Category Archives: Visual Arts

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 or call 810.762.3257.


Art History Students to Host Exhibition During March Artwalk


An example of the artwork by Alvin Smith that will displayed at the March 13th exhibit.

On Friday, March 13th, 2015, students from ARH: 112, History of Renaissance to Modern Art, will host an Art History Exhibition featuring artist Alvin Smith. The event will coincide with Flint’s March Artwalk.

Members of the campus and community are invited to join the students for an evening of inspiration. Says Dr. Sarah Lippert, Program Coordinator for Visual Arts at UM-Flint, “Artist Alvin Smith is a talented communicator about the African-American experience. Come see works that are both provocative and engaging.”

The event will feature a reception with a silent auction, refreshments, door prizes, and more. The evening is presented free of charge and is open to the public. It is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Communication & Visual Arts with support by University Outreach through a Civic Engagement grant.

For more information, contact Dr. Lippert at 810.766.6680 or, or visit the Visual Arts website.


AFRICA WEEK: February 1-7, 2015

AfricaWeek_CalendarOfEvents_2015As part of African American History & Heritage Month, the department of Africana Studies at UM-Flint, along with the Office of Educational Opportunity Initiatives and with generous support from the College of Arts & Sciences, presents AFRICA WEEK.

From February 1st through 7th, there will be a series of celebrations and activities which explore the vibrant ties that exist between Africa and its Diaspora. By showcasing artists, experts, and works from across the city, state, country, and world, they hope to give individuals from the campus and community an opportunity to come together and share in the learning of culture, history, and experience. All of the events are free and open to the public.

Following are details on each of the AFRICA WEEK events:

Sunday, February 1st:
Unity March: leaving from the UM-Flint Theatre at 11am, join students, faculty, staff, and community members as they walk to Hand of God Ministries for their AFRICA WEEK service.
Special Service & Kick Off Event: Hand of God Ministries, 1600 S. Saginaw Street, Flint, will hold a special service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement. The service starts at noon.

Monday, February 2nd:
Presentation, Conversation & Lunch: Professor Nwando Achebe of MSU’s Department of History will present “Women’s History in the African Tradition.” Dr. Achebe’s research involves the use of oral history in the study of women, gender, and sexuality in Nigeria. Lunch will be provided. Held in the Northbank Center’s Grand Ballroom, noon-2pm. Please RSVP.

Tuesday, February 3rd:
Nollywood Night: Join us for a film and refreshments! The film shown will be from Nigeria’s Nollywood genre as part of African cultural awareness. Held in the UCEN’s Michigan Rooms A & B, 6-8pm.

Wednesday, February 4th: 
Evolution of African Dance: A program that traces the patterns and forms of African dance and its connections to the Diaspora. Lunch will be provided. Held in the Northbank Center’s Grand Ballroom, noon-2pm.

Thursday, February 5th:
Film Screening & Discussion: Join us for a film screening that focuses on the African American and Diasporan experience. The award winning film Fruitvale Station will be shown. This movie is based on events leading to the death of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed by BART police at the Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit Station in Oakland, California. A panel discussion with campus and community experts will follow. Refreshments provided. Held in the UCEN KIVA, 12:30-2:30pm.

Friday, February 6th:
The Marie Plays, Part 1: When Marie Took the Power. An original play written by UM-Flint CAS faculty member Carolyn Nur Wistrand, this play tells the story of a young free woman of color, Marie Catherine, as she discovers how to awake spiritual and emotional power within herself using African cultural practices in antebellum New Orleans. The show is produced in conjunction with Players by the Sea, Savannah State University’s Theatre Department. More information can be found on the production website. This free performance will take place in the UCEN KIVA at 7:30pm.
High School Poetry Contest: Writing on the theme of “What Africa Means to Me,”students are invited to submit original works of poetry for cash prizes. Students must be enrolled in a public or alternative high school, grades 9-12; all poems must be at least 20 lines. The deadline for submissions is January 30th. Poems should be emailed as a PDF or Word document to Please email for full submission guidelines. The poems will be performed as part of AFRICA WEEK on Friday evening.

Saturday, February 7th:
Fashion Fare & African Drum/Dance: A presentation of African and African American cultural diversity through fashion, dance, and spoken word, including Kuungana African drum and dance. Held in the UCEN Michigan Rooms C & D, noon-4pm.

For more information on each of these events, or AFRICA WEEK as a whole, please visit or call 810.762.3353.

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.”


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!





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!


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.”



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!





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!

Archway Project Blog Launched

PrintFrom Donna Ullrich, faculty member of the Communications Department of UM-Flint:

“Everybody has a story to tell…
…are you ready to tell yours?”

