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Taking lab sciences online during a pandemic: at-home lab kits to the rescue

In the weeks leading up to the start of fall semester, tabletops usually reserved for in-class science experiments were largely hidden underneath several dozen of plastic containers.

 

Each container held small vials of meticulously measured ingredients, carefully cleaned lab equipment and any extra items Samantha Dean envisioned a student might need to run a successful lab course out of their own home.

The interruption that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to spring semester had inspired Dean, the science lab coordinator for UB’s Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies, to brainstorm the best way for students take lab courses in a solely online environment.

She considered two options: the obvious way, which involved a pre-built, online-based lab program that students would do on their computer, and the hard way, a homemade solution that would require a lot of planning and time.

“We felt that an entirely online system just wasn’t doing a service to our students,” Dean said.

So she got to work on the alternative.

science lab coordinator Sam Dean recording videos of herself conducting experiments to help guide students

Dean ended up building about 120 kits to cover three fall classes that required labs—ENVS 221 with Stanley Kemp, BIO 111 with Wolf Pecher and BIO 121 with Elka Porter. Each class would require slightly different kits, leaving Dean to consider what the faculty wanted to teach and how could she downsize a semester’s worth of experiments into one container. Safety and delivery had to be considered as well.

“We’re not accepting that we’re going to give our students an inferior product,” said Kemp, an associate professor. “We’re still fully in control of it. We’re trying to give them the same experience as in the classroom, face to face.”

Dean taught a summer class, BIOL 121, that would become an experiment in itself.

For that class, she built kits that included Gatorade for a DNA experiment; seeds, a lightbulb (either red, green or white) and a pot for a photosynthesis lesson; and a variety of small items for various tests, including a vial of iodine, glucose tablets, Lactaid pills and milk powder.

Students worked with Dean to arrange a curbside pickup day to get their kit. Students had to agree to return the kits after the class ended and also to keep the container in a safe place away from children or pets.

Dean wanted all the ingredients to be items the students might already have at home or could easily buy at the store. That way, they could feel comfortable with the materials they were working with or easily find replacements if an experiment went awry.

student Kelly Coleman

Having common ingredients also helped punctuate the point that science is more a part of their lives than the students may have previously realized.

That hit home for Kelly Coleman, one of Dean’s summer students.

“Pretty much all of the labs that we did were useful for everyday life and health. I can’t tell you how many times I was in a conversation with my boyfriend and I was like, ‘Well, I learned in my bio class this week…’” she said.

Beyond preparing the kits, Dean also recorded videos of herself doing each experiment so students could have a better understanding of the process.

Donna Cureton, a business administration student in the summer class, appreciated the step-by-step video guide.

“I was able to learn and comprehend at my own pace without trying to keep pace with the class,” she said. “I was able to rewind the video lectures and take better notes than I have in an in-class setting.”

The videos, in part, aimed to help make up for one aspect of the on-campus lab that students lost—the lab partner. At home, students were largely on their own, unless a curious family member was willing to help.

student Blanca Ventura Diaz

Blanca Ventura Diaz, also a business administration student, had some help from her husband who wanted to see how her experiments turned out, particularly one that involved growing a plant. Her plant even went on a summer vacation to Florida so they didn’t miss a measurement.

This was the first lab course that Diaz had taken and she was already nervous before realizing it would be fully online. A friend from another college had told Diaz that her lab class had involved simulated labs on the computer. Diaz hoped that wouldn’t be the case at UB.

“When you do a digital one, you don’t really have the desire to see how it turns out. It’s just a computer; it’s going to tell me if it’s wrong. There isn’t any life to it. I’m more visual. I like hands-on; the experience is right in front of you,” she said.

Others in her class felt the same way.

“This is better than sitting for an online, click-through lab situation because I know they exist and that’s not as fun,” Coleman said. “There’s a fun aspect to mixing solutions. It feels like a kid with a chemistry set.”

That reaction was what Dean was hoping for.

“We definitely get students who come in that are kind of gun shy. ‘I had a terrible experience with science in high school and I hated it,’ and ‘I don’t want to be here,’ and if we can make that fun for them, and possibly something that their whole family can be involved in, then that’s absolutely what we’re going for here—to make science engaging, to make science fun, to make science something that is not just for people in white coats in an ivory tower. It’s something everyone and anyone can do,” she said.

