02/5/18

Alumni Spotlight: Brandon Taylor of UM-Flint Psychology

Brandon Taylor, 2017 UM-Flint Psychology alumnus

Brandon Taylor, 2017 UM-Flint Psychology alumnus

Brandon Taylor graduated from UM-Flint’s College of Arts and Sciences in April 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Research Psychology and a minor in Substance Abuse Treatment. He was co-president of the Psychology Club, a member of the psychology honors society, a work study in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice, and served as his class commencement speaker. After graduation he became a research assistant for the MSU College of Human Medicine in downtown Flint.

Brandon is fondly remembered by both his department faculty and those who were involved on his journey through UM-Flint.

Professor of Psychology, Terrence Horgan, PhD, reflected that Brandon, “was committed to excelling in school in a number of ways. He displayed a very positive attitude toward his education, and he always did his level best in class. His seriousness in class benefited his peers tremendously because it motivated them to demonstrate the same. Brandon was a role model in this regard because he elevated the quality of education that other students got in class.”

Jennifer Alvey, associate professor of anthropology and women’s and gender studies (WGS) and director of the UM-Flint WGS Program added, “When I think of Brandon, I think of a very hard working and dedicated person – someone who gives his all to everything he does. He is kind, funny, and light-hearted, but he also has a serious side, is very committed, and truly patient. Brandon had to cultivate these qualities or perhaps confidence in them, but somehow he found the courage and even desire to do so, which inspires those around him to give it a try, too. He’s the kind of person who makes us and the work we do – whether in the classroom or in an office – better. I miss seeing him every day, but am so happy to know that he is pursuing his Master’s degree and enjoying his research-based work.”

Brandon Taylor (left) joins fellow UM-Flint Psychology alums at a career panel for current students

Brandon Taylor (left) joins fellow UM-Flint Psychology alums at a career panel for current students

Read on as Taylor reflects on his time at UM-Flint, gives an update on life after graduation, and shares advice for current students.

What are you doing now and/or where are you heading next?
I’m a full-time research assistant for MSU at The College of Human Medicine in downtown Flint. I’m part of the SPIRIT Study, which stands for Suicide Prevention Intervention for at-Risk Individuals in Transition. Essentially, we’re investigating whether or not a suicide prevention program is clinically effective and cost effective. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, we’re tracking suicidal ideation and behavior of people reentering the community from jail in Michigan and Rhode Island.

I’m also a part-time graduate student at MSU, pursing a master’s degree in clinical social work. Conveniently, my courses are held in the evening at Mott Community College, so I have the easiest work-to-school commute that I could hope for. After graduate school, my hope is to go wherever I feel I’m needed in the realm of social welfare, though I’d prefer to find initial employment doing clinical work in Flint.

How did your UM-Flint education prepare you for what you are doing?
UM-Flint was instrumental in giving me a space to explore my interests. Though I have love and appreciation for psychology, my heart resides in social work. Funny enough, my First-Year Experience course, Intergroup Dialogue, heavily influenced the trajectory of my interests. My professors always provided constant encouragement, support, and guidance that truly boosted my once-low self-esteem. This, in conjunction with the numerous opportunities they provided, empowered me to reach beyond my perceived limits.

Who made the biggest impact on your time at UM-Flint?
I can’t pick just one. Drs. Alvey and Laube [of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice] always provided praise and encouragement. Drs. Heinze and Stein [of Psychology] always gave positive feedback and introduced me to working with groups via peer facilitation. Dr. Horgan provided innumerable research opportunities, both in-class and in his lab. Dr. Kassel [of the Student Success Center] constantly challenged me to leave my comfort zone. Wendy Carpenter [of the Student Success Center] helped me find courage when I doubted myself. Lynne McTiernan [of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice] was always so kind, generous, and considerate when I was her work-study… I am forever indebted to the faculty and staff at UM-Flint for going above and beyond to help me academically and personally.

