Event Recap | Spring Symposium: Pedagogy, Research, Social Change

By Danica Savonick|April 4, 2017|Event Recap|

On April 3, 2017, faculty and graduate students from this year’s team-taught courses, Futures Initiative Peer Mentors, and the Humanities Alliance gathered for this daylong symposium celebrating their work that connects student-centered learning to institutional and social change.

10:00 – 10:10 | Welcome & Introductions

Welcome by Cathy N. Davidson
Opening remarks by Master of Ceremonies Kalle Westerling

FI Director Cathy N. Davidson kicks off an exciting event

FI Director Cathy N. Davidson kicks off an exciting event

After FI Director Cathy N. Davidson welcomed us all to the event, FI Fellow Kalle Westerling shared aspects of his own academic journey in coming to realize his pedagogical praxis. This is just one example of a “superpower” he didn’t know he had! In fact, the underlying theme among those who participate in FI is discovering superpowers and applying them in educational contexts in support of institutional and social change.

FI Fellow and Symposium MC Kalle Westerling introduces our first speakers

FI Fellow and Symposium MC Kalle Westerling introduces our first speakers

10:10 – 11:00 | Dimensions of Childhood

Students in Martin Ruck and Erika Niwa’s “The Social Construction of Childhood” created highly interactive stations based on thematic concepts related to the social construction of childhood including Gender and Girlhood; Empowement, Ability & Representation, Peacebuilding with Youth, Education and School, and Global Childhood.

Students in the Social Construction of Childhood present work on the school-to-prison pipeline

Students in the Social Construction of Childhood present work on the school-to-prison pipeline

Students in the Social Construction of Childhood discuss youth perceptions of gender and sexual identity

Students in the Social Construction of Childhood discuss youth perceptions of gender and sexual identity

Students in the Social Construction of Childhood present their work on global childhood

Students in the Social Construction of Childhood present their work on global childhood

FI Director Cathy N. Davidson (much to the onlookers' surprise) led Deputy Director Katina Rogers through a treacherous obstacle course

FI Director Cathy N. Davidson (much to the onlookers’ surprise) led Deputy Director Katina Rogers through a treacherous obstacle course

11:10 – 11:30 | The Future of Sexual Health Care in the US: Issues Worth Fighting For

Diana Romero and Ananya Mukherjea discussed their course, “Social Inequality & Health Disparities,” including points of political priority for leading the ongoing struggle for robust sexual and reproductive healthcare provision in the US.

Professors Diana Romero and Ananya Mukherjea discuss their course

Professors Diana Romero and Ananya Mukherjea discuss the Future of Sexual Healthcare in the U.S.

11:35 – 12:00 | Connecting Graduate Education and Community College Teaching

Through the Humanities Alliance, CUNY is developing new ways for doctoral programs and community colleges to work together to amplify humanities education, and support equitable access to and diversity within higher education. Provost Joy Connolly, Kaysi Holman, Elizabeth Alsop and Kitana Ananda addressed the opportunities and challenges of connecting graduate education with student-centered community college pedagogy.

Provost Joy Connolly thanks the Andrew R. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of the CUNY Humanities Alliance

Provost Joy Connolly thanks the Andrew R. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of the CUNY Humanities Alliance

Humanities Alliance Postdoctoral Fellow Kitana Ananda discusses the importance of digital literacy to undergraduate teaching

Humanities Alliance Postdoctoral Fellow Kitana Ananda discusses the importance of digital literacy to undergraduate teaching

12:10 – 1:00 | Education as Liberation, Education as Forming Publics

In the doctoral seminar “The Public and Publics,” students, co-instructors Amy Chazkel and Setha Low, and the visiting scholars they have brought into the class have inquired into the meanings and uses of the concept of the public as an analytical construct in both scholarship and in political life, past and present. Doctoral students Miranda Fedock, Matthew Finck, and Claudia Crowe led a discussion that brought these questions to bear on the theme of education, in two senses: education as forming publics, and education as a public resource. They used the classic liberationist text, Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968), and the field of critical pedagogy that it largely inspired, as an entry point.

Students speak about education as a public good

Students speak about education as a public good

2:10 – 3:00 | Fostering Connection, Renewal, and Leadership through Peer Mentoring

Undergraduate Futures Initiative Peer Mentors from across the CUNY campuses and Peer Mentoring program directors Lauren Melendez and Mike Rifino led an interactive session on how peer leadership can help students in a dispersed commuter system like CUNY foster connection and promote student success.

The fabulous FI Peer Mentors (undergraduates from across the CUNY campuses) and their fearless leaders, Lauren Melendez & Mike Rifino

The fabulous FI Peer Mentors (undergraduates from across the CUNY campuses) and their fearless leaders, Lauren Melendez & Mike Rifino

3:10 – 4:00 | Student-Centered and Active Learning

This highly interactive session featured mini-lessons for teaching psychology to undergraduates, designed by graduate students in Patricia Brooks and Jill Grose-Fifer’s “Seminar and Practicum on the Teaching of Psychology.” View the performance appraisal mini-lesson.

Students in the Teaching Psychology Practicum discuss the mini-lessons that will follow

Students in the Teaching Psychology Practicum discuss the mini-lessons that will follow

4:10 – 5:00 | Teaching Race, Gender, and Intersectional Theory

This interactive session led by graduate students in Cathy Davidson and Michael Gillespie’s course “Teaching Race and Gender Theory in the Undergraduate Classroom” highlighted the ways that race, gender, and intersectional theory can be introduced in general education humanities courses and also modeled in the world beyond. Graduate student participants were joined by Medgar Evers undergraduate, Ashe’ K. Collier. View the slide presentations on pedagogy and visuality.

Medgar Evers undergraduate Ashe' K. Collier shares thoughts on resisting institutional racism and sexism

Medgar Evers undergraduate Ashe’ K. Collier shares thoughts on resisting institutional racism and sexism

Students in Teaching Race & Gender Theory share strategies for teaching controversial material

Students in Teaching Race & Gender Theory share strategies for teaching controversial material

Students in Teaching Race & Gender Theory take questions from the audience

Students in Teaching Race & Gender Theory take questions from the audience

5:00 | Closing remarks by Danica Savonick

FI Fellow Danica Savonick adds her timekeeping cards to the feminist toolbox

FI Fellow Danica Savonick adds her timekeeping cards to the feminist toolbox

5:00 – 6:00 | Reception and Structuring Equality book celebration (Room 3317)

Spring symposium announcement & flyers

Spring symposium announcement & flyers

Thank you to the Futures Initiative graduate fellows, faculty, graduate students, Peer Mentors, and the CUNY Humanities Alliance for making this event such a success!

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