01/30/17

CAS Alum Reflects on a Life of Liberal Arts

Tallman_Office

A Liberal Arts Foundation

Alumnus Donald Tallman graduated from UM-Flint in 1977 with degrees in English and History, and with a variety of experiences that have served him both professionally and personally. At the base of it all lies a lifelong belief in the power of a liberal arts education.

“I’ll never forget my introduction to the University of Michigan-Flint. It was the first meeting with my advisor to talk about my interests and set my class schedule,” recalled Tallman. “A very tall, older, birdlike man with shock of white hair dressed in a tweed jacket and bow tie emerged from his office. ‘I’m Dr. Firebaugh and you must be Mr. Tallman,’ [he said]. I wondered to whom he was referring for a moment. Here I was, a very young 17 year old, standing before this imposing figure. He was what I had always pictured as the classic English professor. He invited me into his office, his desk piled with papers and books. I was awestruck. He asked me about my educational goals. I boldly told him I wanted a classical liberal arts education—I wanted to become a Renaissance man. He smiled at my hubris and my audacious statement, peered at me, and said, ‘Well, Mr. Tallman, we can certainly try.'”

Donald Tallman as a UM-Flint Junior in 1976.

Donald Tallman as a UM-Flint Junior in 1976.

“So, Dr. Firebaugh led me, sometimes dragged me, through a curriculum and personal study that included Greek and Roman history and literature, European history and literature, German history, Russian history, African history, political science, art history, music, economics, and psychology,” continued Tallman. “One of the areas that I continued to nurture as a student was vocal music. I participated in the choir, under the direction of Carolyn Mawby. Ms. Mawby introduced me to a wide range of repertoire, from early music to modern atonal pieces. Those musical experiences were powerful, served as a source of inspiration and creativity, and provided me with the foundation for a long career as a professional tenor.”

Leading A Life of Variety

In October 2016, Tallman began his eleventh year as Executive Director of the Colorado Railroad Museum—recognized as one of the foremost, independently-supported railroad museums in the United States. He has the distinction of being the first non-railfan to lead the Museum. Noted Tallman, “the Museum has made great progress during [my time] in terms of care and interpretation of its collections, developing new audiences, expansion of educational programs, and increasing visibility outside the railfan community. Museum attendance has nearly doubled during [my] tenure, and the Museum’s budget has also grown by over 40 percent.”

His work at the museum also involves collaborations with local and state tourism agencies and other cultural organizations.

Before the Railroad Museum, Tallman’s career included operating, marketing, and financial management experience in both for-profit and not-for-profit arenas, with such organizations as Booz Allen Hamilton, an international management consulting firm; the Newberry Library, one of the largest privately endowed research libraries in the world; General Motors; and Wells Fargo Bank. He has also served as a consultant to several emerging organizations.

In his community, Tallman  serves on numerous boards, including the Budget and Audit Committee for the City of Lakewood, the Membership Committee for the National Western Stock Show Association, the Golden Visitor Center Board, and the Board of the Association of Tourist Railroads and Railroad Museums.

Donald Tallman preparing to sing the National Anthem for the Colorado Rockies.

Donald Tallman preparing to sing the National Anthem for the Colorado Rockies.

He has also been active in the arts community, both as a performer and as an administrator for a number of arts organizations in San Francisco and Denver. A professional singer, Mr. Tallman is in demand as a tenor and performs throughout the Denver metro area. He regularly performs the National Anthem at civic and professional sporting events throughout Colorado. In his spare time, Tallman enjoys climbing the mountains of Colorado as a member of the Colorado Mountain Club, as well as cooking. He and several of his favorite recipes are featured in the cookbook Denver Men in the Kitchen.

The Power of UM-Flint

When asked how his time at UM-Flint prepared him for his life, Tallman replied, “the UM-Flint website states that ‘UM-Flint’s pioneering faculty and staff set the tone in 1956—this is a ‘Community of Learners’—to cultivate graduates that will succeed in a changing world. The resulting atmosphere was, and continues to be, rich with curiosity, hard work, and heart.’ That tradition of cultivating graduates that will succeed in a changing world certainly applies to my own experience throughout my career and my life.”

“The faculty of UM-Flint taught me how to think, they inspired me to cultivate curiosity about my world. They reminded me that problems were just challenges to be overcome. They taught me that there are many different and elegant ways to come up with a solution or an interpretation. They taught me the importance discipline and intellectual rigor. They taught me the value of digging deeper, and that the outside readings contain the real gems of learning. They taught me to never stop challenging myself and to settle for anything less than excellence. They taught me to realize the importance of being prepared, of doing your homework, of meeting deadlines. They inspired me to be a lifelong learner. They taught me how to write, how to communicate, and ultimately, how to lead.”

In addition to the advising provided by Dr. Firebaugh and the musical inspiration of Carolyn Mawby, there were many faculty members who had a significant impact on Tallman’s UM-Flint career. He noted, “It’s difficult to narrow it down. Dr. Bruce Rubenstein was a professor and friend who mentored me throughout my undergraduate career.”

In 2013 Tallman was the keynote speaker for UM-Flint History's honors society induction ceremony. Pictured: Donald Tallman (left) with Professor Bruce Rubenstein (center) and Gregory Havrilcsak.

In 2013 Tallman was the keynote speaker for UM-Flint History’s honors society induction ceremony. Pictured: Donald Tallman (left), Professor Bruce Rubenstein (center) and Gregory Havrilcsak.

“When I was an undergraduate,” remembered Tallman, “UM-Flint was a very intimate campus with small class sizes and strong teaching faculty who demanded intellectual rigor, who were accessible, who provided rich subject expertise, and who prepared me for graduate studies at the University of Chicago.”