Brandon Taylor serving as UM-Flint commencement speaker in April 2017

Brandon Taylor serving as UM-Flint commencement speaker in April 2017

What value did you find in UM-Flint’s approach of including hands-on learning and applying lessons to real world situations?
I found this priceless. Both my clinical internship and my research involvement prepared me for this current job, which I consider to be the beginning of my professional career. I wouldn’t be where I am without these keystone experiences.

Describe a firsthand example of an engaged learning experience you had at UM-Flint:
My clinical psychology internship involved observing the therapeutic process for highly depressed and highly anxious individuals. Though this was extremely challenging at first, I walked away with finally knowing what I wanted to do as a career.

For more information on UM-Flint’s College of Arts and Sciences and its many departments and programs, visit umflint.edu/CAS.

05/9/16

Alumni Spotlight: Tiffany Williams

The roots grown in Flint, Michigan, are strong for our graduates. For one graduate, they were strong enough to draw her 2300 miles across the country, from Seattle, WA, to lend her voice in raising awareness of the water crisis and to support Flint residents. During the time of Democratic Presidential Debate, Tiffany Williams, a 2011 sociology graduate, hosted a peaceful demonstration march and encouraged area citizens to express their feelings. Read below to get to know this passionate graduate.

Tiffany Williams (right) stands with Heather Laube of Sociology in Flint's Wilson Park

Tiffany Williams (right) stands with Heather Laube of Sociology in Flint’s Wilson Park

Name and degree: Tiffany Williams. I majored in Sociology and graduated at the end of 2011.

What are you doing now?
I currently work as a Resource Coordinator at a software company in the Seattle, WA area. Sometime in the future, I would like to work for a non-profit, eventually starting my own non-profit organization. Outside of my regular work, I have been actively pursuing social justice for the people of Flint during the continuing water crisis.

However, back home in the Seattle region, I am also starting to get involved in efforts to help the homeless population. Homelessness has become and increasing issue; particularly on the west coast.

How did your University of Michigan-Flint education prepare you for what you are doing now?
My education in Sociology at UM-Flint is the main reason that I pursue activism and non-profit work today. It was not until I began to study at U of M that I became informed about how society functions; including gaining an understanding about the social inequalities that exist today. This knowledge is the foundation that has enabled me to pursue social justice missions back in Flint, as well as in my current communities in Washington state.

Who made the biggest impact on your UM-Flint career?
Virtually all of my Sociology professors had a positive impact on me, but Dr. Heather Laube in particular, had the biggest impact of all. She challenged me to think in a way that no one else had. She made me always ask “why,” and taught me some serious analytical skills.

Still to this day, I remember that she always stressed that even though social injustice exists, we do have the power to change the status quo. I believed her then, and I still believe her now. That belief is what brought me back to Flint to organize and host the #JUSTICE4FLINT Protest Rally & March.

Tiffany Williams, center stands with #Justice4Flint Rally members in Wilson Park

Tiffany Williams, center stands with #Justice4Flint Rally members in Wilson Park

Tiffany Williams speaks to rally members and media during her #Justice4Flint demonstration.

Tiffany Williams speaks to rally members and media during her #Justice4Flint demonstration.

Describe a firsthand example of a meaningful learning experience at UM-Flint. 
Under the instruction and guidance of Dr. Ananth Aiyer (one of my other influential professors), I wrote my senior capstone on the topic of environmental racism. This research proposal virtually brought together everything that I had learned while studying Sociology, all into one project. It was essentially the most important exercise that I did while an undergrad. This project is how I learned to apply the study of Sociology in the “real world.”

The Flint Water Crisis made me realize just how important my research and writing on the topic of environmental racism was, especially considering the real life example that we see playing out currently in Flint as we speak. My capstone was definitely a major factor in understanding the Flint Water Crisis from a sociological perspective. I would say that my capstone was just one more stepping stone in my journey back to Flint as a self-proclaimed “activist.”

What does UM-Flint do better than any other university? 
At this campus, smaller class sizes allow students to easily access their instructors and receive personal attention which is a major student advantage. However, even though the class sizes are smaller on this campus than some others, students still receive the superb education that one would expect from the University of Michigan.

