Once again the M.A. program in Cultural Sustainability has received an anonymous donation to support the MACS Travel Stipend, and just in time. We recently approved the last application for this year’s pool, bringing the number of students and alumni who were able to take advantage of a range of professional development experiences during the 2015-16 academic year to six.
Here are the award recipients from this past year:
Dalen Butler ’14 used the funds to attend the Gypsy Lore Society conference in Moldova. This is the premier international academic organization for anyone interested in Romani studies. He presented a portion of his Capstone Thesis on the International Decade of Roma Inclusion. Among others, he met a faculty member there who teaches in a PhD program at the University of Michigan; he has subsequently been accepted into that program.
Heather Gerhart ’16 attended the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Denver where she participated in two assessment skills building workshops on social network analysis and mixed-method evaluation – both will be essential to her Capstone research on digital storytelling.
Shannon Smith ’15 attended the annual meeting of the Small Museums Association in Ocean City, MD where she co-presented a session with MACS faculty member Robert Forloney on Innovating with Tradition: Engaging Communities Through Festivals, Exhibits, and Programs. She also made great professional connections to organizations in the mid-Atlantic area, where she moved in the fall to pursue career opportunities.
Michelle Banks ’13 was invited to present her emergent dissertation research for her PhD in Sustainability Education at the EcoJustice & Education Conference in Yipsilanti, MI. Her presentation, Reviving the Y’uuq K’ixkab’: Violence, Sustainability & the Mayan Poqomchi’es, builds on work she began in Guatemala in 2003 and continued during her studies in the MACS program.
Marilee Gloe ’16 will be using her travel stipend to return to Grenada for her Capstone research to evaluate trainings she conducted in 2013 and 2015. Her research will determine if those trainings resulted in changes in knowledge, fishing practices, and local policies related to sustainable aqua-culture.
Carol Brooks ’16 will be attending the “Future of the African American Past” at the National Museum of African American Culture and History in Washington, D.C. This event directly relates to her Capstone research and professional pursuits to capture and document the voices and stories of elders in the African-American community, and to create opportunities for interactive intergenerational dialogue to promote healing and restore African-American heritage.
I hope you agree this is a pretty powerful group of experiences. In each case, our students and alumni have made a significant contribution to the continued conversations around cultural sustainability and cultural equity.
We look forward to seeing what our students will be able to achieve next year!
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Goucher's Master of Arts in Cultural Sustainability is a completely unique new program. We teach our students how to work closely with individuals and communities to identify, protect, and enhance their important traditions, their ways of life, their cherished spaces, and their vital relationships to each other and the world.