Category: students

Imagining America

0 comments

Kandinsky-Tension-in-Red_1.jpgConnecting the arts and humanities to a democratic revivial in the United States is more than an intriguing idea - the future of the cultural and political ideals of a diverse nation hangs in the balance. And while that may sound like hyperbole, consider the headwinds of violence, apathy, low-voter turnout, politcal disillusionment and eroding trust in institutions into which American society has turned in recent years. As much as that 'decision' has been driven by choice, short-term corporate self-interest and a certain passive willingness, so to will solutions to re-engage be a matter of choice. And many of the leading voices in American arts and humanities education are making that choice clear: reviving the public square, where the work of democracy takes place, is the focus of Imagining America:

As a growing consortium of over 100 colleges and universities, IA’s central aim is to engage people in the work of democratizing civic culture in the United States and beyond. We place our primary focus on the transformational task of democratizing the culture of higher education institutions through scholars and practitioners who draw on the arts, humanities, and design in their work. As a means to this end, IA’s staff and NAB members have been developing a “Theory of Change” that represents our collective answers to three key questions: (1) What is our assessment of the world as it is? (2) What is our vision of the world as it should be? (3) What strategies can we use to close the gap between what is and what should be?

This is inarguably an effort of which we should be a part. In every crucial sense, the humanities and arts at UGA are fundamental to expanding our students' views of the world and helping them chart a course to engaged citizenship. Across disciplines, our scholars in the classroom take this role quite literally; and when a university education, even at a state flagship as in the case of UGA, equals a rarified, highly-sought experience, our graduates taking responsibility out in the world is a crucial part of the exchange. This elevated sharing of expectations is what the liberal arts learning environment is about - and ours is healthy and robust. What we learn about in literature, history, language, fine arts and all manner of cultural studies is ourselves. We build the world that we will inhabit and bequeath, and this work is never complete.

So UGA would also be an important partner in the concert of IA efforts. It is empowering to think of the future of our country being a product of what is happening right here on our campus, every day.

Because it is.

Sculptor Ry Rocklen to lecture September 9

0 comments

RyR.jpgVisiting artist and Gallery Artist-in-Resident Ry Rocklen will discuss the work he has created while in Athens as well as comment on his recent sculptural pieces in porcelain and his furniture enterprise Trophy Modern. Rocklen's exhibition of work, Local Color, made largely in tandem with students at the Lamar Dodd School of Art will open on September 12th in Gallery 307. His lecture is on Tuesday Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in room S151 of the Dodd:

Rocklen began his career studying with Charles Ray at the University of California, Los Angeles, and continued at the University of Southern California where he received his Master of Fine Arts degree. Rocklen has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, most recently holding solo exhibitions at Praz-Delavallade in Paris, France, and UNTITLED in New York. His work is in the collections of the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the MoCA Library at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. 

Alum to direct University Theatre production, "Clybourne Park"

0 comments

UGA-Clybourne-Park-2014_0.jpgThe Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title was taken from the Langston Hughes poem "Harlem" (also known as "A Dream Deferred") for a story based on a black family's experiences in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. A Raisin in the Sun was made into a film (1961), a musical (1973), and a TV film (1989), and a spinoff production of Hansberry's classic, "Clybourne Park," won both a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Now, "Clybourne Park" comes to UGA in a new University Theatre production beginning September 25:

Directed by Paul Pierce, State Theater of Georgia artistic director and a UGA alumnus, this satiric comedy about race and real estate follows one house over 50 years—from the era of segregation to gentrification.

Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play, an Olivier Award and the Pulitzer Prize, the play begins in 1958 with homeowners learning that a black family has bought a house in their all-white neighborhood in Chicago, depicting events immediately following those in the classic play. Act two takes the audience to the same house in 2008 as a white family is buying and renovating the house, now in a predominantly black neighborhood, and the roles are reversed.

This reversal provides humor while raising the racial issues associated with historical redlining, fair housing policies and contemporary gentrification. The same actors play the characters in both act one and act two, emphasizing the connection between events half a century apart. Costumes and the décor of the home change drastically while the people and situations remain reminiscent despite the reversal of roles.

...

Performances will be held Sept. 25-26 and 30 and Oct. 1-3 at 8 p.m. with matinees Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 at 2:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building's Cellar Theatre.

We're glad to welcome Pierce back to campus, and kudos to University Theatre for bringing back a renowned alum to work with our current students. Get your tickets here.

2014-15 Fulbright grants

0 comments

Of the twelve University of Georgia students who were awarded international travel-study grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for the 2014-2015 academic year, the Franklin College is well represented:

This is UGA's second highest total of Fulbright recipients.

Eight of the students accepted the scholarships. Recipients of the U.S. Student Full Grants, which cover research, study and creative opportunities, include three students who recently earned undergraduate degrees at UGA: 2013 graduate Christian Conroy of Roswell; 2011 graduate Winn Davis of Savannah; and 2009 graduate Brett Heimlich of Alpharetta.

Two students who recently earned master's degrees at UGA also received Full Grants: Sara Hobe of Fresno, California; and Lauren Satterfield of Atlanta.

English Teaching Assistantship Grants, which place recipients in K-12 schools and universities to serve as language-learning assistants, were given to three students who recently earned undergraduate degrees at UGA: Tiffany Brown of Warner Robbins, DeAnne Cantrell of Douglasville, and Christine Pardue of Cleveland.

The largest U.S. international exchange program, Fulbright grants allow our students to work in communties throughout the world while continuing their education.

