, whose absence in higher education institutions can dispossess students of innovative and diverse thinking and role models. 

CRGE will seek collaboration with national higher education organizations and the UMD Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), ADVANCE and Office of Faculty Affairs to translate research into action. Three activities are envisioned under the grant including a retreat for early-career URM faculty led by senior scholars to help them navigate the academic terrain for successful careers; three national sessions with key higher education administrators and stakeholders to disseminate and encourage use of and investment in inclusive practices and policies and the production of scholarship  to disseminate the findings and the policies to a broader audience.

"This work has great potential to change the national climate of diversity and inclusion in higher education as well as the creation of a better learning environment for all students, who will take lessons and diverse perspectives learned from URM faculty into their future lives," Zambrana said.

CRGE is an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland. It promotes scholarship at the intersection of multiple fields through research, mentoring and collaboration. For more information about CRGE, see www.crge.umd.edu.

The grant was awarded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which aims to support initiatives that create innovative solutions to issues facing disadvantaged communities. For more information about the Annie E. Casey Foundation, see www.aecf.org.

10/14/14

College Park residents and students at the city’s University of Maryland gathered Saturday to brainstorm a more pedestrian-friendly U.S. Route 1 – with music-filled gazebos, tree lined-sidewalks and a grocery store.

The Think-A-Thon meeting at the College Park Community Center yielded outlines, sketches, lists and a lot of notes as about 60 people — among them university staff and elected officials — sat down to find creative solutions to the challenges of Route 1.

In their discussions, attendees tried to address challenges such as too much traffic and a lack of independently-owned businesses, and tried to reimagine Route 1 as a space with more aesthetically-pleasing architecture, spaces for people to linger, art and music.

The event, organized by the Center for Synergy at the university’s college of Arts & Humanities, is modeled on previous Think-A-Thons held in Baltimore.

Read more here.

10/9/14

by Jordan Branch, The Writer's Bloc

University and College Park community members will participate in an open discussion this Saturday titled Think-A-Thon, an event to promote infusion of the arts and culture into the planning process for revitalizing Baltimore Avenue.

The venue is a “think and do type of event,” using the arts and culture to look for solutions to Route 1 obstacles, said Nicky Everette, the marketing and communications director for the College of Arts and Humanities.

The discussion is hosted by the College of Arts and Humanities’ Center for Synergy at this university and will be held from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the College Park Community Center and Youth Soccer Complex.

For the past two years Think-A-Thons have occurred in Baltimore City to discuss the city’s challenges.

However, this year Sheri Parks, research, interdisciplinary, scholarship and programming associate dean for the College of Arts and Humanities, said it was time to start a discussion in College Park about the future of Baltimore Avenue’s development.

To read more, please click here.

The College of Arts and Humanities
Office of Marketing and Communications
September 23, 2014

REMARKS BY DEAN THORNTON DILL TO ARHU FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS
Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Center

 

State of the College Address

Introduction| Advancing our Common Purpose| Building Community| Finances | Diversity & Inclusion| Conclusion

3:40 p.m.

Introduction

THE DEAN: Each fall, it is my privilege to provide an update on our accomplishments, announce new initiatives and share my perspective on the overall well-being of the college. Let me begin by saying, the state of the college is strong. Your vitality, creativity and sheer brilliance continue to chart new paths and gain national and international recognition. Your resourcefulness helps us find innovative ways to address our challenges. The college is strong because of you.

Today, I assess our progress in relationship to the goals I outlined when I took this position three years ago. They are: advancing our common purpose, building community and promoting diversity and inclusion. I will also highlight a few of the many accomplishments featured in the forthcoming 2013-14 Year in Review.

Advancing our Common Purpose

In some ways, advancing our common purpose is a grand challenge for the arts and humanities in a period when society conceptualizes grand challenges as broad issues in search of scientific and technological solutions. We know that scientific discoveries and technologies that change the world are ones that capture the imagination and interests of human cultures and societies. We also know that knowledge from the arts and humanities is key to understanding the meaning, implementation, utilization, and consequences of those scientific and technological discoveries. Our responsibility is to demonstrate that knowledge to others.

I thought about this when I saw a recent television commercial for a national for-profit university. A man in a business suit walks out of the rain and enters an office building through a set of large, double doors. A second man rushes up behind him and tries to open the door, but it’s locked. The eyes and nose of a head appear through a narrow rectangular viewer near the top of the door. The man who is trying to get in says, “Hi, I came to drop off my resume.”  “PASSWORD,” replies the voice of the eyes and nose. “WHAT’S THE PASSWORD?” The man shouts, “Synergy?”

