03/30/15

Advising on Secondary TCP Changes: March 30-April 2

The Secondary Teacher Certificate Program at UM-Flint is undergoing changes that will be effective in Fall 2015. The new model will better prepare our students to be high school teachers. All who are currently enrolled in a Secondary Teacher Certificate Program or considering teaching high school students should attend one of four upcoming advising sessions:

 • Monday, March 30th, 4pm-5pm 

• Tuesday, March 31st, 11am-12pm 

• Wednesday, April 1st, 11am-12pm

• Thursday, April 2nd, 4pm-5pm

Sessions will be held in the Center for Educator Prep in 410 French Hall. Each session will contain the same content. Multiple program advisors will be on hand to present information and answer questions. The changes will affect students who are already enrolled in a Secondary TCP.

For more information, visit umflint.edu/education or call 810.762.3257.

STCPAdvising_2015

03/23/15

UM-Flint Dance Students Attend 2015 ACDA Regional Festival

ACDA photo 4_small

Nataniel Morales, Brooke Olney, Emma Davis, Ashlynn Feige, Ashinique Soney-Wesaw pose outside Ohio University’s Dance Department, 2015 host school for the ACDA East-Central Region.

Members of the UM-Flint Dance Program recently attended the American College Dance Association (ACDA) East-Central Regional Conference at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. The regional conferences and national festival presented by the ACDA provide a “venue for students and faculty to engage in three days of performances, workshops, panels, and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country. The conferences also provide the unique opportunity for students and faculty to have their dance works adjudicated by a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals in an open and constructive forum.”

Faculty member and Dance Instructor Emma Davis brought with her Ashlynn Feige, Dance major; Brooke Olney, Molecular Biology major and Dance minor; Nataniel Morales, Dance major; and Ashinique Soney-Wesaw, Fine Arts major (concentrations in Drawing and Painting) and Dance minor.

When asked about her experience at the conference, Wesaw-Soney said, “This trip [ACDA] was absolutely amazing and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be able to go and represent UM-Flint! Having the chance to take so many different classes that I would have never dreamed of taking in my life (Dance Fusion Martial Arts, Kontemp Ballet, etc.) with other students from schools across the region that came to this conference made this trip so exciting and memorable.”

At the conference, all four UM-Flint students danced a performance of “The Lottery” as choreographed by Davis. Morales and Feige also performed an original work titled “Non-Existent Limits.”

LotteryPhoto

UM-Flint Dance students, wearing costumes designed by Shelby Newport, performed “The Lottery,” choreographed by UM-Flint faculty Emma Davis, in the ACDA Adjudicated Concert #3.

UM-Flint’s version of “The Lottery” is a contemporary interpretation of the 1948 short story by Shirley Jackson. In the original story, a yearly lottery is held among the residents of a small village. The chosen “winner” faces stoning by the rest of the townspeople. In Davis’ version, which uses both ballet and hip-hop elements, she explores the role of gender in traditional dance, the value of styles, and the ideas of conformity versus individualism. The ballet choreography was original to Davis; she worked with Morales and provided guidance as he developed freestyle hip-hop moves for his portion of the performance.

“The Lottery” was presented to a panel of three adjudicators on the main stage of the conference. Feedback on all main stage presentations was given at a session later in the day, with the adjudicators commenting on the dance performances and the choreographic choices as well as the costumes, lighting, and other elements. The adjudicators were unaware of whether students or faculty members were responsible for each portion of the dance performance. Davis said their feedback this year was positive, with some expressing surprise at her choice of an ending and variations on the traditional ballet. Although “The Lottery” was not one of ten performances selected for the conference’s closing gala concert, Davis expressed great pride in her students and thought they did very well for it only being UM-Flint’s fourth visit to the event.

“Non-Existent Limits, ” choreographed by Nataniel Morales and performed with his fellow-student Ashlynn Feige, was presented in an informal concert at the conference.  The informal concerts are conducted on a smaller scale and without the panel of adjudicators.

ACDA photo 2_small

Nataniel Morales and Ashlynn Feige practice for the ACDA informal concert #1, where they performed “Non-Existent Limits,” choreographed by Morales.