Despite the painstaking work behind creating the kits, Dean thinks it was the right decision, not only for the students who benefit from hands-on lessons in a likely otherwise online dominated semester, but also because of the impact it can have on how the division runs future lab courses, on campus or online.

In the situation that we have now, which is unprecedented, unexpected, I think it’s a situation that absolutely breeds ingenuity,” she said.

 

UB Student Team Among Winners of USM COVID App Challenge

A team of four students from the University of Baltimore were announced as winners of the University System of Maryland’s COVID App Challenge competition, led by the USM COVID Research & Innovation Task Force. Participating teams were challenged to develop a mobile application solution that could help bring Marylanders together to more effectively respond to COVID-19 and future pandemics. Six winning teams were selected, each earning a cash prize of $3,000.

UB’s team, known as Team Breeze—Olubukola AkanbiCharles ChaseStephanie Parey and Michael Vandi—developed a COVID-19 Information and Tracker (CIAT) application that uses Bluetooth technology to track users’ locations in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to give them important information and updates regarding their specific location.

Olubukola Akanbi, Information and Interaction Design doctoral student

“The app has a map feature that is useful for displaying cases of COVID-19 infection rates in all postal codes and cities in Maryland,” said Olubukola, an Information and Interaction Design doctoral student at UB. “Having the right perspective on the infection rates per location can reduce fear and anxiety associated with COVID-19 and help those living in highly infected areas to be more cautious.”

When asked why they wanted to participate in this effort to make an app related to COVID-19, all four team members agreed that they saw it as a way to contribute something useful to the fight against COVID-19.

Stephanie Parey, Interaction Design and Information Architecture graduate student

“I had been wanting to do more to help communities cope with COVID-19 but within my specific field,” said Parey, an Interaction Design and Information Architecture graduate student. “I jumped at this opportunity because I knew that we could create something extremely useful in these uncertain times.”

The students collaborated remotely, and each team member had different responsibilities, including user experience research and design, data analysis, usability testing, design layout, interface design and programming.

Michael Vandi, Applied Information Technology undergraduate student

“When I heard current contact tracing apps developed by huge tech companies sacrifice users’ privacy by tracking our location, I knew there had to be a better way,” Vandi, a student in the Applied Information Technology undergraduate program, noted. “I joined the team because I wanted to show that contact tracing and protecting user’s privacy can be done simultaneously.”

The team was brought together by Giovanni Vincenti, associate professor in the Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies.

“I forwarded the call for proposals from USM to all of the programs within our division, and four students responded,” Prof. Vincenti said. “I introduced them to each other, and they did the rest.”

The UB team had less than a month to develop and submit their concept. Entries were to include a 3-minute demonstration video that shows the app and how it functions, and a presentation that explains the app’s usefulness. Judges, who included members of the USM community, tech corporations and local companies, and entrepreneurial advisors from across the USM, evaluated entries based on functionality and feasibility, innovation and impact. The UB team’s competitive entry earned them one of six cash prizes.

Charles Chase, Simulation and Game Design undergraduate student

“One of the reasons I joined the app challenge was that I saw an opportunity to use my skills to help people firsthand,” said Chase, a Simulation and Game Design major. “I hope the CIAT app continues to support people during this critical time.”

Download the CIAT app. Learn more about the USM COVID App Challenge.

 


Q&A with Associate Professor Giovanni Vincenti

Giovanni Vincenti is an associate professor in the Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies and director of the B.S. in Applied Information Technology program.

Giovanni Vincenti, associate professor and director of the Applied Information Technology program in the University of Baltimore’s Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies (SIAT), serves as a mentor and guide to many students in this growing field, including the four students who entered the recent University System of Maryland’s COVID App Challenge, a contest to develop a piece of technology that could be useful during the ongoing pandemic. Prof. Vincenti spoke about the four, who went by the name Team Breeze, in a recent interview. His responses, edited for length, are as follows:

Given the challenges of working remotely, how were the students able to put together their entry?

They met as necessary online and exchanged the documentation and/or products for which each team member was responsible.

What kind of support and guidance did you and others in the program provide to them as they built the app?