In our college, “synergy” is the password. It’s the word that we use to symbolize the unique ability of the arts and humanities at Maryland to link humanistic ideas and creative traditions to modern innovation. In doing so, we provide an example for the campus and the community about the importance of the arts and humanities in addressing vexing problems confronting society and the world today. 

Arts & Humanities Center for Synergy

In January 2014, we launched the website for the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy, the physical and virtual manifestation of a long desired and much discussed Humanities Center. The purpose of ARHU Synergy is to provide a location for scholars, students, and the public to participate in multidisciplinary investigation and expression of the human condition. We do this by infusing the research and practice of the arts and humanities into new locations and areas of endeavor both inside and outside of the academy. The term “synergy” was chosen because it already resonates in disciplines across the university, referring to an interaction between two or more forces in which their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

Under the leadership of Associate Dean Sheri Parks, ARHU Synergy has introduced programs that promote and support the collaborative and interdisciplinary initiatives within the college, across the university, and with external professional and community partners; and research and scholarship in the arts and humanities. 

Collaborative initiatives of ARHU Synergy include:

  • WORLDWISE: Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series, which this year features speakers on the environment, trauma and healing and innovation. Walter Isaacson, biographer of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein, and President and CEO of the Aspen Institute will launch the series in November.
  • On October 11, ARHU Synergy will lead a Think-A-Thon in College Park that will bring university administrators, city officials and residents together to envision the impact arts and culture can have on plans to reinvigorate Baltimore Avenue and revitalize the City of College Park.
  • Last year we began a partnership with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to promote a dialogue on the importance of the humanities to the future of our nation as discussed in their report and video “The Heart of the Matter.” We brought to campus commission members John Lithgow, Annette Gordon-Reed and later Stephen Kidd, director of the National Humanities Alliance. ARHU has been credited by the Academy as being one of three national leaders in advancing the conversation about this important report.
  • Community engagement in scholarship and teaching has been a key mechanism for linking humanities and arts to social issues and underserved populations. Last year we launched the first year of a three-year pilot program called the Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative. Today, I share a short clip of the Foxworth promotional video highlighting Professor Leigh Wilson Smiley's students’ work with the Latin American Youth Center in Hyattsville. Later this week I will release the full video and you will receive an announcement for the next round of faculty applications to teach Foxworth courses.

The other major focus of ARHU Synergy—facilitating research in the college—is already having an impact. ARHU Synergy has provided workshops and training for 110 faculty on the fundamentals of grant writing, budgeting and fellowships. In fiscal year ‘14, our faculty submitted 30% more research proposals than in the previous year and more than doubled the amount of money requested. It’s too early yet to know the results of these requests, but we’re optimistic that this increased activity will yield greater reward.  

One of our most celebrated accomplishments with research support was with the Department of Classics, which successfully competed to become the sole recipient of a half-million dollar grant from the National Italian American Foundation. That grant is for new research on the legacy of ancient Rome as reflected in the architecture and art of the United States’ capital and in the nation’s system of governance. 

Please visit the website  www.arhusynergy.umd.edu to get informed and involved. Also, be on the lookout for a forthcoming collaborative virtual workspace that will facilitate the formation of research groups around multidisciplinary topics of interest. 

Arts at Maryland

Advocacy for the arts and humanities takes many forms. In late summer, the possibility of a campus partnership with the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design was laid to rest. I am convinced that the discussions generated on campus and in the local art community have been beneficial. First, they led to new ideas and conversations about academic programs and artistic engagements that could benefit the entire campus. Second, they have enhanced campus commitment to foundational principles about the role of the arts in our university. Among these principles are that the arts and humanities are a core component of a quality education, a gateway to cultural understanding and conflict resolution, and can enhance and refine the entrepreneurial abilities and creative talents that today’s students bring to college. In an effort to capitalize on the energy and insights generated through this process, I have been working with others to propose and develop ideas that will help President Loh achieve his vision for the arts at Maryland. Our ideas include a campus based institute for art and design innovation; a program in digital media studies; and the integration of arts and culture into the revitalization of College Park. 

Undergraduate Education

We are launching two new undergraduate initiatives this year:

  • First, we are collaborating with the University Career Center to house Kate Juhl, Program Director, in the college’s Office of Student Affairs four days a week. This will help us bring career advising and engagement to our students in a much more direct manner.
  • Second, we are launching a first-year seminar for ARHU majors designed to empower and acclimate them as they transition into the university. It introduces them to different methods of humanistic study and explores how multiple disciplinary perspectives can be used richly and critically to understand human beings, cultures and societies. The call for proposals went out this week.

Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

Whether working in interdisciplinary partnerships, as independent scholars or supporting the work of the campus in other ways, our faculty and staff continue to garner prestigious national awards as well as important campus recognitions. While you can learn about these in greater detail on the ARHU website or in the forthcoming Year in Review, I would like to acknowledge a few of them today. National awards announced in the past year include a Guggenheim to Holly Brewer, Harvard University’s W.E.B. Dubois Medal to Ira Berlin and a Korean Government Precious Crown Medal of the Order of Cultural Merit to Robert Ramsey. Faculty members have received numerous book awards and students in or affiliated with ARHU have won a Fulbright, 12 Borens and nine Critical Language Scholarships for the current academic year.

Campus level awards that deserve special recognition are: Jeffrey Herf, Distinguished University Professor, Jonathan Auerbach Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and Linda Mabbs, the Kirwan Faculty Research and Scholarship Prize. These three colleagues will be honored at the university convocation on October 7th.

Marilee Lindemann, recently appointed executive director of College Park Scholars, received the Freedom and Liberation Medal from the President’s Commission on LGBT Issues; and Jessica Enoch, Jason Rudy and Lynn Bolles received Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards. Jessica White in the college’s Office of Student Affairs won the 2013-14 Provost Professional Academic Advisor of the Year Award, and Philosophy advisor Christopher Vogel won the 2013-14 Provost Graduate Advisor of the Year award. There are numerous other outstanding accomplishments and I invite you to join me in celebrating all of our colleagues and students who have earned special recognition. 

Building Community

Faculty

Our faculty are pivotal in our efforts to advance our common purpose and you have just been introduced to our 15 newest faculty members. As you can see from their bios in the program, we continue to attract to our campus people with stellar accomplishments and exceptional promise. So, I will repeat what I said last year: “The responsibility of those of us who are seasoned members of this community is to provide the resources, intellectual climate and mentoring that will permit the talents of our new faculty to bloom and encourage them to remain rooted in University of Maryland soil.” This is one of the most important aspects in the second goal of building community.

Staff

We also seek to build community by supporting staff through the formation of a staff council. That council is now in its second year of operation and it has been officially incorporated into the College Plan of Organization. Its chair, Claire Goebler from SLLC, sits on the Collegiate Council. This year the staff council is planning a variety of events including helping staff with the annual review (PRD) process, professional development, healthy workplace activities and community service.

Finances

Community and shared governance are particularly important in times of fiscal volatility and it is perhaps stating the obvious to say that public colleges and universities today are operating in a fiscally challenging environment. “At the campus level,” to quote from an American Association of State Colleges and Universities Policy Brief, “tough decisions involving institutional spending, resource reallocation and mission-sustaining investments are the new norm.”

Salary compression has been an important concern that has had a corrosive effect on faculty and staff morale. Over the last two years, we have found ways to begin to address this issue through strategic use of the merit pool. This has been a collaboration between individual units and the Office of the Dean and it is one that we will strive to continue.

Nevertheless, resource issues deriving from a structural deficit at the campus level continue to result in budget cuts. It is also now clear that some proposed faculty and staff hires must be reconsidered. The move to the Big 10 heightens awareness of our funding limitations as compared with our peers, yet it also provides a springboard for rethinking resource allocation to promote strategic growth in the future. Both President Loh and Provost Rankin have expressed their full commitment to this rethinking as a means to support excellence at College Park.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity Plan

College priorities and actions for diversity and inclusion are described in the Diversity Task Force Report and College Implementation Plan, distributed in fall 2013. When you review it—which I hope you will do regularly—please note that we affirm that work on diversity and inclusion takes place in our classrooms, hiring and promotions, scholarship, and community engagement. As we commit ourselves to fairness and equity, we embrace the unique position of arts and humanities disciplines in advancing scholarship, creativity, and teaching about identity and difference. 

New Faculty Hires

This fall, I take special note of seven hires across the fields of LGBT, African American, and US Latino/a studies. These hires diversify the faculty and bring diversity and inclusive scholarship to the core curriculum across the college, with notable gains in American Studies, English, History, the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and Women’s Studies. Moreover, our 100% success in promotion and tenure cases this past year moves the college faculty closer to gender parity in the tenured ranks, simultaneously advancing expertise in fields led by women scholars.

Advance

Finally, the participation of ARHU faculty in the National Science Foundation (NSF)—funded ADVANCE program has helped women and faculty of color build support networks among peers and mentors, receive seed grants for collaborative research, and has extended the sensibilities of work-life balance and the rights of family and medical leave to all faculty, including those in the professional tracks. I commend Laura Rosenthal, who will serve as ADVANCE professor for a second year. She will continue the important work she has begun in engaging full professors as mentors for associate and assistant professors. 