What advice would you give to an incoming UM-Flint freshman?
I would advise new freshmen not to rush into officially declaring their major right away. I would recommend that new students be open to taking introductory classes in disciplines that they are curious about. They may find themselves surprised at all of the options of study that the university offers.

Also, I would suggest staying in touch with professors throughout their program as well as after graduation. Staying connected with such esteemed professionals is always an asset.

Describe “the UM-Flint of the future.” What could it be? What should it be?
In the future, I would like to see more visible student activism on campus. The university should be a place that welcomes responsible student activism. Not to say that it currently does not; I would just like to see student activism more openly encouraged. College in often a critical time in our lives when we realize our own ability to make “change” and that realization should grow and be fostered. I would also like to see more engagement between students and the actual Flint community beyond the boundaries of campus. Community connection is important and there are a lot of students that do not currently live in Flint that could benefit by spending more time with in the community outside of the classroom.

#Justice4Flint Rally members march along Kearsley Street on the UM-Flint campus.

#Justice4Flint Rally members march along Kearsley Street on the UM-Flint campus.


To read about the #Justice4Flint rally and to view photos, check out coverage by Stand Up, Flint!, MLive, and CBCNews. For more information about UM-Flint’s Sociology program, visit umflint.edu/SAC.

Story photos by Erin Cavanaugh.

12/18/15

CAS Recognizes December 2015 Graduates with Honors

On December 16, 2015, the College of Arts & Sciences at UM-Flint held a ceremony to recognize their students graduating with honors, including the CAS Maize & Blue Award winners.

DeanGP_Dec2015honors

Dean Gano-Phillips welcomes students and their families to the December 2015 Honors Recognition Ceremony at UM-Flint

Dean Gano-Phillips opened the evening with a quote from Vince Lombardi, “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. That’s the price we have to pay to achieve that goal or any goal.” She went on to praise the students for their perseverance and dedication to excellence. She also acknowledged their families for the important support they provide to students.

The honors recognition ceremony allows each student to be individually recognized by a faculty member from their department. The faculty talked about our students’ work ethic, research, and community service; they often noted the great strength of character, humor, and thoughtfulness shown by students.

One graduate noted that the event left her feeling humbled and and extremely impressed by the accomplishments of her peers.

Photos are available from the evening. Visit our album at facebook.com/UMFlintCAS.

Congratulations to all of our graduates!

DECEMBER 2015 CAS GRADUATES with HONORS:

Majd Abufarha
Joshua Ahlborn
Mohamed Allam
Ranim Baroudi
Linda Batrow
Sade Blanks
Amanda Bodine
Jessica Bostian
Jake Brejnak
Caleb Bullen
Genelle Bundle
Melissa Butzow
Gino Cabadas
Dana Cardinal
Ryan Clark
Katie Cobb
Jason Dameron
Jennifer Dieck
Mohammad Dlewati
Robert Downer
Elizabeth Elston
Connor Everhart
Chandler Fish
Paul Fulkerson
Alexander Giddings
Anthony-Jacob Girard
Holly Goetterman
Melody Groomes
Noelle Herzog
Nathan Holbeck
Taylor Hollis
James Johnston
Michael Joslin
Richard Kagle
Kyle Knight
Andre Linden
Amy Majorana
Bradley Maki
Taylor Mata
Candice Mayer
Kayla McIntire
Michael Meddaugh
Krystal Miller
Alireza Mirahmadi
Nicole Moffitt
Jessica Morgan
Krystal Murphy
Shelby Myers
Emily Palmer
Chelsea Parkinson
Brekke Pichette
Jacob Reuther
Ashley Rich
Patrick Ross
Nakshidil Sadien
Hayley Schroeder
Haley Smith
Nina Smith
Elizabeth Speicher
Jared Sterba
Tyler Szczepanski
Thomas Thompson
Monica Towns
Roger Turkowski
Ryan Turvey
Cara Walker
Samantha Walling
Dawn Watters
Marcina Wheelihan
Tarah York

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

11/13/15

Heather Laube Announced as TCLT Faculty Fellow

Chris Waters, Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies made the following announcement today:

