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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.
 

 

 

PULSAR, or the Program for Undergraduate Language Science Ambassadors in Research, represents a new interdisciplinary training opportunity geared towards undergraduate students. The University of Maryland has the largest and most integrated team of language scientists in North America, and the PULSAR program allows undergraduates to tap into this unique resource, providing them with opportunities beyond those found in their primary major.

 

To be a successful PULSAR scholar, students should:

• Commit to PULSAR for 4 semesters.

• Take a total of 15 credits of language science related coursework (generally, 1 prerequisite course and 12 additional credits); With the exception of the prerequisite course, these credits must be outside of the primary major, but can be part of a minor or second major; this expectation is intended to provide interdisciplinary breadth in language science education.

• Serve as a research assistant or language-science-related intern for a minimum of 2 semesters (generally 6-10 hours/week), or pursue an honors project; these activities can be either within the student’s major or outside of it.

• Participate in at least one outreach activity per year.

• Attend a 1-credit weekly seminar series, and speak at that series to peers about their research.

GO to http://languagescience.umd.edu/education/undergraduate-pulsar/application for more information and to apply now!

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A $500,000 grant from the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) will fund new research at the University of Maryland on the legacy of ancient Rome as reflected in the architecture and art in the United States’ capital and in the nation’s system of governance.

The foundation awarded the $500,000 NIAF Ernest L. Pellegri Grant, named in honor of a foundation donor, to the university’s Department of Classics in the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) to expand the study of Latin language and ancient Roman culture, as well as the opportunities for students to study abroad and conduct research in the United States and Italy.

This is the largest single grant awarded to an educational institution in the foundation’s history, said Anita Bevacqua McBride, chair of NIAF’s Education and Scholarship Committee. “Through this partnership we will help connect the ancient remains of the Roman past found in Italy to the formation of our American identity,” she said.  

Maryland was selected from a pool of 25 American and Italian universities because of the project’s compatibility with NIAF’s mission, the expertise of the faculty and the impact on students and the larger university community. The principal investigators for the grant are Jorge Bravo, Lillian Doherty and Judith P. Hallett from the Department of Classics.

“This generous grant exemplifies the expertise of classics faculty and allows us to capitalize on our proximity to Washington, D.C.,” said ARHU Dean Bonnie Thornton Dill. “This partnership is a logical extension and complement to the ways the faculty blend scholarship, teaching and community engagement to strengthen the study of Latin and promote its relevance to our modern lives.”

Examples of this influence include the classical design of the Capitol building, the mural in its dome painted by Constantino Brumidi showing classical gods surrounding George Washington as he helped create America, and a semi-nude sculpture of Washington that was created for—but not installed in—the Rotunda.

Most of the five-year grant will fund scholarships for undergraduate student education abroad, alternate spring breaks and summer research, and provide graduate student fellowships to support research by master’s-level candidates in classics and related fields of study. 

“Many of our alumni are highly regarded teachers of Latin and classical culture,” said Lillian Doherty, chair of the Department of Classics. “Through our students the legacy of Roman culture will be passed on to future generations.”

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ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 37,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 49 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.8 billion operating budget, secures $500 million annually in external research funding and recently completed a $1 billion fundraising campaign.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage. NIAF serves as a resource on the Italian American community and has educational and youth programs including scholarships, grants, heritage travel, and mentoring.  NIAF is also the voice for Italian Americans in Washington, DC and works closely with the Italian American Congressional Delegation and the White House. NIAF’s mission includes advancing US – Italy business, political, and cultural relations and has a business council that promotes networking with corporate leaders. The NIAF was founded in 1975 as a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. It is entirely non-partisan. Visit www.niaf.org.

 

The college's Year in Review is now available online. You can also request a printed copy through the Dean's Office by calling 301.405.2090 (While supplies last). 

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—The University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce the launch of the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy and its website arhusynergy.umd.edu. The site launched Wednesday, December 18, 2013, and is the product of years of concerted efforts between the Office of the Dean in the College of Arts and Humanities and input from faculty experts.