Conclusion

This afternoon I’ve presented only a snippet of the dynamic activities of the college. I hope it helps you understand why I conclude that the state of the college is strong, even in the face of societal and financial challenges; why I am optimistic about our future; and why I consider it a privilege, honor, and a joy to serve as chief advocate and executive officer for University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities.

Thank you for your attention. 

Thanks to the staff who have worked so hard to plan this event and insure that it runs smoothly—the entire staff of the dean’s office makes everything I discuss possible every day. I particularly want to acknowledge Brian for the video, Nicky for all of her work in telling our story, Chanel for being a rock even when it gets crazy and Veronica for being a Rockette.

Now I have one final slide and remark.

Let’s party! (Lionel Richie “All Night Long” plays in background. Applause.)

END

5:35 p.m.

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—Imagine a street with a world-class art gallery and movie theater, where visitors and local residents stroll, shop and dine at sidewalk cafes alongside students and artists.

Now, imagine that street is Baltimore Avenue—also known as Route 1—College Park’s major artery connecting residents, business owners, workers and the students, faculty and staff at the University of Maryland. As the university and city consider plans to reinvigorate Baltimore Avenue, the College of Arts and Humanities’ Center for Synergy is asking the community to rethink the area and to imagine the impact arts and culture can play on its revitalization.  

The center plans to convene the greater College Park community for a Think-A-Thon planned for October 11. It recognizes that the university is a major anchor institution in College Park and Prince George’s County. This supports the vision of turning College Park into a top 20 college town by 2020.

The event is intended to help university administrators, College Park officials and other city stakeholders, including residents, artists and students, gather information for a future redesign during an afternoon brainstorming session. All are invited to share ideas about how art and culture can address community challenges and help turn College Park into a national destination for living, learning and arts.  

"The Think-A-Thon is another reason that College Park is a smart place to live," said City of College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows. "We've always been thoughtful—now we've begun to do so collectively, by creative and collaborative design."

Actively engaging the community as a stakeholder gives the regional redesign a holistic approach, said Center for Synergy Director Sheri Parks.

“We’re working very synergistically with the City of College Park,” said Parks. “Arts and culture are central catalysts in the transformation of communities into highly livable environments that benefit everyone.”

The center is leading the university’s conversation as it relates to the infusion of arts and culture in a redesign, and seeks to engage community input in a series of pre-Think-A-Thon events leading up to the larger event.

Omar Blaik, CEO and founder of Philadelphia-based U3 Ventures, plans to attend the session to listen and learn what community members want. Blaik is an experienced consultant who helped transform swaths of Philadelphia around the University of Pennsylvania. He is now working with the University of Maryland in the larger East Campus redesign project with the goal of turning College Park into a vibrant campus that is integrated with its community through retail, dining, business, arts and culture.

The College Park Think-A-Thon is scheduled Oct. 11 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at the College Park Community Center, 5051 Pierce Avenue, College Park, MD 20740.

For more information or to register, visit www.arhu.umd.edu/thinkathon.

Media interested in attending the event are asked to contact Nicky Everette at 301.405.6714 or meve@umd.edu.

The University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the appointment of Faedra Chatard Carpenter as faculty administrator for the Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative.

Announced in 2013, the three-year initiative is a pilot program of the College of Arts and Humanities. The initiative is intended to enrich arts and humanities scholarship and encourage their inclusion in spurring ideas and solutions to society’s most pressing issues.

Carpenter, associate professor in the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies, is a theater scholar, professional dramaturg and cultural critic whose research and creative interests are centered on the study of race, gender, class and sexuality on the stage and in everyday life. She has done dramaturgy for more than 35 productions, including works performed at the Kennedy Center, Center Stage and Arena Stage. Carpenter’s forthcoming manuscript, “Coloring Whiteness: Acts of Critique in Black Performance” examines presentations and perceptions of whiteness in culture and media to explore how artists challenge commonly held notions of racial identity. 

 “As a teacher and scholar, the Foxworth Initiative speaks to the way I like to work—collaboratively—while addressing the type of endeavors I am invested in intellectually and artistically,” Carpenter said. “There is such inspiration and purpose in work that serves to strengthen and empower communities and this is the type of work that the initiative champions.”

Last year’s courses “attest to the fact that classrooms need not have borders,” Carpenter added.