Christine Spencer, the dean of our Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, forwarded to all the students in the college the call for proposals and the applications from the USM. I sent it along to those students who are majoring in SIAT, letting them know that, if someone was interested and looking for peers, they should let me know. Four students — Olubukola Akanbi, Charles Chase, Stephanie Parey, and Michael Vandi — responded, one from each of our technical majors. I introduced them to each other and they did the rest.

I credit our applied, hands-on programs as the providers of the experience necessary to assemble this project in one month. Their hard work and discipline were paramount, and the technical skills they learned in our courses gave them solid foundations. They asked a few questions regarding concepts, but they tackled nearly the entire project on their own. I just played matchmaker!

Will the team receive academic credit for this work? Or did they take on the challenge simply because they knew they could?

They did it because they wanted to help, and they took it on because they can. It’s another tangible example of what our students can produce in a relatively short time, working remotely, and with other adult responsibilities like families, jobs, internships, and so on, during a pandemic.

From your perspective, what does it say about these students that they stepped up and completed the app?

Our students are not afraid to start making a change in the world with the skills they are developing at UB. They are constantly presented with challenges, and this time it happens to be one that was part of a competition. Other than that, many of our courses involve some type of “real-life experience,” such as real customers in IDIA/IID, NASA SUITS for AIT/SGD/IDIA, and several gaming projects for SGD. Michael Vandi was also part of the AstroBees and will likely continue as that team’s lead programmer next year.

How does a project like this add to a student’s understanding of technology and its application in a changing world?

They realize that implementing solutions to projects is much more involved than it sounds, and also that the fundamentals that they learn in the classroom can make a difference, today, in their lives and the lives of others. We do not teach the technologies that they used or the context in which their app will operate, but they were able to take skills and techniques and transpose them to a new project, with unusual requirements — we haven’t had a pandemic in a while! Also, they worked with people they did not know at all. None of them knew each other before their work began.

Did a student say anything to you about this challenge that you found inspiring or insightful?

They were all very thankful for the opportunity and the connection. Even though they did it all themselves, I believe they knew that they could count on our faculty and me if they had any issues or questions.

From the day they entered the competition, I saw it as our students once again doing a fantastic job. I introduced them to each other, answered the few questions they had, and they were into it. The concept, implementation, and testing – all of that success is theirs. For me, their efforts really show how complementary all of our programs are. Now that they’ve won, it’s another reason to be very proud of our students.

Congratulations to the 2018 CAS Merit Award winners!

On April 28, the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences held its annual Merit Awards Ceremony, where the college honors and celebrates outstanding students who exhibit academic excellence and embody the spirit, energy and core values of the college. The award winners were nominated and selected by the faculty, and awards were presented for each academic program, as well as several special memorial awards.

 

2018 Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences Award Winners

Special Awards:

  • Alexander Rose Memorial Award for Creative Writing: Samantha Allen
  • Beatrice Kanigel Prize for Language and Literature: Lily Herman
  • Betty Tarpley Turner Award for English: Elizabeth McMahon
  • Charles Fisher Award for History: Darby DeJarnette
  • E. Halcott Turner Award for Jurisprudence: Shannon Thomas

Outstanding Student Awards (by program):

  • Applied Information Technology: Blessing Leonard
  • Digital Communication: Susan Olson
  • English: Elizabeth McMahon
  • Environmental Sustainability and Human Ecology: Nels Schumacher
  • History: Ashley Tippie
  • Integrated Arts: Ellen Stevenson-Cerasuolo
  • Interdisciplinary Studies: Exel Mori-Candelaria
  • Jurisprudence: Andrew White
  • Philosophy, Society and Applied Ethics: Mary (Beth) Harmon
  • Simulation and Digital Entertainment: Christian Villalobos

 

UB Hosts the 2018 CityLit Festival, April 14

The 2018 CityLit Festival, featuring globally recognized authors, publishers, editors and more in a day-long celebration of literature, will take place at the University of Baltimore on Saturday, April 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave. This partnership with UB’s Klein Family School of Communications Design will feature more than 75 writers in 20 sessions, all free and open to the public.

