Humanities Forum: Mark Tribe: Art is a Three Letter Word (9/18)

Photo credit Collier Schorr

Photo credit Collier Schorr

On Thursday, September 18 at 5:30 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, artist Mark Tribe will present the Humanities Forum, “Art is a Three Letter Word.” The forum is part of the Dresher Center’s Digital Humanities Initiative.

Mark Tribe’s work explores the intersection of media technology and politics. His photographs, installations, videos, and performances are exhibited widely, including solo projects at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Momenta Art in New York, the San Diego Museum of Art, and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. He is the author of two books, The Port Huron Project: Reenactments of New Left Protest Speeches and New Media Art and numerous articles. Tribe is Chair of the MFA Fine Arts Department at School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 1996, he founded Rhizome, an organization that supports the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.

The event is sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Visual Arts Department, and the Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts. For more information, click here.

Social Sciences Forum: The U.S. Constitution and the Battle Over Racial Equality Today (9/17)

Rogers SmithOn Wednesday, September 17 at 4:30 p.m. on the seventh floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, Dr. Rogers Smith, H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will present the Social Sciences Forum, “The U.S. Constitution and the Battle Over Racial Equality Today.”

The author of seven books on citizenship and equality in the United States, including one that was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History, Dr. Smith, H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will address why America’s political leaders avoid discussing racial policies, even as many forms of racial inequality persist and deepen. Smith argues that the United States is profoundly divided between two rival conceptions of civic equality–but that common ground may be found in the bold views of the Constitution’s purposes advanced by Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

This is a Constitution and Citizenship Day Lecture, co-sponsored with the Departments of Political Science, Africana Studies, American Studies, Philosophy and Public Policy, and the Office of Student Life. For more information, click here.

Performing Arts and Humanities Building Grand Opening (10/17)


Photo: Ken Wyner

The campus community and the public are cordially invited to attend the grand opening of the Performing Arts and Humanities Building on Friday, October 17. At 3:00 p.m., an official ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in the Recital Hall, followed by a reception, building tours, performances and open rehearsals. We will also commemorate the installation of the new public artwork by Thomas Sayre. A detailed schedule will be published soon.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, on MSNBC

Tom SchallerOn Sunday, September 7, Political Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller appeared on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki,” to analyze the future of the Democratic party in the South. Schaller is author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South (Simon and Schuster 2006).

Schaller participated in an engaging panel discussion with political consultant Steve Jarding, NBC News Senior Political Reporter Perry Bacon Jr., and MSNBC Political Analyst Joan Walsh. The group discussed what the 2016 presidential election could look like in the South for Hillary Clinton and how it may be different from the 2008 and 2012 elections.

“Clinton’s states are Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee…Kentucky. Obama’s states are new South states, the states with the most non-native Southerners: Florida, Virginia, North Carolina,” Schaller said. “So Democrats are going to win in the South, but they aren’t going to win in the ‘bubba’ states.” He added, “the notion that Democrats are going to win with economic populism…if they can’t win on economic populism after the greatest financial crisis in 60 years, then when are they going to win? When are white, working class Southerners going to move Democratic if not in 2007, 2008, 2009?”

To view Schaller’s main segment on the program, click here. Links to other parts of the segment can be found in the “more clips like this” section.

UMBC Featured in The Baltimore Sun’s Special Section on Education

The Shriver Center’s Governor’s Summer Internship Program (GSIP) and the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems’ Costa Rica Field Course were featured in The Baltimore Sun‘s September special section on education.

Collin Wojciechowski ’13, political science and media and communication studies, and Michele Wolff, Director of The Shriver Center, were quoted in an article focusing on a hands-on approach to learning politics and government. Wojciechowski, who is currently special assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff in Governor Martin O’Malley’s office, said part of his experience that led to his job came thanks to GSIP: “It gives you a chance to directly shadow a whole range of people and specifically people who are higher levels directly,” he said.

The program introduces Maryland college students to the unique challenges and rewards of working within state government and interns work for ten weeks during the summer in state government agencies. Wolff said, “it’s really important for students to see the relevancy of what’s happening around them while they are in college,” adding, “through programs like this they see the relevancy of what’s happening outside the college experience. They see that not only does it have an impact on them, but they can have an impact on what’s around them.”

In an article focused on experiential learning, Maggie Holland, Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems, and Honors College student and environmental science major Clare McCauley were quoted about UMBC’s Costa Rica Field Course. The course provides students with service opportunities and field experience while being immersed in another culture.

“As I understand experiential learning,” Holland said, “it’s the whole toolbox. It’s about linking the classroom outward.” In describing her positive experience in the program, McCauley noted, “If I can’t plant some trees and get along with my neighbor, then all these sustainable, conservatory actions really mean nothing.”

To read complete versions of both articles, click below:
Learning politics and government hands-on
Experiential learning

George Derek Musgrove, History, in The Philadelphia Tribune

An article published September 7 in The Philadelphia Tribune discusses the case of U.S. Rep. Chakka Fattah, a ten term representative from Philadelphia who is facing corruption allegations, charges and guilty pleas surrounding his family. George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, associate professor of history, is quoted in the article and discusses the case of Fattah Sr. and his son, Fattah Jr., explaining that children of Black political families often go into businesses connected to their parents’ political power.

Derek Musgrove“There is a much higher percentage of white political families that produce their wealth from non-government related private businesses than there are Black ones,” Musgrove told The Tribune. “The children of many Black political families reproduce their class position by going into business[es] that are somehow connected to their parents’ political power. This may make them more susceptible to investigators looking for influence peddling.”

Musgrove added: “These young men grow up with the privileges associated with their parents’ status and take them for granted. Their children did not necessarily have an organic connection to these communities and that can sometimes lead them to use these communities for their own gain. They tend to have the same opportunities for graft afforded their white peers but not the same political protections.”

To read the full article in The Philadelphia Tribune titled, “Fattah not the first Black political family with money troubles,” click here.

Shawn Bediako, Psychology, Receives 2014 Champion Award from the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America

Psychology Associate Professor Shawn Bediako has received the 2014 “Champion Award” from the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA). The prestigious award is given annually to individuals who have made a significant impact in the sickle cell community.

Shawn Bediako

Bediako has done extensive research on sickle cell disease, including race and social attitudes and optimism and perceived stress. In addition to his research, Bediako is also engaged in several community-based projects and was selected in 2008 by Governor Martin O’Malley to serve on the Statewide Steering Committee on Comprehensive Services for Adults with Sickle Cell Disease, a committee that he has chaired since 2010.

Bediako will be honored in October for his dedication to sickle cell disease during the SCDAA’s Annual Convention in Baltimore. Past recipients of the Champion Award include: Clarice Reid, MD, Marilyn Gaston, MD, Congressman Danny Davis (IL), Elliott Vichinsky, Carlton Haywood, PhD, Hertz Nazaire and actor Sidney Poitier.