Tallman hopes that current and future UM-Flint students can have an experience as meaningful as his own. He advises them to, “get involved in the social fabric and extracurricular opportunities that are available to you at UM-Flint. Get out and stay out of your comfort zone. Ask questions and be engaged in your classes. Explore academic areas outside your major. Volunteer your time and give back to your  community. The discipline you develop during your academic career at UM-Flint will carry you through the rest of your career. Take time daily to exercise your body as well as your mind.”

For new graduates, he hopes they will learn to value and share the strength of their liberal arts roots. “History and English provide strong generalist skills and a solid foundation for a career in a wide variety of fields across many functional areas,” noted Tallman. “As an employer, I look for people with solid skill sets and broad interests. Emphasize the transferable analytic, writing, and presentation skills that were critical to your success as a student.”


For more information on the home of liberal arts at UM-Flint, visit the College of Arts & Sciences at umflint.edu/cas. For alumni services and information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at umflint.edu/alumni or (810) 424-5450.

To contact Donald Tallman directly, email donald@crrm.org.

09/20/16

UM-Flint History Heads for Peaks and Valleys of Germany

Chris Molnar, Associate Professor of UM-Flint History and 2016-17 Wyatt Fellow

UM-Flint History and the Wyatt Exploration Program

Since 2009, the Wyatt Exploration Program has allowed History students in UM-Flint’s College of Arts & Sciences to travel the world with their faculty—at almost no cost to the students themselves.

The program is funded from a generous bequest made by Dr. Dorothea E. Wyatt, the first chair of the Department of History and one of the original sixteen faculty members of the University of Michigan-Flint (or Flint College as it was called in 1956).

Each Wyatt journey is led by a History Department faculty member (known as the Wyatt Fellow) and explores a region and topics related to their field of study. Past trips abroad have been made to Poland, Japan, Wales, and London; others have explored topics closer to home, heading to the “Old South” and even staying in Flint.

Both UM-Flint History majors and minors are  eligible to apply for the Wyatt Exploration Program.

When history major Monica Wiggins transferred to UM-Flint from Mott Community College, she was ecstatic to find out about the Wyatt program and its support for students. She said, “When I found out via email that I had been selected, I screamed, cried, and then said a thank-you prayer to Dorothea Wyatt. Having the trip paid for enables ‘broke college students’ to experience another country and culture that they might otherwise not be able to. It makes you a better informed person. You study these places and events, and then getting to see them first hand and in person is completely different.”

A Life-Changing Journey

The Wyatt Program is officially announced each year at a Kick Off Celebration. This year’s event, held in early September, included talks by the 2015-16 Wyatt Fellow, Professor John Ellis; department chair, Professor Roy Hanashiro; and one of the student travelers from the 2016 trip to London, Melissa Ormechea-Smith.

Dr. Ellis described his trip as a transformational experience, and noted how special it was to see London through the eyes of his students, saying “that is an experience as a teacher that is irreplaceable.”

Melissa Ormechea-Smith - Social Studies TCP and English Literature student - speaking on the UM-Flint History trip to London, England, in 2016.

Melissa Ormechea-Smith – Social Studies TCP and English Literature student – speaking on the UM-Flint History trip to London, England, in 2016.

Melissa Ormechea-Smith, a student of education and english literature, was also changed by her three weeks in London, England. It was her first time abroad and she was grateful for the financial support provided by the Wyatt Program. She noted that, while trips to museums, palaces, and the financial district were memorable, it was the chance to visit the resting place of Elizabeth I in Westminster Abbey that will really stay with her. Amidst awe-inspiring architecture and while being humbled by the sheer weight of history, said Smith “I was brought to tears by gratitude for the Wyatt experience. In that huge crowd, I had a profound personal experience.”

Smith is working on her secondary teacher’s certificate program (TCP) in social studies. She knows her experience in London will make her a better teacher and that it’s something she’ll share with her students. “I knew I wouldn’t be the same person coming home,” said Smith, “My perspective and outlook are forever changed.”

The 2016-17 Wyatt Exploration Program—titled “Germany: Land of Peaks and Valleys”—will be led by Dr. Chris Molnar, Assistant Professor of European History. Said Molnar, “It is a great honor to have been chosen by my colleagues as the 2016-2017 Wyatt Fellow. Now I am excited to have a chance to share my interest in German history and culture with the campus community and to take a group of students to Germany and Austria at the end of the year.”

Germany: Land of Peaks and Valleys

“When people hear ‘Germany,’” said Molnar at the Wyatt Kick Off event, “they think of two things: beer and Nazis.” With this in mind, Molnar chose his Wyatt Exploration Journey carefully—intent on showing his students that there are many more sides to Germany. He acknowledged the Third Reich and the Holocaust may be the darkest spots in Germany history, but reminded the audience that they are not the whole history.

Chris Molnar, Associate Professor of UM-Flint History and 2016-17 Wyatt Fellow

Chris Molnar, Assistant Professor of UM-Flint History and 2016-17 Wyatt Fellow

Molnar plans to bring students to Nuremberg, Regensburg, and Munich—focusing on the Bavarian region of Germany and its Alpine mountain range. They will also stop in Salzburg, Austria. Said Molnar, “The mountains have shaped German and especially Austrian culture, and so Wyatt explorers will also have a chance to head up into the mountains to take in the fresh air, breathtaking views, and traditional alpine hospitality.”

Students will see the remains of a Roman fortification, visit the favorite seat of the Holy Roman Empire, cruise the Danube, ride a cable car to the peak of Untersberg mountain, and enjoy traditional fare at a variety of eateries.

Continued Molnar, “Those who take part in this year’s Wyatt trip will develop a much deeper appreciation for the complicated history and culture of a fascinating and beautiful country!”

Wyatt Events for Campus & Community

To be eligible for the Wyatt Exploration trip, History majors and minors attend a series of events in addition to the required coursework. The events consist of guest lectures and fun activities—most open to all campus and community members.