MASTER CLASS: FIVE FREE SPOTS FOR QUEER WRITERS OF COLOR
Thanks to a generous donor, the festival organizers are offering five FREE spots for the Master Class with celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward from 2-3:30pm for queer writers of color. If you’re interested, all you need to do is email info@citylitproject.org with “YRSA” in the subject line, and provide your name and your email address. These free slots will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

SLOTS STILL AVAILABLE FOR 30-MINUTE ONE-ON-ONE EDITORIAL CRITIQUE SESSIONS
There are still tons of slots available for the 30-minute one-on-one editorial critique sessions. If you’re an aspiring writer, this is an incredible opportunity to sit down with a professional editor and get an in-depth critique of your work. These sessions are only $10! Learn more and sign up at http://citylitproject.org/index.cfm?page=news&newsid=207.

For the complete 2018 CityLit Festival schedule, visit www.citylitproject.org.

 

ARTS 304: Getting out of the classroom and into the city

You’ve probably heard the term ‘experiential learning’ and thought, “What does that mean exactly?” Experiential learning is essentially learning by doing. It means, you get out of the classroom and into the real world to put your knowledge into practice through hands-on experiences. And this semester’s Arts 304 course, co-taught by Assistant Professor Ian Power and Assistant Professor Rachael Zeleny, is doing just that.

Arts 304—better known as ‘Arts and Ideas’—is described as an interdisciplinary study of enduring works of imagination and intellect that have contributed to the making of contemporary civilization. The course uses examples of art, architecture and music to illuminate central themes in literature, philosophy and history, and the cultural resources of the Baltimore area are utilized wherever appropriate.

For their spring course, Professors Power and Zeleny are having their students visit some of the city’s most amazing and well-known arts and culture institutions, including the Walters Art Gallery, the Peabody Institute, the American Visionary Art Museum, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. The students also went on a historic ghost tour in the city. Sixty percent of the class time is spent outside of the classroom. The course also brings an array of guest artists, musicians, and poets into the classroom to not only perform for the students but also explain the context and purpose for their work.

Each week, a different student serves as the designated class photographer/blogger, and he or she is responsible for documenting that week’s guest speaker or out-of-class adventure as a blog post featured on Prof. Zeleny’s website. And for their final project, the students will curate an “art tour” that looks at Baltimore through a specific lens. For example, they might choose a jazz tour of Baltimore that could include a restaurant like Sotto Sopra, an outdoor concert, an exhibit at the Peabody, and the home of Billie Holiday.

“UB sits in the heart of Baltimore’s culture and history but so many of our students have only been inside the classroom,” said Prof. Zeleny. “This class is trying to change that, to encourage our students to pause before walking past a building or a piece of art, to feel that they deserve to ask the question, ‘why is this important?’ I want them to feel empowered to say they are a part of this city and not just passing through.”

By the end of the semester, Profs. Power and Zeleny hope that as a result of their experiences both in and out of the classroom, the students will have greater empathy for the various experiences of those who lived before us and for our unique and diverse student body.

To read more about Arts 304, check out “If a Tour Guide, a Slam Poet and a Curator walked into the Owl Bar: Baltimore’s Classroom” written by Prof. Zeleny for the April 2018 issue of the UB Post (available now at newsstands all around campus).

 

News and Updates | February 2018

Check out the latest news and updates from the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences…

On Monday, Feb. 5, the spring 2018 special topics course commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign kicks off its public lecture series with guest speaker, Gordon K. Mantler. Mantler is a professor of history and of writing at George Washington University, and author of Power to the Poor: Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974. Mantler’s talk will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. in UB’s Town Hall, located in the H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons. The event is FREE and open to the public.

 

 

Learn more about the course: http://blogs.ubalt.edu/poorpeoplescampaign/


On Saturday, Feb. 3 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the University of Baltimore’s Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics will host the 2018 Maryland High School Ethics Bowl competition on campus in the Thumel Business Center. Ten teams from six Maryland high schools will be competing this year, including Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Gerstell Academy, Liberty High School, Long Reach High School, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, and Sparrows Point High School. The winning team will go on to compete at the National High School Ethics Bowl competition, hosted by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in April.


Last month, as part of the winterim 2018 Organizational Theory & Development course—where students study virtually and abroad—students from the graduate I-O psychology program traveled to Spain for 10 days to study and collaborate with their counterparts from the University of Barcelona. Here are some pics of their meet and greet dinner on day one, and a group shot atop Montjuic Hill on their last day…

Learn more about the I-O psychology program’s study abroad opportunities.


