Applied Sociology: Putting the Sociological Imagination into Practice Locally — Students in Marina Adler’s course (SOCY 698) conduct community-based action research in Curtis Bay, working to understand and contribute to community well-being with respect to economic opportunity, food access, and a healthy environment.
Teaching Artist = Change Agent — Steve Bradley’s pilot course, taught in partnership with Pat Cruz, Chief Innovation Officer at Young Audiences/Arts for Learning Maryland (YAMD), empowers civic-minded college students to create positive social change through engagement with PreK-12 students and teachers in Maryland public schools. Students in the course learn about the opportunity to develop careers as “teaching artists,” defined as professional artists who also work with students and teachers, having first been trained in public school operations, regulations, educational standards, and curriculum design.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) — UMBC staff members Trisha Wells (Director, Administrative and Business Services, Student Affairs) and Meghann Shutt (Asssitant Director, Shriver Peaceworker Program) organized this IRS-supported program, which connects tax preparers with people in the UMBC community with low incomes (below $53,000) so they can maximize their tax refunds. Trained UMBC student volunteers provide free tax return preparation assistance and help the people they serve to gain financial literacy. The UMBC Department of Economics has committed to offering internship credit to student tax preparers, and the Baltimore Cash Campaign will provide training to the volunteers.
Imagining UMBC Undergraduate Fellowships — Undergraduate students interested in working together to harness the power of the arts and humanities to inspire positive social change participated together in the Imagining America conference. The group is developing practical projects that will apply the insights they gained at the conference to opportunities at UMBC and in Baltimore. Jessica Cook, Associate Director of the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, has served as the group’s convener.
Student Affairs Imagining America Fellowships — Staff members in UMBC’s Division of Student Affairs interested in working together to harness the power of the arts and humanities to inspire student learning and engagement participated together in the Imagining America conference. The group is developing strategies for infusing ideas from Imagining America into the work of the Student Affairs Division. Craig Berger, Coordinator of Student Life for Campus and Civic Engagement, has served as the group’s convener.
Applied Learning Experience (ALE) Summer Workshop — A team of faculty and staff members organized by Hannah Schmitz (Coordinator for Public Service Scholars Programs, The Shriver Center), Steve Freeland (Director of Interdisciplinary Studies), Simon Stacey (Director of the Honors College), and Michele Wolff (Director of The Shriver Center) continues to develop and carry out plans for infusing applied learning experiences across the curriculum and gauging their impact on student learning.
Art of Transformation — Art of Transformation supports Baltimoreans in telling their own stories to counteract misleading narratives about life in our city. This project is being developed by the Imaging Research Center at UMBC in collaboration with Baltimore Imagining Group (big) a coalition of individuals from Baltimore arts, community, and social justice organizations. Collaborators include Culture Works, The US Department of Arts and Culture, Equity Matters,New Lens, and Wombwork Productions.