The 2016-17 Wyatt events include:

• Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Lecture: “The Many Faces of Munich: The Bavarian capital in the Turbulent Twentieth Century” with Dr. Derek Hastings, Associate Professor in History at Oakland University.
Time: 4pm
Location: 251 French Hall

• Saturday, October 15, 2016
Oktoberfest Celebration featuring a thirty-piece German brass band, a dance floor, and complementary Bavarian dinner buffet. Registration required.
Location: Flint Elks Lodge, 7177 E. Maple Ave., Grand Blanc, MI.

• Thursday, October 20, 2016
Lecture: “Terrorism and Security: or, How Did We Get Here? The Example of 1970s West Germany” with Dr. Karrin Hanshew, Associate Professor in History at Michigan State University.

• Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Wyatt Movie NightAli: Fear Eats the Soul

• Monday, November 14, 2016
Lecture: “The Modern Invention of the Medieval Executioner” with Dr. Joel Harrington, Professor of History at Vanderbilt University.

• Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Krampus: the South German Christmas Devil. Join us on St. Nick’s Day to hear Professor Molnar describe the murky origins, history, and cultural meaning of Krampus, the south German Christmas devil.

Full event details will be posted on the UM-Flint History website. Questions can also be directed to Chris Molnar at chrismol@umflint.edu.


For more information on the Wyatt Exploration Program, visit umflint.edu/history or call 810.762.3366.

Applications for the 2016-17 Wyatt Exploration journey to Germany open in November 2016 and close in early January 2017. History students interested in being considered should obtain a passport and further details from the UM-Flint History Department office.

05/11/16

Lumber City Baseball Returns for 2016 Season

LumberCity1If you have a passion for baseball, then here is an invitation for summer fun in Flint. Lumber City Vintage Base Ball Club is ready to step to the plate for their fourth season. For the past few years, Flint’s historical baseball team has taken to field withover 30 teams all over Michigan. Each team dresses in period uniforms, uses replica equipment, and plays by rules of the 1860s to recreate the earliest days of America’s past time. This year, Lumber City will be hosting two tournaments on their field at the University of Michigan-Flint. The Stockton Cup, named for Flint’s Colonel Thomas B. Stockton will showcase four clubs playing for the trophy on May 21. On June 11, the team will host the Carriagetown Classic in a “Gatling-gun” style tournament where three teams compete in a single game. The remaining home games are select Saturdays. Most games begin at 2:00 pm with earlier start times for tournaments. You can see the full schedule by visiting the Whaley House website www.whaleyhouse.com

The team is sponsored by the University of Michigan-Flint Department of History and the Whaley Historic House Museum. Spectators get to see more than an authentic competition. During the game, Thomas. Henthorn, Wyatt Professor of U.S. History, treats the crowd with interesting stories about the history of the sport and why Americans took to the game in the nineteenth century.  “Our history department is always trying to come up with unique ways to engage the community with history,” remarked Henthorn. The team also serves as part of the outreach programming for the Whaley Historic House Museum. The Museum is currently being restored from damage by a fire on November 30, 2015. “The baseball team has been a very successful way for use to reach people offsite,” said Samantha Engel, the museum’s director. “This year, the team will help remind people that the museum is still busy promoting history, even though the house itself is being repaired.”

For fans who think they may want to do more than watch, the Lumber City team is looking to add players to its roster. “Anyone is welcome to join,” said Henthorn. “We even have special incentives for University of Michigan-Flint students.” Prospective players must be at least eighteen years of age and do not have to be associated with the university to be members. Practices have already begun with a special scrimmage match and information session scheduled for April 16 at 1:00 pm at the University of Michigan-Flint. Anyone wishing to join should contact Prof. Thomas Henthorn at the University of Michigan-Flint. 810-762-3366.

12/1/15

Giving Blueday – December 1, 2015

Impact students. Start a journey. Fund the future.

On Giving Blueday, Tuesday, December 1, 2015, we are asking you to donate any amount you can to the departments or programs that mean something to you. Even $5 makes a difference if everyone gives!

We also ask that you share the stories of our programs’ requests–so others can give, too!

Read below for specific requests and links for each of our programs.

Give proud, give loud, and GO BLUE!

 

AfricanaStudies.StampAfricana Studies
The Africana Studies Department is dedicated to diversity and global awareness. To do so they utilize literature, theatre, film, and traditional academic studies. Each year they bring Africa Week to the Flint Community and they work with the Flint Public Library to present a visiting writer or author.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/AfricanaGBD

Anthro.StampAnthropology: AIYER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Dr. Aiyer was an associate professor of anthropology and a passionate researcher and teacher. The Regents of the University of Michigan regarded him as “a valued student advisor [and a] respected leader in his department.” Make a gift to his namesake scholarship and help future students who demonstrate a special commitment to education.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/Aiyer

Biology.StampBiology: STUDIER and SUCIC SCHOLARSHIPS
The Biology Department is celebrating two of its dedicated faculty by requesting gifts to their memorial funds. The Eugene “Doc” Studier Scholarship offers research support to Biology graduate students. The Holly Sucic Memorial Scholarship serves students in the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology programs.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/Studier or go.umflint.edu/Sucic

ChemBio.StampChemistry & Biochemistry: BLECKER CHEMISTRY SCHOLARSHIP
Professor Harry H. Blecker was the founder of the Department of Chemistry and a faculty member from 1957 to 1989. This fund honors him and helps Chemistry students complete their studies at UM-Flint. In his obituary, Professor Blecker’s family said “It was important to him to help future generations. This vision was his passion for working with thousands of students at UM-Flint.”
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/ChemistryGBD