Value Colleges, a website devoted to finding the country’s best values for college majors, has ranked UB’s M.S. in Interaction Design and Information Architecture at #33 nationally. “The University of Baltimore Master’s in Interaction Design and Information Architecture is one of the university’s most in-demand programs, with strong showing on the job market,” the website says. “The program combines computer science with the insights that the humanities bring to life, preparing students to use their knowledge to meet needs and solve problems. This 36-credit program can be completed entirely online, or in evening and weekend classes, to provide working adults with flexibility. The University of Baltimore has been meeting students’ needs for nearly a century, and has more than proven its value.”

View Value Colleges’ “Top 50 Best Value Interaction Design/UX/HCI Graduate Degrees for 2018.”


In a recent Atlas Obscura article that explores the history of Baltimore’s Laurel Cemetery—the city’s first nonsectarian graveyard for black residents— Interim Assistant Dean and Archaeologist Ronald Costanza discusses the work that he and some of his students have done to help preserve the historic site, which was razed by developers in the 1960s and ultimately replaced with a parking lot and discount stores.

Read “The Grim History Hidden Under a Baltimore Parking Lot.”


Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences Associate Professor Sally Farley is organizing the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s (SPSP) Nonverbal Preconference, to be held on Thursday, March 1 in Atlanta, GA. Preconferences are one-day mini-conferences that take place on the first day of the SPSP Annual Convention, giving attendees the unique opportunity to gather with colleagues who share their specific academic and research interests. There are preconferences on topics ranging from gender to political psychology to psychology of religion and spirituality. This will be Prof. Farley’s seventh year in a row organizing the Nonverbal Preconference.

Prof. Farley was also recently named associate editor of special issues for the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.


Adjunct faculty member Bonnie Jones, who currently teaches Arts 202 Technology and the Arts, was recently awarded a $40,000 grant for music/sound by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA). Jones is an improvising musician, poet, and educator working primarily with electronic sound and text.

Learn more about the FCA’s 2018 Grants to Artists Recipients.

 


Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies Assistant Professor Elka Porter recently had two papers published: one in Marine Ecology Progress Series and the other in Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, both leading journals in the field of marine ecology. Both papers explore Prof. Porter’s research using the Shear Turbulence Resuspension Mesocosm (STURM) facility located at Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL) near the Patuxent River in St. Leonard, Maryland. Prof. Porter has been a visiting researcher at PEARL every summer since 2015, working with undergraduate students to study the effects of sediment-water interactions on organisms like oysters and clams in the Chesapeake Bay.

(a) STURM facility (b) student Heather Franz measuring light levels

Learn more about the work of Prof. Porter and her students in “Hands-On Learning: The World Is Their Oyster” in the spring 2016 issue of the UB Magazine.


Graduate counseling psychology student Joey Salvatore has been granted a 2017-18 Turner Research and Travel Award, which will enable him to travel to Italy to conduct qualitative research on the intersectionality of religion and gay men’s life experiences in Rome. Turner Awards provide funds to support student travel and research related to academic work at UB.


 

Updates from the College of Arts and Sciences

Check out the latest news and updates from our talented students, renowned faculty and ambitious alumni…

Asst. Prof. Joshua Davis

Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies Assistant Professor Joshua Davis had his book, From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs, published with Columbia University Press in August. Time magazine and the Chronicle of Higher Education have featured the book, and Davis published articles drawing from it in Slate and the Washington Post this summer.

 

 

 


photo c/o Medium.com

M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts student and Baltimore writer Kondwani Fidel has been making headlines—including the cover of Baltimore’s City Paper—with his latest piece, “How a young boy has been decaying in Baltimore since age 10: A Death Note.” The viral essay, featured on the self-publishing platform Medium, takes a raw look at the hardships Fidel faced growing up in East Baltimore.

 

 


On the heels of this summer’s highly successful inaugural Philosophy Camp for Teens hosted by the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, center director Fred Guy has been busy talking and writing about the importance of ethical decision-making and using philosophy to examine our moral code. He even considers the potential benefits of a philosophy camp for adults. Check out these stories to get more on Prof. Guy’s perspective:

Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics director Assoc. Prof. Fred Guy (center)


Asst. Prof. Steven Leyva

The 2016 “Myth” issue of Little Patuxent Review—which is edited by Klein Family School of Communications Design Assistant Professor Steven Leyva—has been listed as a “Notable Special Issue of 2016” in the The Best American Essays 2017.