Science Learning Center: breaking ground

0 comments

UGA-ScLC-rendering.jpgThe D.W. Brooks mall on South Campus is about to [begin to] change for the better, with much-needed science instruction space in the new Science Learning Center:

The University of Georgia will break ground on its newest building-the 122,500-square-foot Science Learning Center-on Aug. 26 at 11:30 a.m. at the south end of the S10 parking lot located just off Carlton Street.

...

The Science Learning Center will be situated on South Campus adjacent to Pharmacy South and across from the Miller Plant Sciences Building. Funded by Deal and the Georgia General Assembly, the center will cost $44.7 million and be designed around an environment that promotes active learning.

The building's 33 instructional labs will be designed specifically for interactive learning in core undergraduate science courses. The Science Learning Center also will contain two 280-seat lecture halls and two 72-seat SCALE-UP classrooms. SCALE-UP stands for Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs, a learning model that focuses heavily on group-work class participation and technology-making student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction easier in a larger class setting.

The building is scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Okay, that seems like a long way off but it will be here before you know it. Great news for students and faculty in the sciences, which more than ever, venture into many more disciolines than we have traditional associated with only chemistry or biology. But definitely for all our science majors, this new building is a welcome new addition to the campus learning environment.

Image: A rendering of the Science Learning Center shows how the new building will be situated on UGA's South Campus.

 

Renovations around campus

0 comments

Park Hall.jpgIt's that time of year (in which I start out several posts with 'It's that time of year...') when the town begins to be once again flooded with people and cars, returning students, parents, futons, and hopes (we hope). Instead of showing a picture of a very congested Milledge Avenue during sorority rush, we'll preview some renovations to campus buildings that will soon re-open. The University Architects office does a great job keeping our facilities up to par, and for the Franklin College, that means some of the busiest sites on campus. Park Hall for example, is one of our most venerable buildings, an institution practically in its own right. Park Hall see such high volume of use throughout the year that it can be difficult to even schedule renovations there and hence, the building's infrastructure and appearance can suffer, affecting its functionality for the thousands of students who pass through its doors each day.

Over the summer, the HVAC in Park Hall received some long-needed attention. That, along with other updates, will greet students and faculty next week. Our thanks to the physical plant employees and sub-constractors that made all this work happen during the brief summer window. We look forward to being back in its halls once again and appreciate that, especially with some improvements we may not notice at first, it takes a great deal of planning and resources to keep our great buildings like Park Hall at the top of their game.

2014-15 University Theatre Season

0 comments

Fine_Arts.jpgThe richness of cultural choices - programming, in the common parlance - in our campus community instills a great sense of contact, exploration and inspiration. The new University Theatre season is an extraordinarily thoughtful repertoire of new and old that promises many great nights on its venerable stages:

[The] 2014-2015 lineup, which includes the 2012 Tony Award Winning "Raisin in the Sun" spinoff "Clybourne Park," a stage adaptation of literary and film classic "The Great Gatsby" presented as part of the UGA Spotlight on the Arts Festival, Shakespeare's classic comedy "Much Ado About Nothing" and the biting satire "Mein Kampf."

This year's season offers new and old classics, from Shakespeare to Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" and adaptations and spin-offs of classic literature. It also contains new offerings, such as Catherine Trieschmann's "Hot Georgia Sunday" and George Tabori's "Mein Kampf," a satirical sendup of Adolf Hitler's failure as an artist that led him to pursue his other dream—of taking over the world. "A Lesson Before Dying," based on the Ernest Gaines novel examining the life of an innocent man on death row in 1948 Louisiana

The literary sensibililty of this roster alone has tremendous appeal. I already have my favorites. Get your season tickets today.

Image: Fine Arts Theatre by Cassandra Wright.

$2 million NSF grant to Mathematics

0 comments

Pure-mathformulæ-blackboard.jpgA major new grant to the department of mathematics to help in attracting students to this essential foundational discipline:

Behind every facet of digital communication is a well-trained mathematician, and the University of Georgia mathematics department is on the front lines of training for this ever-increasing field of employment.

...

"Our objective is to provide an intellectually compelling, pedagogically well-planned and professionally nurturing environment in which undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs will thrive," said the department's Dino Lorenzini, a Distinguished Research Professor of Mathematics.

Modern digital communication offers an array of job opportunities for students with mathematics training. This initiative is meant to help students with an interest in math explore their options, learn more about the field and cultivate the skills needed for employment in the future.

Fantastic news with real impact for our campus. Attracting the best students with comprehensive education opportunities - and not just training - remains the university's strongest calling card. This grant to mathematics will help the department utilize this strength as it provides the very best in preparation for fulfilling careers.

Image: mathemtical formula, via wikimedia commons.

Exploring UGA's global connections

0 comments

DiscoverUGA.jpgHaving spent some time recently with one of our terrific (and longest-running) study abroad programs, I can vouch for the impact they have on our students. The echo of these experiences reverberate back on campus, in our classrooms, in the lives of our students as they resume their studies back in Athens, and in the host countries and cities our programs call home (away from home).

To get an even better idea of this multiverse of scholarly engagement, our colleagues in UGA public affairs put together a terrific interactive map that documents what our students and faculty are doing around the globe. Take a look

Art Maymester in NYC

0 comments

NYCCOMBO.jpgMore on this soon, but 30 students (graduate and undergraduate) in the Lamar Dodd School of Art enjoyed a great experience on a new Maymester program in the spring - a field study in New York City. Students had the opportunity to visit all the big museums plus a number of galleries throughout the city, interact with many UGA alumni as well as incoming LDSOA director Chris Garvin. Now that's a fun way to learn.

Image collage courtesy of Marni Shindelman.