Dear Campus Community,

On behalf of the Office of the Provost, Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and the Thompson Center for Learning and Teaching, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Laube as the TCLT Faculty Fellow for the Faculty Mentoring Program re-design. Dr. Laube is Associate Professor of Sociology and serves as Director of the Women’s & Gender Studies program. She has been at UM-Flint since 2003. Heather recently returned from a Fulbright in Graz, Austria. While there, she was able to travel to Vienna for a full-day conference on mentoring to learn about new developments and challenges of mentoring programs in a range of universities in several countries. She also gave two invited lectures in which she discussed mentoring as a way to improve equity in higher education. Heather is excited to talk with faculty at all ranks to learn about their needs and goals, to continue to research mentoring models, and to develop a multi-faceted approach to mentoring that will benefit the most faculty and have the greatest positive effect on our university.

Heather Laube Sociology Associate Professor and Director of Women's and Gender Studies

Heather Laube, TCLT Faculty Fellow for the Faculty Mentoring Program re-design

As TCLT Faculty Fellow, Dr. Laube will identify promising FMP practices, design a dynamic and effective FMP, oversee the first year of implementation of the new FMP, and assess the first year and make recommendations for the future. She will be responsible for developing guidelines for mentees, mentors, chairs, and the institution at large.  We look forward to working with Heather to re-tool the Mentoring Program in a way that makes it as inclusive and effective as possible.

To learn more about the Thompson Center for Learning and Teaching, visit their website: umflint.edu/tclt

10/26/15

Meet Dr. Jacob Lederman, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Jacob Lederman, Assistant Professor of Sociology at UM-FlintName: Jacob Lederman    
Title: Assistant Professor of Sociology
Department: Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice

Classes I teach:
Urban Sociology, Introduction to Sociology, Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory

Publications:
2015: “Urban Fads and Consensual Fictions: Creative, Sustainable, and Competitive City Policies in Buenos Aires.” City and Community, Vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 47-67
2013: “‘But this is a park!’ The Paradox of Public Space in a Buenos Aires ‘No-Man’s’ Land”, Citizenship Studies, Vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 16-30

Research or Specific Areas of Interest:
Urban sociology, development and globalization, political economy

Degree(s)/Education:
BA, NYU, 2004
PhD City University of New York, Graduate Center, 2015

Memberships:
American Sociology Association (ASA)
Latin America Studies Association (LASA)

How I fell in love with my field:
As an undergraduate, I took a number of Latin American literature courses. After graduating, I decided to take a year off to teach English in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I soon realized that teaching English wasn’t for me, but I became fascinated by the politics, economics, and social conflicts that were visible each day in the city. I came to recognize that sociology as a field offered some of the most useful tools for answering questions about the urban transformations taking place both in Buenos Aires and around the world.

What I hope for my time at UM-Flint:
As an urban sociologist, cities like Flint and Detroit offer some of the richest sites for research on post-industrial and deindustrializing cities in North America. I hope to have the opportunity to explore the rich history of social and urban change that characterizes the region and engage students in thinking through these topics through empirical examination and theoretical exploration.

What I hope for students in my field:
I hope for students to be able to place their personal trajectories within broader institutions and histories, to be able to use their so-called sociological imagination, and to critically assess the social world around them. Specific to Flint, I hope to collaborate with students in studying the urban changes taking place just outside the classroom.

Three things you should know about me:
I’m a cyclist
I speak Spanish well and Portuguese poorly
I lived in NYC for 14 years

 

10/14/15

Artist Bio: Brinae Ali

Brinae Ali will be performing at the Michigan Sociological Association Annual Meeting reception on Friday, October 23, 2015 in the University of Michigan-Flint’s Michigan Rooms from 7-9pm. This reception is free and open to the public, but please RSVP. For more information and to RSVP, visit go.umflint.edu/MSA2015. Read below for a bio provided by the artist.


Brinae Ali

Alexandria “Brinae Ali” Bradley has an interdisciplinary approach to using the power of the arts to uplift and inspire the human spirit. Through heredity and the mentorship of her father, Alfred Bruce Bradley, Mable Lee, Dianne Walker, and others, Bradley has been studying performing arts since the age of 3.