The trip to the ACDA conference is just one example of the ways in which UM-Flint Dance students take what they’ve learned outside of the studio. Members of the Dance Program will be dancing at schools and adult care facilities at the end of March and in early April to promote their upcoming Spring Dance Concert. When asked about studying Dance at UM-Flint, Ashlynn Feige said, “Studying dance at UM-Flint is a great experience because the instructors challenge you to be the best dancer you can be.  Not only that, but we form strong friendships and connections with the other students.  Dance has a way of bringing people together, and we all support each other which is very important.  It’s a positive environment where anyone can feel comfortable.”

Students, staff, faculty, and all members of the community are invited to see “The Lottery” as it will be performed at the upcoming Spring Dance Concert, April 17th-19th, at the UM-Flint Theatre. For this year’s concert “varying literary works inspire the dances. From the poetry for Rumi and Kalil Gibran to the local authors of Flint, the dances explore the written word.” Tickets are available through the UM-Flint Box Office or via the Theatre & Dance Department website.

2015 SPRING DANCE CONCERT

Photos provided by the UM-Flint Theatre & Dance Department and Emma Davis.

 

03/16/15

Get to Know Dr. Pat Emenyonu of Africana Studies and the English Department!

Dr. Pat Emenyonu was the Thompson Center For Learning & Teaching’s February 2015 Faculty Focus. Her article, titled “’Glocal’ Agent: Building Bridges Across Campus and Continent” is available across UM-Flint and on the TCLT site.

Dr. Emenyonu is also a driving member of the African/African Diaspora Visiting Artist Series which is bringing South African author Sindiwe Magona to campus and the Flint community March 18th-20th.

Dr. Pat Emenyonu of the Africana Studies Department and the English Department at UM-Flint.

 Name: Dr. Pat Emenyonu
Title: Lecturer II
Department: Africana Studies and English

Classes I teach:
• Women Writers of the African World (AFA 318W1)
• Survey of African Literature (AFA 206/ENG 209W1)
• Afro/Latino/Caribbean Women Writers (AFA/CPL/WGS 216W1)
• Teaching Africana Studies (AFA 399M1)
• Improving Reading in Mid & Sec School (ENG 410/510)

Professional Interests, Activities, or Publications:
Attendance at the Annual African Literature Association Conferences has helped to focus my research on themes and directions that the panels are organized around. Publications have resulted from some of the papers presented at past conferences. As Assistant Editor of the journal African Literature Today, I have also helped to direct the themes of the issues which often reflect interests and concerns that I have. Bringing African writers to campus also has brought their works and analysis of their writing up close and personal. (see chapters in the book below)

“Teenage Readers in Conversation with Nawal el Saadawi,” in Emerging Perspectives on Nawal el Saadawi. Ernest N. Emenyonu & Maureen N. Eke (Eds.).Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2010.

“Nawal el Saadawi and Creativity, Dissodence and Women: An International Conference Report,” in Emerging Perspectives on Nawal el Saadwi. Ernest N. Emenyonu & Maureen N. Eke (Eds.).Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2010.

“Teaching African Literature Online in America: A University of Michigan-Flint Initiative.” African Literature Today, #29. 2011. Edited by Ernest N. Emenyonu.

Girls at War: Achebe’s Short Stories.” Achebe’s Women: Imagism and Power. Helen Chukwuma (Ed.). Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2012.

Research or Specific Areas of Interest:
African children’s literature and African/African Diasporan women’s writing

Degree(s)/Education:
• BA History, Oberlin College
• MA African Lang & Lit, University of Wisconsin, Madison
• EdS University of Colorado, Curriculum & Reding
• PhD University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Curriculum & Reading

Memberships:
• African Literature Association
• DKG, MU Chapter, Chair of Personal Growth Committee
• Board member, GCLC (Genesee County Literacy Coalition)

How I fell in love with my field:
In the Peace Corps while teaching at a secondary school in Kenya, I was sent to a school that didn’t offer History (my major), so I was given the A stream (as in A-D ability levels) English classes and we started a writers’ club that organized a workshop that was sponsored by the East African Publishing House and brought several well-known writers to our campus for the day. Ngugi wa Thion’go had recently published his book Weep Not Child as part of the African Writers Series from Heinemann and Things Fall Apart was being widely read. I took 6 months traveling home from Kenya – going south through Africa including South Africa where I met Alan Paton (my mother insisted, as he had been given an honorary degree at Kenyon College where my Dad taught) and across the Pacific. Reaching East Lansing, my home, with a letter of admission to a masters program in African literature at Wisconsin, I dumped my MSU program (MAT) and left for Madison. My MA thesis was on Ngugi.