ComVisArts.StampCommunication: UM-FLINT DEBATE TEAM
The UM-Flint Debate team has had a winning tradition at national-level debate for the last few years. Gifts made to this fund will allow the team to continue traveling and debating at tournaments near and far. Although housed in the Communication Program, the team is open to all UM-Flint students. Give today and keep them the Victors of Debate!
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/Debate

ComScience.StampComputer Science & Information Systems
Help fund study and research by Computer Science & Information Systems students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/ComputerScienceGBD

CriminalJustice.StampCriminal Justice
Help fund study and research by Criminal Justice students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/CriminalJusticeGBD

EarthScience.StampEarth & Resource Science
Help fund study and research by Earth & Resource Science students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the department leaders.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/EarthResourceScienceGBD

Economics.StampEconomics: SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The Department of Economics awards $500 scholarships every semester to our highest achieving majors. These scholarships allow students to cover any cost associated with attending, such as tuition, books, fees, etc.  Our students are very grateful to the generosity of our donors, as these scholarships make a meaningful impact on their lives.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/EconomicsGBD

Engineering.StampEngineering
Help fund study and research by Engineering students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/EngineeringGBD

English.StampEnglish: STUDENT BOOK SCHOLARSHIPS
Every student has to buy books, but English majors have to buy a LOT of books! In the department we try to keep book costs as low as we can, but the reading remains essential. We were all cash-strapped English majors ourselves, and that’s why we want to establish the English Book Scholarship Fund. For us, anything we can do to defray these expenses is worth doing, but we can’t do it alone.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/EnglishGBD

FLLshortForeign Language & Literatures: MONICA KARNES SCHOLARSHIP
Monica Karnes was a student in Spanish at UM-Flint. Although she was seriously ill, she “continued to pursue her education . . . demonstrating a commitment to excellence which is in the best tradition of the University.” Our UM-Flint Chapter of the Phi Sigma Iota Int’l Foreign Language Honors Society established this fund in 1985 in her memory “to benefit students who share Monica’s hopes, her dreams, and her spirit.”
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/ForLangGBD

History.StampHistory: MUSEUM OF LONDON INTERNSHIP
Help one of our students travel to London, England, for our first international internship! This experience will have a profound effect on their love of history and future studies and career. The student will work at the Museum of London.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/HistoryGBD

InterGlobalStudies.StampInternational & Global Studies: STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIP
Named for Dr. Matthew Hilton-Watson, associate professor of Foreign Language and the Director of the International and Global Studies Program, this scholarship helps undergraduate and graduate students travel the globe. Give the gift of experience, diversity, and expanded horizons to UM-Flint students while you pay tribute to Dr. Matt.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/GlobalStudiesGBD

Math.StampMathematics: FAMILY MATH NIGHT
Twice each year the Math Department hosts Family Math Night, a free event where young children and their families have fun together with math. The kids learn two important lessons: math can be fun, and they can do it! Help us continue this tradition of community engagement and inspiring future mathematics majors!
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/MathGBD

Music.StampMusic: MUSIC MAJOR SCHOLARSHIP
Voice. Instrumental. Classical. Jazz. Contemporary. Music can mean so many things, but, at UM-Flint, each definition has passionate students in common. Your gift to this scholarship will help future Music majors follow their dreams toward a life of making music. Encourage them to embrace creativity! This is an endowed scholarship, so your gift will be continuous.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/GBD

Philosophy.StampPhilosophy: CANDACE BOLTER SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWMENT
Our Candace Bolter Scholarship is $2,500 away from reaching endowment status. Once endowed, the scholarship will always be available to fund future Philosophy students. Says past recipient Thomas Mann, “[scholarships] give the student the sense that someone else believes in what they’re striving for, and for the student, that can mean the world.”
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/PhilosophyGBD

Physics.StampPhysics
Help fund study and research by Physics students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/PhysicsGBD

PoliticalScience.StampPolitical Science
Help fund study and research by Political Science students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/PoliticalScienceGBD

Psychology.StampPsychology
Help fund study and research by Psychology students by donating to their general gift fund. This ensures donations go to the area of highest need, as dictated by the program leaders.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/PsychologyGBD

PublicAdmin.Stamp-2MPA Program: ALBERT C. PRICE SCHOLARSHIP
Professor Albert Price served as Director of the Master of Public Administration Program for 24 of the its 35 years. He was also one of the program’s best known faculty members and a mentor to many of its graduates. Donations to this scholarship will help future MPA students complete the program that means so much to Dr. Price.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/Price

Sociology.Stamp-2Sociology: MARSTON CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AWARD
Gifts to this fund will benefit our students AND our city! Established in 2010 to honor the memory of Professor Wilfred Marston,
this endowed fund supports students who undertake a civic engagement project with a sociologically relevant research component that focuses on the improvement of Flint.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/Marston

Official.Theatre.Horz.Sig.png.binTheatre & Dance: FRIENDS SCHOLARSHIP
This fund supports Theatre & Dance students as they cultivate the necessary tools, both artistic and personal, to meet the demands of an ever evolving world and profession. With your support our students will stand ready to take a place of responsibility in the community at large and excel as fearless artists, flexible workers, and compassionate citizens. Thank you for giving!
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/TheatreDanceGBD

Untitled-1[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkv8B1VeXaE[/youtube]
Visual Arts & Art History: STUDENT TRAVEL
The Visual Arts and Art History Faculty would like support for students and student travel for Giving Blueday. In summer 2015 our students traveled to Paris, France. They loved the experience and can already see the benefits of their time there. Your gift will allow future Visual Arts & Art History students the chance to expand their horizons and find new inspiration!
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/VisualArtsGBD

WomenGenderStudies.StampWomen’s & Gender Studies: CRITICAL DIFFERENCE FUND
The WGS would like gifts to be made to the Women’s Education Center Critical Difference Fund. This small grant helps students facing emergency situations stay in school. Says one recipient, “I believe this grant is important because everyone needs help sometimes and even the littlest thing can save a life.” Give today and be a victor for those who need it the most.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/CriticalGBD