“They illustrated that the exchange of ideas is always best; that teaching and learning are often one and the same,” Carpenter said. “The Initiative shows that public scholarship matters and can make a tangible difference in people’s lives.”

Carpenter earned a Ph.D. in drama with an emphasis in directing from Stanford University, an M.A. in drama from Washington University, and a B.A. in English from Spelman College.

The Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative is made possible by the generosity of two college alumni, Domonique ’04 and Ashley ’06 Foxworth.

Last year’s inaugural Foxworth Initiative funded courses including Food, Trauma, and Sustainability; Latina/o Transmigration and Transnationalism and Community Partnership for the Performing Arts. The initiative also partners each course or “Creative Enterprise Team” with community partners such as Prince George’s County Food Equity Council and Casa De Maryland to encourage the inclusion of the arts and humanities disciplines in the application of solutions to pressing issues including food insecurity, climate change, immigration, poverty and racism.

A call for faculty proposals to submit to the Foxworth Initiative will be made later this fall.

The college would like to thank Michelle Rowley, associate professor in the Department of Women’s Studies, for her leadership during the initiative’s inaugural year.

For more information, visit www.arhu.umd.edu/foxworth.

On April 29th, the second place of the Do Good Challenge’s Venture Track category was awarded to Community Pipeline, a new initiative from the College of Arts & Humanities’ Center for Synergy and the ARHU Social Innovation Scholars. Guided by mentors and faculty members, University of Maryland students designed and implemented their own after-school programs in local elementary and middle schools. This organization was the brainchild of a few young, dedicated students, among them Nick Henninger ’15: history & economics major, Social Innovation Scholar and project mentor for the organization’s 2014 cohort.

Nick remembers sitting in a club meeting for AshokaU Terp Changemakers in April 2013 and listening to members express an earnest but unsubstantiated desire to teach entrepreneurship to a local school. What they needed, Nick thought, was a pipeline from the university to local schools such as Paint Branch Elementary and College Park Academy.

At the time, Nick was part of the 2013 cohort of the Social Innovation Scholars. Over the course of a year, the fourteen undergraduate scholars participated in classes, internships, fundraisers and meetings to nurture ideas and develop entrepreneurial projects. With support from ARHU Assistant Dean Sheri Parks and mentors from local schools, Nick and another scholar, Chinese and international business major Clara Huang ’14, came up with a plan to help interested college students turn their enthusiasm into action.

Community Pipeline launched on March 31st of this year. Students ran four different after-school programs three days a week. 98 volunteers hosted a “diverse array” of activities, including singing, engineering, geography and more. Community Pipeline provided Maryland students with the logistical services they need, such as free door-to-door transportation, an on-campus background check, lesson plan assistance, communication with school officials and any miscellaneous costs. In the near future, Community Pipeline may create its own website, and perhaps even spread its ideas to other universities. These are big tasks, but the students aren’t backing down.

“It’s meant to be enormous,” Nick says. “It’s meant to change the way this university looks and feels to the local community.”

In the Social Innovation Scholars Program, undergraduate scholars partner with a faculty mentor and a non-profit organization to develop strategies to achieve organizational goals. Starting in the spring semester scholars work with a faculty mentor, a representative from their partner organization and with each other to identfy a concern and explore the cultural discourse surrounding that specific concern. Together they devise “chess moves” to address their defined challenge. Over the summer scholars intern with their non-profit organization, learning more about the organization and its challenges and opportunities. Scholars spend their final semester in the fall applying their learnings to specific action items—fundraising, planning and  implementing their ideas. Learn more about this year's scholars.  

The 2014 Social Innovation Scholars 

Marissa Brown
Major: Environmental Science & Policy, English
Graduation Year: 2015
Partner Organization: City Year

Pegah Maleki
Major: English, Creative Writing minor
Graduation Year: 2016
Partner Organization: D.C. Coalition against Domestic Violence

Kaitlyn Stalnaker
Major: Business
Graduation Year: 2017
Partner Organization: Hydrocephalus Foundation of the Philippines

Jordan Stachura
Major: Studio Art
Graduation Year: 2015
Partner Organization: Keep America Beautiful

Nicholas Henninger
Major: Economics
Graduation Year: 2015
Partner Organization: Community Pipeline

Joseph Doyle
Major: History
Graduation Year: 2016
Partner Organization: Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency

Jacob Pargament
Major: Journalism (anticipated)
Graduation Year: 2016
Partner Organization: National Geographic

Ghonva Khalid Ghauri
Major: Pre-med, Studio Art
Graduation Year: 2015
Partner Organization: CHAI - Counselors Helping (South) Asians, Inc.
 

 

 

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