What I hope for my time at UM-Flint: As the world shrinks, I hope to bring the African writers and their works closer to Michigan readers. My students find the stories they read in class quite memorable. Linking similarities and differences in situations, plot, characterization, and themes helps to bring a “glocal” perspective to my courses which in the long run is the only way to break stereotypes and myths and eventually [bring] trust and harmony between people.

What I hope for students in my field: That they gain in self-confidence and self- esteem as they read about others who are more similar than different from them. That they become life-long learners/readers who retain their curiosity and willingness to be vulnerable by stepping outside their comfort zones at least through literature. That they can be culturally competent so that conversations are genuine and allow for good listening as well as personal sharing.

Three things you should know about me:

I love to travel especially with family and friends.

I like spending time with my 3 granddaughters.

I like to read and go to the FIA films.

03/9/15

Updates to the UM-Flint Bridge Program

Dr. Emily Feuerherm is a faculty member in the Department of English. She is working to establish a bridge program fthat will enhance the learning experiences of international students at UM-Flint. On February 11th, an open forum was held to discuss results of a campus survey on the program and gather feedback from those attending. Following is her account of the event:

The open forum, Building Bridges and Scaffolding Success, on February 11 welcomed 14 students and 31 faculty/staff to discuss the development of a Bridge Program for international students. At the forum, panelists began by discussing the undergraduate courses that will be available beginning this summer and the 2015-16 year. Many faculty and staff had questions about how the courses would be integrated into the current requirements for undergraduate writing. It was discussed that these courses will provide students whose native language is not English with targeted instruction in the kinds of writing and speaking skills that are required in their academic courses. Currently, all students who need additional help with writing and academic skills are placed in ENG100 and ENG109, but these courses were developed for students whose first language is English. The new courses, LIN101 and LIN102, will provide non-native-English speaking students with English as a Second Language instruction that targets their particular needs and will prepare them for success in ENG111 and their other academic courses. An elective course, LIN104, will offer instruction in speaking and listening skills.

The development of these courses was reviewed and supported by multiple stakeholders in fall, 2014: the International Center, the Student Success Center, the English Language Program, the Undergraduate Writing Program, the Thompson Center for Learning and Teaching, and the English Department. The findings from the surveys conducted in January, 2015, supported the need for these classes. Faculty and staff indicated that writing academic papers and participating in class discussions were skills with which non-native-English speaking students needed the most support. Students indicated that the social and writing expectations they encountered upon entering the university were what they struggled with most. The surveys’ findings supported the development of credit-bearing ESL classes for undergraduates, but also indicated that other services, such as workshops, would be beneficial.

On March 16, from 9:30-noon, in the Tuscola room of the WSW Building, a workshop for students will be held focusing on intercultural communication. This workshop is designed for ALL students: graduate and undergraduate; international and domestic. Two speakers with years of experience navigating between cultural models of communication will present their experiences, and the workshop itself will be guided by Emily Feuerherm, Asst. Professor of Linguistics in the English department, with support from the International Center.

A workshop for faculty will be offered on April 1, from 1-4 p.m., in the Happenings Room, UCEN. The workshop will again be led by Emily Feuerherm, Asst. Professor of Linguistics, whose background is in teaching English as a Second Language. The workshop will build on instructors’ practices for scaffolding learning by highlighting the theories and practices for second language acquisition pedagogy and applying it to their teaching methods. This workshop is supported by the English department, the TCLT, and the International Center.

For more information, contact Dr. Feuerherm at feuerher@umflint.edu.