WritingCenterlogoWriting Center: C. SCOTT RUSSELL SCHOLARSHIP
The C. Scott Russell Scholarship helps writing students with the expense of higher education. The scholarship is awarded to students enrolled in English 109: College Writing Workshop based on their writing improvement and financial need. ENG 109 is designed as an independent study in writing. Students focus on writing issues that interest them and are important to their academic success.
Share or Give: go.umflint.edu/WritingCenterGBD

09/2/15

CAS Faculty Welcomed and Honored at 2015 Convocation

On Monday, August 31, both new and seasoned faculty gathered together for two events: the Academic Affairs Convocation that welcomes new faculty and celebrates our award-winning, promoted, and long-serving faculty members, and the Thompson Center for Learning & Teaching‘s pre-convocation workshop titled “The Actual and the Possible: Cultivating Learning at UM-Flint.”

The workshop featured sixteen faculty presentations, with representatives from each school or college at UM-Flint, focused on innovative and effective teaching methods used in (or out of) classrooms.

The College of Arts & Science was well represented with six faculty speaking on topics ranging from technology to storytelling.

DSC_0030_LR

Brian DiBlassio discusses teaching musical elements online.

Brian DiBlassio, Associate Professor and Chair of Music and recipient of the Provost Teaching Innovation Prize, was the first CAS faculty member to present. He discussed the ways in which he brings music alive for online students–where formerly they had only static words on a screen to inform their lessons. By incorporating video, moving graphics, sound, voiceover, and popular media, DiBlassio is able to answer the “challenge of teaching arts purely through text.”

Nicholas Kingsley, Assistant Professor from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and recipient of the Lois Matz Rosen Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, spoke to his peers about technology that works for both his teaching style and his students’ needs. From interactive digital presentations to a pen that allows recording and playback of his method for working through complex problems, Kingsley demonstrated how his technology choices serve students in the classroom and create resources for future use.

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Pat Emenyonu from the departments of English and Africana Studies listens to a presentation at the TCLT pre-convocation workshop.

Jill Slater, Lecturer of Biology, presented on this past spring’s Cell-ebration: a science symposium she created to inform and inspire students from all of her classes. Slater combined more seasoned students’ experiences and newer students’ questions to present cellular research being done across her courses. Her event engaged students in new ways and allowed there to be a focus on what happens after they learn research methodologies in lower level courses. All students came away with skills they can use later in their academic studies and in their professional and research careers.

Thomas Henthorn, Assistant Professor of History, spoke on an oral history project from his class Gods in the City. Henthorn uses the lesson to emphasize listening and communication skills while students explore new topics and religion through their interviews with community members. He spoke about the value of an assignment that can’t be simply gathered from online sources. Said Henthorn, “as wonderful as technology is . . . most of the world’s important business happens face to face.”

DSC_0105_LR

Erica Britt talks about Vehicle City Voices and the stories of Flint residents.

Erica Britt, Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the English Department, continued with the storytelling theme by talking about her Vehicle City Voices project. Britt has utilized both graduate and undergraduate students in her collection, coding, and presentation of stories from residents around the city of Flint. In addition to being a documentation of memories, her project is a study in the vocal patterns of speakers in Flint. Students created transcripts and developed word-level, phrase-level, and sentence-level analysis on their collected stories.

Margaret Ware, Lecturer in Biology, was the final CAS speaker of the day. In her discussion she showed how combining factual health histories with fictional characters allowed her students to have a more involved and engaged experience when completing a case study project. Students worked individually to create a story from lab data and then as a small group selected their favorite story or combined elements to create a new one. Ware noted the students were able to utilize a wide variety of skills, including the unusual combination of creative writing and scientific data collection.

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UM-Flint faculty, staff, and administrators listen to presentations at the TCLT’s 2015 pre-convocation workshop.

After all the presentations were made, participants had small table discussions to talk about their favorite methods from the day and also to share their own unique methods of teaching. The event was closed by TCLT’s Tracy Wacker who spoke to the joy of teaching and learning as she wished all a successful Fall 2015 semester.


The focus on UM-Flint’s teaching excellence continued later that afternoon at the Academic Affairs Convocation in the UM-Flint Theatre.

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Provost Doug Knerr welcomed faculty back to another year of excellent teaching.

The event began with an introduction by Chancellor Susan E. Borrego and a warm welcome from Provost Doug Knerr.

Faculty Awards were announced, with CAS faculty claiming eight of the nine honors:

Lois Alexander, Professor of Music: Teaching Excellence Award

Lixing Han, Professor of Mathematics: Scholarly or Creative Achievement Award

Kathy Schellenberg, Associate Professor of Sociology: Distinguished Service Award

Ernest Emenyonu, Professor of Africana Studies: Alvin D. Loving Senior Faculty Initiative Award

Karen Salvador, Assistant Professor of Music: Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Junior Women Faculty Award

Peggy Kahn, David M. French Professor and Professor of Political Science: Dorthea E. Wyatt Award

Nicholas Kingsley, Assistant Professor of Chemistry: Dr. Lois Matz Rosen Junior Excellence in Teaching Award

Traci Currie, Lecturer of Communication and Visual Arts: Collegiate Lecturer Award

Ricardo Alfaro, David M. French Professor and Professor of Mathematics, was also honored as the UM-Flint nominee for the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year Award.

