Making Interventions Symposium
On October 13th, the Department of Women’s Studies Graduate Student Association (GSA) held its third biennial symposium, Making Interventions, in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. This event hosted presentations, panels, workshops, and performances from scholars, artists, makers, and activists, inviting attendees to engage with collaborative, creative, and interdisciplinary scholarship. The Women’s Studies GSA framed “interventions” as a way of teaching and learning across disciplinary and institutional boundaries among students, colleagues, and communities within and outside the University, asking: What do you make when you’re making change? What does it look like? With whom do you make it? How does it work and what work does it do?
Highlights from Making Interventions included plenary workshops by Jaamil Olawale Kosoko (“Embodied Transgression”), Katy Pyle (“Ballez”), and Kris Grey (“Mapping Intersectional Narratives”) as well as a keynote lecture by American Studies doctoral student Ashley Minner about her work as a community based visual artist, folklorist, and storyteller. The symposium also featured performances and paper presentations on themes such as pedagogy and social science research, mixed ability dance, black epistemologies, survival prototyping, and queer fabrications. Women’s Studies graduate, certificate, and undergraduate students also featured their work in a department showcase.
Making Interventions was generously sponsored by the Department of Women’s Studies, the Office of Graduate Diversity and Inclusion, the College of Arts and Humanities, and the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. "It is really important to feature events on campus that address collective and interdisciplinary learning across this University, with an eye on pursuing equity and justice" says Anna Storti, event organizer.
UMD Hosts the 3rd Annual Alliance for Diversity in Science and Engineering's Young Research Conference
In September, the University of Maryland's Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry hosted the 3rd Annual Young Researchers Conference. The event brought together over 120 participants from more than 25 institutions nationwide. Organized by the Alliance for Diversity in Science and Engineering (ADSE), it was the largest conference of its kind to date. The day-long program is primarily aimed at underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in science and engineering and provided opportunities to present research, to learn about non-traditional STEM careers, and to network with faculty. Each year, there is also an opportunity to train on the graduate school application process and to and to know more about postdoctoral research positions, as well as those in academia and industry. This fall's keynote speakers were New York University's Dr. Daniela Buccella and UMD's Dr. Efrain Rodriguez. Each spoke about their research and issues of diversity.
According to Dr. Osvaldo Gutierrez, organizer and ADSE East Coast Regional Representative, "The event highlights the efforts to increase and promote diversity by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CMNS, and the Graduate School. Based on the exit surveys, the participants were impressed by the quality and professionalism of the student talks. More than ever, we need similar events to promote and showcase diversity and inclusiveness in STEM fields."
LatinX Heritage Month
The second week in October marked the end of LatinX Heritage Month at Maryland. On Friday, a closing event was held to celebrate this important occasion. Coordinated by Yvette Lerma Jones (MICA), the event in included several other LatinX units on campus - and brought together many faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students. Keynote speaker, Marice I. Morales, from Maryland's House of Delegates inspired listeners with her address. She encouraged the audience to get involved in meaningful and relevant issues and conversations - and to take even the smallest action now, rather than wait.
#Spartners Event for Families
The Office of Graduate Diversity and Inclusion (OGDI) hosted an event on October 10 for Spartners - the spouses and partners of graduate students. Following from the August Spartners' Orientation, this event was aimed at introducing families to the Spartners network. Assistant Dean Jeff Franke and OGDI's Christopher Perez participated in a feedback-driven discussion about the mission of the Spartners program moving forward and orienting families to additional support services on campus. Attendees were introduced to a new Facebook page, created by Spartners Kirsten Carlson and Amy Yaich.
"The Spartners events are great opportunities to network, but with everyone's busy schedules they can sometimes be difficult to attend. Starting a Facebook page will allow everyone to engage in the community. It will also allow people to share local events and set up their own group meetings outside those facilitated by the university. Starting in a new city can be hard, but hopefully together we can make it a little easier," adds Spartners member Kirsten Carlson.