The Archway Blog Launches To Showcase Area Young Filmmakers And Artists

The University of Michigan-Flint’s Communication and Visual Arts Department is seeking young filmmakers and artists to contribute to its new Archway Blog, which showcases the young talent in Genesee County and provides opportunities for participants to network with their creative peers and media professionals.

The blog, which launched November 7 at, is a program of the Flint Youth Media Project, which seeks to engage young people (ages 13-21) in a variety of media immersion programs to build literacy, communications, and social/collaboration skills, Donna Ullrich, project director and UM-Flint Communications lecturer, said.

“The more connected to the media these young talents are, the less connected they are interpersonally to their peers and others. We hope to build a network that supports them and helps them develop the skills they need to be confident young adults ready for college or careers,” she said.

The Archway Blog will host its first networking event for anyone interested in participating Saturday, November 22 at noon in the University Center Michigan Rooms on the campus of the University of Michigan-Flint. Lunch and blog t-shirts will be available.

The event will include opportunities for participants to learn from each other and to talk to area media professionals about filmmaking, editing, photography, lighting, sound, and media topics one-to-one.

The blog welcomes individual’s work or the work of creative teams, organizations, and school projects in a number of categories: short films, documentaries, music videos, public service announcements, spoken work, fine art, and still photography.

Ullrich said the list is expected to grow as contributors submit genres that the team hasn’t even though of yet. The blog does require that the work be original and that it is family friendly. A full outline of the do’s and don’ts for submissions is available at

The blog, which was the idea of Rodney W. Brown, president of iMichigan Productions, Inc., a non-profit education production company and collaborator on the project, is designed to be run by UM-Flint students who will manage the blog and review submissions before clearing them for exhibition on the site, and who will also serve as mentors to the middle and high school-aged participants.

For more information contact or visit

The Flint Youth Media Project and The Archway Blog are sponsored by the UM-Flint Communication and Visual Arts Department in collaboration with iMichigan Productions, Inc.

The Archway Blog is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.



Hope is a Good Thing – UM-Flint Student Art Exhibition


University of Michigan-Flint students, staff, and faculty (and all members of the local community) are invited to an exhibition and reception hosted and curated by students of ARH 111: History of Ancient to Medieval Art. This is the second annual UM-Flint exhibition supporting artists from the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, MI. These artists worked with UM-Flint students in workshops to explore historical and creative inspirations in art-making.

According to Dr. Sarah Lippert of the Visual Arts Department, “This semester’s exhibition includes amazing renditions of nature, animal, and children’s fantasy scenes (just on time to make a holiday gift if you see something suitable).”

The Exhibition will be held on Friday, November 14th, from 5-8pm in the UCEN Gallery on the first floor of the Harding Mott University Center and will feature a silent auction. It will coincide with the Flint Artwalk.

Per Dr. Lippert, “Proceeds from the silent auction will go towards the Inmate Benefit Fund and to supporting the artists in continued access to art supplies.”

Light refreshments wil be served. There will also be door prizes and attendees can join in voting for award winners in various categories.

This event is sponsored by the Office of Outreach through Civic Engagement Grants and the Department of Communication and Visual Arts. For more information, visit the CVA website or email

CAS and DEEP Programs


The dust is settling from the first rush of back-to-school. Among those who headed to the classroom after the Labor Day holiday were scores of students who attend classes at the Lapeer County ISD Education and Technology Center building in Attica, Mich. Some of these participate in the Dual Enrollment Education Partnerships, or DEEP program, offered by Lapeer County ISD and UM-Flint. This program allows capable and interested high school students to take college-level courses and earn college credits. These credits are applicable to four-year degree programs at UM-Flint, and potentially to other institutions.

In addition to offering extra challenges to high school students, the DEEP program encourages enrollment in college after high school and retention in college courses after the first year. According to a study by the University of Iowa’s College of Education, “dual enrollment students who completed 20 or more credits in the first year of college were 28% (p<.01) more likely to persist through the second year in college than were students who did not complete dual enrollment courses.” A major finding of the study was that participation in dual enrollment “indicated statistically significant impacts upon studets’ academic momentum.” The study also indicated positive trends for dual enrollment students completing their degrees in less than average time.

For the 2014-2015 academic year, Lapeer’s ISD is offering two programs: Pre-Engineering and Medical Careers Acceleration. Each consists of four courses, two in the fall semester and two in the winter semester. Enrollment is limited to 30 students in each of the programs. At the end of this academic year, students who have completed both semesters will have earned 13 college credits.

The Medical Careers Acceleration Program (MCAP) is jointly managed by UM-Flint’s College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and the School of Health Professions & Studies (SHPS). Courses for Pre-Engineering are managed by the Computer Science, Engineering, and Physics (CSEP) Department of CAS.