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Traci Currie receives a congratulatory hug from Chancellor Susan E. Borrego

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Professor Ricardo Alfaro receives his Presidents Council Sponsored Faculty Award from Provost Doug Knerr

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Assoc. Professor Kathryn Schellenberg receives her Distinguished Service Award from Provost Knerr as Chancellor Susan E. Borrego looks on

Services awards were given to those who have been at the university for 10, 20, or 40 plus years:

Ten years or more: 
Jacob Blumner, English; Traci Currie, Communication & Visual Arts; Michael Farmer, CSEP; Janet Haley, Theatre & Dance; Terrence Horgan, Psychology; Jason Kosnoski, Political Science; Maria Pons-Hervas, Foreign Languages & Literatures; Jie Song, Chemistry & Biochemistry; and Jeannette Stein, Psychology

Twenty years or more:
Jamile Lawand, Foreign Languages & Literatures; Paula Nas, Economics; Stevens Wandmacher, Philosophy

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Assoc. Professor Jason Kosnoski receives his Faculty Service Award for 10 years or more of service

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Interim Dean Susan Gano-Phillips announced new and promoted faculty of CAS.

Promoted faculty were celebrated (click here for a full story), with those moving from assistant to associate or associate to full professor being named by Interim Dean Susan Gano-Phillips.

From associate professor with tenure to professor with tenure:
Lois Alexander, Music; Jami Anderson, Philosophy; Roy Barnes, Sociology; John Stephen Ellis, History; Michael Farmer, Computer Science and Information Systems.

From assistant professor to associate professor with tenure:
Dauda Abubakar, Africana Studies and Political Science; Julie Broadbent, Psychology; Daniel Coffield, Jr., Mathematics; Rajib Ganguly, Physics; Christopher Heidenreich, Music; Daniel Lair, Communication; Vickie Jeanne Larsen, English; Shelby Newport, Theatre and Dance; Greg Rybarczyk, Earth & Resource Science.

In addition to honoring our more seasoned faculty, the convocation also serves as a welcome to new faculty. The College of Arts & Science welcomed ten new faculty members:

Karen Bedell, Lecturer of Psychology; Halil Bisgin, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; David Duriancik, Assistant Professor of Biology; Jason Jarvis, Lecturer of Psychology; Jacob Lederman, Instructor cum Assistant Professor of Urban Sociology; Jeffrey Livermore, Lecturer of Computer Science; Brian Schrader, Lecturer of Communication; Amanda Kahl Smith, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice; Matthew Spradling, Assistant Professor of Computer Science; and Amanda Taylor, Lecturer of Psychology.

Each of the new faculty will be more thoroughly introduced to the campus and community through CAS Faculty Spotlights, located on the CAS website, throughout the Fall 2015 semester.

The College of Arts & Sciences would like to offer sincere congratulations to all of our faculty on their awards, recognition, promotion, or introduction to the University of Michigan-Flint. We are looking forward to a wonderful academic year of service and teaching.

07/9/15

Philosophy Alums Find Success in Grad School; Reflect on Time at UM-Flint

UM-Flint Philosophy alums have a long history of finding success in their academic and career fields. Douglas Grattan and Thomas Mann, two recent graduates, are no exception as they have both been accepted into teaching assistantships with full tuition waivers and annual stipends as they pursue their graduate degrees at separate institutions.

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Douglas Grattan, 2014 grad with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Economics.

Douglas Grattan (2014) will be heading to the Master’s Program in Philosophy at Colorado State University. In addition to his academic duties, he will be working on revisions to a book he’s written. When asked how he expects to spend his time at CSU, Grattan said, “As far as plans go, most of my time will be spent teaching or working, and in my free time I hope to finish the book completely and look at getting it published, as well as continue working on another book that I have in the works. Other than that, I hope to get involved on campus as much as possible and try to present at conferences whenever the opportunity arises. The time I don’t spend on all of that will be spent exploring the hiking the mountains, biking, and exploring the state.”

When asked how his time at UM-Flint and in the Philosophy Department prepared him for this next step in life, Grattan said, “Above all else, the philosophy capstone course was a huge boost for me—I was able to work on a literary review (that was eventually published online), intern at a philosophy conference, and at the end of the semester present a paper in a conference-style setting, which are experiences that I will have to repeat as a graduate student and which I thoroughly enjoyed. Beyond that, every philosophy class that I took was beneficial to me in some way, as I used many of the ideas that I learned within them as springboards for parts of my books and for other research projects. In many ways, I have used or will use everything that I have learned at UM-Flint, and I am eternally grateful for it.”

Grattan speaks of Dr. Simon Cushing as the faculty member who made the biggest impact on his time at UM-Flint. “[He] was by far my favorite professor. I enrolled in every class of his possible because he was extremely knowledgeable, approachable, interesting, and witty, so I always looked forward to his classes. I learned a great deal from him, and in many ways I wish to emulate his teaching style as both a graduate teacher and as (I hope) a professor later in life. In addition, while I was only able to have him as a professor in the capstone class, Dr. Stevens Wandmacher had much the same effect on me and gave me a great deal of encouragement.”

Grattan’s time at UM-Flint was not entirely spent in a classroom. “Part of the capstone class that I mentioned above was a two-month internship with the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics, which is a joint collaboration between the IINN in Flint and the philosophy department at the college. Through this, students in the capstone class are given the opportunity to do research on particular subjects that are of interest to those that run the institute, which they in turn incorporate into their medical practices or use as means towards further research, as the research is published online in the form of a literary review. This benefits society because the topics are of immediate importance to the medical field and beyond, given the fact that they have to do with questions of morality, patient rights, memory, personal identity, and much more. This was personally meaningful to me because not only was I able to make an impact in some way, but the topic that I chose to research opened my eyes to a great many topics and problems that, more than anything, led to my decision to specialize in applied ethics as a graduate student. It also became the genesis for the second book that I am currently working on.”

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Thomas Mann, 2015 graduate. Dual majors in Philosophy and History.