Led by Sheri Parks, associate dean of research, interdisciplinary scholarship and programming, the center seeks to help faculty, students and the larger community make connections across the diverse, yet interconnected disciplines of the college.

“The goal is to place these fields in broad context, facilitating new intellectual synergies that connect and inform the pressing human problems of our time,” said Bonnie Thornton Dill, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. “Through lectures, symposia, intellectual working groups and research initiatives, we will apply our new insights and skills to help individuals and academics alike.”

The site was designed not only to aggregate information about initiatives that cross disciplinary lines, but to act as a resource hub for scholars, students and community members looking to connect and build support for projects of mutual interest.

In the initial launch, the site will provide in-depth information about the many innovative and collaborative research, scholarship, events, programs, courses and outreach taking place in the college. In addition, the site hosts a wealth of information about grant resources and highlights the arts and humanities labs for inspiration and creativity.

“From the visual and performing arts to history, literature and culture, the arts and humanities provide powerful insights and perspectives for out-of-the box ideas,” said Parks. “They raise awareness, break down barriers and foster innovation.” 

To further inspire and engage the community, the college has organized this year’s dean’s lecture series to presentarts and humanities leaders who are influencing society and advancing the national conversation on the importance of humanities and social sciences to the improved state of the world. 

"We are proud to convene a community of arts and humanities leaders, continually reaching across disciplinary lines—theorizing, producing new tools and methodologies—to shape the future of the academy," said Thornton Dill. "We look forward to the valuable contributions of our established affiliates and the insights of emerging working groups to extend the conversations taking place nationally on the future of the arts and humanities."

Upcoming Enhancements

In subsequent releases, the website will provide a scholar database that will help users identify partners with similar interests. Also in the works are virtual labs with a variety of tools that can be used by existing or emerging working groups alike. The goal is to help people connect, collaborate and innovate.

The website was created through a synergistic collaboration between the web and application services and marketing and communications teams in the College of Arts and Humanities.

The website is an example of the college's commitment to improve the visibility of interdisciplinary initiatives not only within the college, but also through collaborations with those in other fields of study.

For more info, please contact Sheri Parks at slp@umd.edu.

12/11/13

TDPS

Congratulations to Professor Karen Bradley and TDPS students Christina Banalopoulou (Ph.D. student), Drew Barker (M.A. Theatre '13), and Kate Spanos (Ph.D. candidate), along with Sargoon Nepaul (dance and neuroscience undergraduate major) and Emma Sessions (kinesiology undergraduate major) on being awarded a Future of Information Alliance (FIA) - Deutsch seed grant for their project entitled "Re-imaging and Re-imagining Choreometrics."

Their interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between TDPS, Kinesiology, Neuroscience, and Library Sciences that will create a data set of dance videos from cultures and communities all over the world that were collected by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax. These clips are now buried in the Library of Congress, and the team will partner with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the Association for Cultural Equity in New York to access the films. Their goal is to digitize the video and then make it widely available to scholars and communities around the world through an online collaborative Wiki.

The team was awarded $25,000 to complete the first three months of groundwork for the project, which will feed into and enable them to meet their long-term goals. The project meets the priorities that are valued by the FIA-Deutsch program, including information equity, information literacy, culture, collaboration, information transfer and emergence.

by Karen Shih '09, Between The Columns

From writing to directing to acting, women are underrepresented in every area of theater production. A new initiative from the Big Ten Theatre Chairs aims to change that by commissioning, producing and publicizing up to five new women-written plays over the next five years.

“This is a very unique initiative. It’s about raising consciousness in order to represent the student population as well as the audience, both of which are mostly female,” says Leigh Wilson Smiley, director of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and a new member of the theatre chairs group. “We need to start to get the female voice 
out there.” 

The plays will not only be written by women but also feature substantial female roles. Naomi Iizuka of the University of San Diego, known for works reflecting her multicultural background, has been commissioned to write the first one. It will be ready for the 2014–15 season, and each Big Ten university will have the opportunity to perform it on a 
main stage or do a staged reading. It’s one way Maryland’s Big Ten membership is helping 
areas beyond athletics.

 “I’ll have partners across the country,” Smiley says. “This is a chance to influence the national conversation.”   

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