This year’s curriculum for MCAP includes BIO 113: Principles of Biology, HCR 206: Health Sciences Applications, BIO 328: Genetics, and PHL 168: Philosophy of Bioethics. The Pre-Engineering classes are CSC 101: Fluency with Information Technology and Computing, EGR 165: Computer Aided Design, CSC 175: Problem Solving and Programming I, and EGR 102: Introduction to Engineering.

The courses selected for inclusion in the Lapeer ISD DEEP program are considered by faculty to be desirable because they will help students develop a stronger academic foundation in the profession being studied and accustom students to the rigors of college-level work.

The Lapeer ISD DEEP program is just one of several for UM-Flint faculty involvement. Another example is just around the corner from the university at Powers Catholic High School. There, students can participate in two separate 12-credit Humanities Programs. The Senior Humanities Program includes ENG 111: College Rhetoric, COM 210: Introduction to Public Speaking, ENG 112: Critical Writing and Reading, and ARH 112: History of Renaissance to Modern Art. The Junior Humanities Program includes ENG 213: American Ethnic Literature, PHL 202: Intro to Logic, ENG 111: College Rhetoric, and HIS 114: Twentieth Century World History.

Sites also exist within the Lapeer Community Schools, Livingston County Schools, and Utica Community Schools. More DEEP program locations are being considered.

For more information on UM-Flint’s DEEP program, please visit their website.

View a video from one of UM-Flint’s DEEP sites in Davison, Mich:




UM-Flint Alumni, Student, Professor Publish Book on Michigan’s Civil War History

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 5.19.35 PM

Two University of Michigan-Flint alumni, one student, and a faculty member are among the members of the iMichigan Productions (iMP) team that has independently published The American Civil War Years: The Michigan Experience (The Reenactors’ Telling).

UM-Flint’s representatives on the team are distinguished alumnus Michael J. Thorp, Flint author and broadcaster; multiple UM-Flint degree-earning alumnus Rodney W. Brown, Flint-based director of iMP’s public television series on the same subject; senior art major and book designer Shekinah Tapplin of Clio who designs under the name Shekinah Shazaam; and Communications faculty member Donna Ullrich of Perrinton, who edited the project. Tapplin’s work on the book was supported by a UM-Flint Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) grant.

The 136-page book features full-color photographs of American Civil War reenactors as their actions tell the stories of going off to war, camp life, battles, and surrender. The photography of Wayne Dabney of Ann Arbor and Leon C. Collins of Grand Blanc is featured.

The book focuses on Michigan’s role in the Civil War and its many contributions to the war effort. It highlights African-Americans and Native Americans who fought for the Union cause along with the rest of Michigan’s 90,000 soldiers. Michigan’s troops included specialized regiments of sharpshooters and engineers and at least 68 Michigan soldiers received the Medal of Honor for gallantry on the battlefield. The book demonstrates the roles of women both in battle and in society, and covers the politics of the times. The photos throughout the book were taken in Michigan, by Michigan photographers.

Says UM-Flint Art major Shekinah Tapplin on being involved in the project, “All in all, I’ve had an excellent experience working on these books for Donna and the rest of iMichigan Productions. Editorial Design and Photography are my favorite aspects of design and I am very fortunate to gain experience with them while I’m still in school.”

When asked to detail her involvement she said, “Basically, I was the designer for this pictorial representation of reenactors showcasing Michigan’s involvement in the Civil War. I participated in weekly meetings with iMichigan Production’s team to hear their feedback on each new version of the book I had. The team also helped a great deal with narrowing down specific images, storytelling, and the overall flow of the book. I also designed a few promotional flyers to help spread the word about this book.”

The book features a Foreword by noted Michigan historian John Gibney of Ann Arbor, and Introduction and Epilogue by Thorp. In addition, it offers a bounty of resources about Michigan’s Civil War history to encourage learning activities and day trips for families and classrooms alike.

The book evolved out of iMichigan Productions’ (iMP) hour-long living history television special that aired throughout the state on public television stations in 2011 and 2012.

All proceeds of the book stay in Michigan, paying Michigan media artists and supporting iMP educational projects. It is available at iMichigan Productions of Flint is a 501(c)3 educational multi-media production company.

Tapplin is also designing a companion coloring book for children: “For the coloring book currently underway, I was given a collection of the same photographs from the main book, but was instructed to simplify them into black-and-white line images in order to form coloring pages. For this companion project, I am not only the Graphic Designer, but also the Photo Editor. This involves a bit more detailed work, but it will be worthwhile in the end to help educate children about history in a fun way.”

For more information on the book, contact Donna Ullrich of UM-Flint’s Communications Department. Visit iMichigan Productions to learn more about their Civil War work.

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