Thomas Mann (2015) will be heading to the University of Memphis for his philosophy MA this autumn. He also credits the faculty of the Philosophy Department for preparing him for this next step, “Certainly the philosophy department was extremely unique. Not only did the instructors do a wonderful job teaching, but they also got students to get excited in the subject. They also began the Michigan Undergraduate Conference and the undergraduate philosophy journal, which was very useful to me personally because it provided experience that very few undergraduates have.” When asked to describe the impact of specific faculty members, Mann said, “Dr. Cushing’s logic class for first getting me interested in philosophy, Dr. Veillet’s classes that gave me a perspective in philosophy I probably wouldn’t have been interested in otherwise; Dr. Wandmacher’s feminist ethics class and encouragement; Dr. Artis’ combination of history and philosophy, and Dr. Anderson’s classes that really got me thinking and writing better.”

Mann also found value outside of his first major’s department, “Also the history department was a big impact, especially Dr. Molnar, who not only took over the reins as my advisor but was always there for encouragement and guidance when I wasn’t confident I was much of a writer of history. There was also Dr. Kosnoski [of Political Science] and Dr. Lutzker [of Economics], who fostered and encouraged my interest in social theory, politics, and economics. I was also able to talk to Dr. Kietzman [of English] about the life and thought of some rather obscure figures, and that meant a lot to me as well.”

When asked about advice for incoming College of Arts & Sciences students, Mann said, “Do try and find what you love to do, what you are truly passionate about. And then try and find some other people who enjoy that as well. I would encourage this to be primarily academic, as it is an academic environment, but it can be extracurricular too. Sometimes students choose a major without a passion for it, or with an idiosyncratic passion for it, and it can die quickly if you think it’s too strange or too unusual. This should never be a reason to give up a/n (academic) passion! If there isn’t a club on campus, make one. If you don’t think anyone else is interested, ask around and see if there are majors in that subject. If nothing else, talk to a professor in the subject.”

Grattan added, “I would advise them to get involved as much as possible . . . and to get to know their professors. There are a multitude of opportunities on campus and within the city, as Flint is rebuilding and UM-Flint is a large part of that, giving students many unique chances to impact the community around them. In addition, professors are, in my experience, highly approachable and willing to give advice or help to students, meaning that they are invaluable to your education in a way that goes beyond just the classroom. Lastly, I would also advise them to open up in class, as many of my favorite memories at UM-Flint are the lengthy discussions within classes, as many of the professors strive to make their students part of the class and ask for their input rather than just lecturing. This allows for everybody to have a voice and hear many viewpoints or ideas that otherwise they would miss out on.”

To learn more about the Philosophy Department at UM-Flint and the ways in which they prepare students for their futures, visit their website. For updates and more news on alums and students, visit the Philosophy Facebook page.

 

 

05/26/15

UM Regents Announce New Appointments for Promotion and Tenure

On Thursday, May 21st, the Regents of the University of Michigan approved recommendations for new appointments and promotions for regular associate and full professor ranks, with tenure and/or promotion of faculty on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. The CAS promotions are presented below in alphabetical order.

Dauda Abubakar Africana Studies Assistant Professor

Associate Professor Dauda Abubakar

Dauda Abubakar, associate professor of Africana studies, with tenure, Department of Africana Studies, and associate professor of political science, with tenure, Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences, UM-Flint.

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Professor Lois Alexander

Lois L. Alexander, professor of music, with tenure, Department of Music, College of Arts and Sciences.

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Professor Jami Anderson

Jami L. Anderson, professor of philosophy, with tenure, Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences.

Roy Barnes

Professor Roy Barnes

Roy C. Barnes, professor of sociology, with tenure, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, College of Arts and Sciences.

Julie Broadbent, associate professor of psychology, with tenure, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences.

Daniel Coffield Mathematics

Associate Professor Daniel Coffield

Daniel J. Coffield, Jr., associate professor of mathematics, with tenure, Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences.

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Professor John Ellis

John Stephen Ellis, professor of history, with tenure, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences.

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Professor Michael Farmer

Michael E. Farmer, professor of computer science, with tenure, Department of Computer Science, Engineering and Physics, College of Arts and Sciences.

Associate Professor Rajib Ganguly

Rajib Ganguly, associate professor of physics, with tenure, Department of Computer Science, Engineering and Physics, College of Arts and Sciences.

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Associate Professor Christopher Heidenreich

Christopher Heidenreich, associate professor of music, with tenure, Department of Music, College of Arts and Sciences.

Dan Lair

Associate Professor Daniel Lair

Daniel Lair, associate professor of communication, with tenure, Department of Communication and Visual Arts, College of Arts and Sciences.

Vickie Larsen

Associate Professor Vickie Jeanne Larsen

Vickie Jeanne Larsen, associate professor of English, with tenure, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences.

Shelby Newport

Associate Professor Shelby Newport

Shelby Newport, associate professor of theatre, with tenure, Department of Theatre and Dance, College of Arts and Sciences.

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Associate Professor Greg Rybarczyk

Greg Rybarczyk, associate professor of earth and resource science, with tenure, Department of Earth and Resource Science, College of Arts and Sciences.

Congratulations to our new associate and full professors on their hard work and dedication to teaching and research. Your talents help create a quality experience for our College of Arts & Sciences students!

 

 

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.

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11/26/14

Giving BlueDay – Tuesday, December 2nd

BLUEDAY_smallOn Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, the University of Michigan is asking you to turn Giving Tuesday into Giving BlueDay – a day of online giving to the funds of U of M, including UM-Flint. The College of Arts & Sciences is encouraging donors to pick a specific fund and the amount that is right for them – even $5 donations mean a lot to our departments!

Following are links to our department and program funds, some of them discuss the specific needs your gifts will go to fill. For those that do not have a specific purpose listed, donations will go into their general gift fund and can be used as the department chooses. We hope you can help us make this a successful day of giving, and make a difference for our students!