After all the early exposure of professional shows and opportunities to share the stage with pioneers and legendary artists, Bradley moved to New York to pursue her career. While attending Marymount Manhattan College as a theater major in acting, she was blessed to work and train professionally in Savion Glover’s tap company, Tii Dii.

In 2004, Ali began working on her solo performance showcasing her vocals, compositions, dance, and poetry. She has performed at Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar, Bowery Poetry Club and Joe’s Pub with Reg E Gaines, and at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgina in George Faison’s adaptation of Bubblin’ Brown Sugar, starring Diahnn Carroll. She also performed at Witzigman Palazzo in Hamburg, Germany for 4 months as a solo vocalist and dancer. Ali has recorded vocals singing on Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets children’s album, songs called “Butterfly am I” and “We are One.”

Brinae Ali_CLC0476-EditOnce back in the U.S., Ali moved to Philadelphia in 2005 to further enhance her solo career while teaching and organizing arts programs. She began managing artists and producing shows through Tapology Tap Festival for Youth which is a family based non-profit organization in Flint, Michigan, and created her own Philadelphia based program called Sound and Movement, LLC, funded by the Art and Change Leeway Foundation Grant.

In 2008, Ali debuted one of her original compositions, Stono Rebellion, a tribute to the Africans who fought for freedom and rebelled against slavery in South Carolina in 1739. She was selected as an evolving choreographer in the Harlem Stage’s E-Moves 9 showcase of professional dancers and choreographers. She also toured Canada and the United States in Roxanne Butterfly’s World Beats: Journey of the Migrating Sole as a dancer and vocalist. She is also an award winning playwright, garnering Best Short Play at the 2011 Downtown Urban Theater Festival for her one woman show called Steps.

As an educator, she has been an adjunct professor teaching tap at Queens College and Long Island University and was honored to be a panelist – along with Germaine Ingram and Dianne Walker- at Columbia University’s as jazz studies lecture series moderated by Jacqui Malone. Ali was also a teaching artist- in- residence at the Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Brinae Ali_CLC1303

While engaging in philanthropic work within communities in Philadelphia, Ali landed a principle role in the Cotton Club Parade produced by City Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, directed by Warren Carlyle and Wynton Marsalis. Additionally, she was cast as a member of the off-Broadway show STOMP and was a feature tap dancer in Gerri Allen’s Great Women of Jazz at the Apollo, sharing the stage with Dianne Reaves, Lizz Wright, Terri Lynne Carrington, and Tia Fuller. She was the first tap dancer to be invited to the University of Pittsburgh’s 43rd Annual Jazz Concerts and Seminar featuring Ravi Coltrane, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and stellar line up of jazz all-stars. Currently, she serves as a board member for Flint Red Ink Local 432, program director of Beyond Words, and artistic director of Destination Forever, LLC. Her debut album, entitled Destination Forever: Vol.1 , features original compositions created through sounds of tap, song, poetry and was nominated for an Independent Music Award in the Urban EP Category. As a choreographer, Ali was recently commissioned by Harlem Stage for their E-Moves Dance Festival to create a performance piece called Black Matter, in which she used the essence and influence of James Baldwin to articulate the struggles of Black Americans. Through Afro-futuristic performance elements, spirituality, and traditions, this journey of music and expression explored various stigma and social justice issues that exist today. Brinae Ali and a company of dancers and musicians celebrate the innovators and freedom fighters by tapping into a higher consciousness and the part of ourselves that vibrate with the universe, while healing the traumatic experiences of our past.

Brinae Ali_CLC1381-2

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.

DSC_0165_LR

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.

DSC_0172_LR

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.

DSC_0252_LR

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.

DSC_0315_LR

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

DSC_0320_LR

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

DSC_0270_LR

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

DSC_0372_LR

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

DSC_0337_LR

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.

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.

Alexander_Lois

Professor Lois Alexander

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

Anderson_Jami

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.

ellis

Professor John Ellis

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

farmer

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.

heidenreich_0

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.

rybarczyk

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!

 

 

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!