Teaching Power, Globally and Locally (BreakingGround TV)

Dinah Winnick is UMBC’s Director of Communications.

CommunicationsTeam-8262Since BreakingGround’s launch two years ago this month, I’ve had dozens of thought-provoking conversations with faculty and students working together to address real-world problems in ways that both educate and empower. Thanks to New Media Studio Director Bill Shewbridge and students in his TV production course, I’m delighted to now share two of those thought-provoking conversations.

In the first video, below, I interview assistant professor Lee Blaney, chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering, and Dalton Hughes, ’14, chemical engineering, about their Engineers Without Borders project in Isongo Kenya. In the second, I speak with associate professor Denise Meringolo, history, about her BreakingGround grant-funded course on supporting Baltimore communities through public history and digital storytelling.

1. Interview with Lee Blaney and Dalton Hughes


2. Interview with Denise Meringolo


Contact the author, Dinah Winnick, at dwinnick@umbc.edu.

Sharing Stories of Feminist Activism

Kate Drabinski is a lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and director of the WILL Program at UMBC.

Kate Drabinski, UMBCOne of the core courses for majors in UMBC’s Gender and Women’s Studies program is our Studies in Feminist Activism class, and it makes sense that we would ask all students to take this one.

After all, our program is the result of steady and dedicated activists inside and outside the academy who insisted—and still do—that human knowledge demands that all voices, experiences, research questions, answers, and ideas be heard. Gender and women’s studies programs, teachers, and students have always been “breaking ground,” and this course makes that explicit, teaching students histories of feminist activism in many arenas, from 19th century labor politics to today’s struggles for public housing and community justice.

This semester, with a BreakingGround course grant, the class is using digital tools to tell the stories of UMBC’s newest feminist activists. Our students have started a blog exploring their own relationships to activism and telling the stories of activists who inspire them. Other students are producing short digital stories that also will be featured on the blog. Later in the semester, students will use these digital tools to share their experiences in organizing their own projects on and off campus, and to tell the histories of important activist movements that still resonate today.

The students’ blog will become a permanent home for Studies in Feminist Activism at UMBC, updated yearly with the tales of emerging activists. Follow along with us at http://umbcactivism.wordpress.com/!

Contact the author, Kate Drabinski, at drabinsk@umbc.edu.

BreakingGround Course is Front-Page News

David Hoffman is UMBC’s assistant director of student life for civic agency.

David HoffmanToday’s Baltimore Sun features a front-page story about students in two UMBC courses shedding light on the human side of Baltimore’s industrial past. The students, guided by New Media Studio director Bill Shewbridge and American Studies folklorist in residence Michelle Stefano, are helping tell the stories of steelworkers from the now-defunct Baltimore Sun, 2.12.13Sparrows Point Steel Mill, which once employed thousands. The mill has been shuttered and is being sold for scrap.

The oral history project is supported by a BreakingGround course development grant. The article also describes several other BreakingGround courses and projects through which people from UMBC are solving problems and working with community partners to make innovative contributions to the common good. I’m thrilled that readers are getting this taste of UMBC’s rich, creative and collaborative civic work.

Contact the author, David Hoffman, at dhoffman@umbc.edu.