AFRICANA STUDIES: Funds received will help establish a scholarship that supports Africana Studies Majors and Minors and honors former Chancellor Charlie Nelms who “intensified the university’s emphasis on student success, setting ambitious goals for increasing student retention and graduation rates.”

ANTHROPOLOGY & SOCIOLOGY

BIOLOGY: We have an ongoing need for undergraduate/graduate research support as well as scholarship support. Donations to the following funds will make a positive impact on the academic and career success of Biology students: William R. Murchie Science Fund, Eugene Studier Memorial Research Scholarship Fund, and the Holly Sucic Memorial Scholarship Fund.

CHEMISTRY & BIOCHEMISTRY: The Chemistry & Biochemistry Department would like to put funds towards the purchase of equipment that will enhance and expand students’ learning opportunities. We hope to both enrich their time at UM-Flint and better prepare them for real-world experiences!

COMMUNICATION

COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS/COMPUTER SCIENCE

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

EARTH & RESOURCE SCIENCE

ECONOMICS: Funds given will be used to fund the Economics Club Scholarship that is given every semester to an Economics major to pay towards any aspect of their schooling, including tuition, books, and fees. Help us continue to provide this support to our club and students!

ENGINEERING (GENERAL & MECHANICAL)

ENGLISH: We want to reinstate the English Department’s Visiting Writer Series, which was a victim of budget cuts. The series will bring nationally and internationally renowned authors to UM-Flint to meet with classes and the community. Help us bring back this meaningful tradition!

FOREIGN LANGUAGES & LITERATURES: We ask that gifts be made to the Monica Karnes Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund was established in 1985 by students in the UM-Flint Chapter of the Phi Sigma Iota Int’l Foreign Language Honors Society to “benefit students who share Monica’s hopes, her dreams, and her spirit.”

HISTORY

MATHEMATICS

MUSIC: Funds donated to the Music Department during GivingBlue Day will be used towards the purchase of a concert grand piano. This instrument will benefit solo performers, as well as vocal and instrumental performances of many musical genres–and the audiences who listen to them!

PHILOSOPHY DEPT.’s CANDACE BOLTER SCHOLARSHIP FUND: We are just $3,000 away from having our Candace Bolter Scholarship reach endowment status. Once endowed, the scholarship will always be available to help fund future Philosophy students. Help us to help others study Philosophy!

PHYSICS

POLITICAL SCIENCE

PSYCHOLOGY

SOCIOLOGY

THEATRE & DANCE: Students of the Theatre and Dance Department have a variety of high impact travel opportunities available, but often need help in funding their trips. Donations made to the Theatre & Dance Department will be used to diversify the avenues of support available to their students.

VISUAL ARTS: Funds will go to print-making equipment for our new concentration, funding student travel to museums and architectural tours, a vent for the wood shop, and torches to teach flame-working. Help us expand our students’ learning experience by giving to Visual Arts!

WOMEN’S & GENDER STUDIES: The WGS would like donations intended for them to be made to the Women’s Education Center Critical Difference Fund. This small grant is intended to help students who are facing emergency situations stay in school. The grant assists some of our most at risk students, many of whom are returning women and first-generation college students. DONATIONS MADE TO THIS FUND ON GIVING BLUEDAY WILL BE MATCHED UP TO $200!

If you do not see a fund you’d like to give to on the above list, browse all the options, including Research, Scholarships, and more, within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Whether you give or not, please share this blog’s link on your social media feeds to spread the word about Giving BlueDay!

10/9/14

History and Music Students Find New Knowledge with Nagata Shachu

HIS_Mus_drums On Friday, October 10th, the Toronto-based group Nagata Shachu will be performing at the UM-Flint Theatre. This group has toured worldwide, with performances in their native Canada, the United States, and Italy.

According to the UM-Flint History Department: “While rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, this ensemble’s principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music that seeks to create a new voice for the taiko. . .Their playing is the combination of unbounded spirit and passion with the highest levels of musicianship and discipline. The result is an unforgettable experience that is both powerful in expression and heartfelt in its sincerity. Featuring an arsenal of taiko, bamboo flutes, the three-stringed shamisen, and an array of gongs, cymbals, shakers, and wood blocks, Nagata Shachu will take you on a musical journey beyond all borders.”

The group is being brought to campus by the History Department as part of a series of events related to their Wyatt Exploration Program. Each year, the Wyatt program focuses on a specific cultural or historical theme or topic. A department expert will plan and organize the events for the year. “Featuring affiliated course offerings, special extra-curricular events on campus, and a competition to participate in a university-funded student travel expedition, the Wyatt Exploration Program will enrich and deepen our understanding of the world and its history.” The 2014-2015 Wyatt Program is “Japan: Its History and People.” Other campus activities this year include a lecture series and a film series. History students involved in the Wyatt Program will be on hand for the October 10th Nagata Shachu performance, helping to facilitate a smooth production.

Nagata Shachu will not just be providing an amazing musical experience for audience members, or deepened cultural understanding for the Wyatt participants. UM-Flint Music Department students will be attending a workshop with the performers on Friday afternoon, learning more about the instruments that will be played on stage. When asked about this unique opportunity for his students, Music Department chair Brian DiBlassio said, “Taiko drumming is a deeply artistic and cultural form of music. By participating in the workshop given by Nagata Shucha before the concert, select UM-Flint students will have the rare opportunity to experience a taste of this authentic tradition firsthand. The Department of Music is grateful to share in this event made possible by the Department of History.”

The Nagata Shachu performance is open to the public. Tickets are $5 and available through the History Department Office (260 French Hall) and at the time of the event. Doors to the UM-Flint Theatre open at 6:30pm, the performance starts at 7pm. For more information, contact the History Department at 810-762-3366, email LFaulkne@umflint.edu, or visit their website.

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