On Oct. 15, Prof. Leyva gave the keynote address at The Inaugural Ron Kuka Prize for Urban Short Fiction. The contest—named in honor of fiction writer Ron Kuka—encourages Baltimore’s young writers to continue creating throughout their lives. The October event featured readings by students from Baltimore’s Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Art, and Prof. Leyva said, “I was able to encourage many of these young writers to apply to UB as a way to continue pursuing their craft.”

Students from Baltimore’s Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Art read their original works at The Ron Kuka Prize for Urban Short Fiction event.


Asst. Prof. T.J. O’Donnell

GEOLOOM co>map, a project designed by Klein Family School of Communications Design Assistant Professor T.J. O’Donnell in partnership with Merrick School of Business’s Jacob France Institute—was selected as “Map of the Month” by Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

 

 

 


Congratulations to Counseling Psychology graduate student Stephen Shaul, whose presentation won recognition as one of two best posters at the annual convention for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (MAC-ACBS), held October 13-14 in Arlington, VA.

graduate student Stephen Shaul


Prof. Julie Simon

Beginning Friday, Nov. 10, Klein Family School of Communications Design Professor Julie Simon will have her digital photography on display at The Art Gallery at the Historic Greenbelt Community Center. The exhibit will be up through Jan. 3, 2018. For more information, visit www.greenbeltmd.gov/arts.

 

 

 


Assoc. Prof. Marion Winik

Klein Family School of Communications Design Associate Professor Marion Winik, who writes the “Bohemian Rhapsody” column for Baltimore Fishbowl, recently wrote a piece for the site about the debut works from four graduates of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program. Read about the new books from Liz Bamford, M.F.A. ’13, Christopher K. Doyle, M.F.A. ’09, Anthony Moll, M.F.A. ’14, and Timmy Reed, M.F.A. ’13, in Baltimore Writers Club #8: Four UB Alums Take Flight.

Hoffberger Center’s first-ever Philosophy Camp was a big success

During the week of July 10-14, the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics held its first-ever Philosophy Camp for Teens here at UB. Twenty-two Baltimore-area high school students attended.

Fred Guy, director of the Hoffberger Center, and his staff designed each day of camp to demonstrate to the students that philosophical thinking is relevant and valuable to them in their daily lives. Topics and activities included social media bullying, shaming, and texting obsession; police brutality; moot court cases on ethical dilemmas; robots and A. I. (from The Matrix and more); ethics bowl competitions; and role playing as mayor of an ideal city.

During the closing exercises, the students spontaneously went up to the mic and said how much they had benefited from the camp and how many new friends they had. All said they couldn’t wait until camp next summer!

students and staff from the Hoffberger Center’s inaugural Philosophy Camp

Summer News and Updates

In a recent piece for The Huffington Post, Klein Family School of Communications Design lecturer Betsy Boyd writes about how the current trend toward studying an author’s previously unreleased or posthumously published works may prove to be a scholarly dead end.

Read Boyd’s article in The Huffington Post.
Learn more about Betsy Boyd.

 


The latest book from Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies Assistant Professor Joshua Clark Davis From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs —was recently featured in Time magazine.

Read the review of Clark’s book in Time.
Learn more about Prof. Joshua Clark Davis.

 

 

 


Simulation and Digital Entertainment (recently renamed Simulation and Game Design) graduates and brothers Matthew Leonard, B.S. ’16 and Michael Leonard, B.S. ’14, have started their own game design company, Leonard Brothers Game Studio. They’ve also released their first video game called Entropy, which is now available for free on Google Play.

Learn more about Matthew and Michael Leonard.


Christopher Tom, B.S. ’12, has been named an associate with Cho Benn Holback, a Quinn Evans Company. Cho Benn Holback serves as the Baltimore office of Quinn Evans Architects, an award-winning architectural and planning firm.

In addition to a Bachelor of Science in Simulation and Digital Entertainment from UB, Tom also holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. An architect with expertise in educational facilities, museum environments, and multifamily residential projects, Tom is currently working on two of Baltimore’s Rental Assistance Demonstration projects: Chase House and Monument East. Tom is also on the design teams for Smithsonian Institution projects at the National Museum of the American Indian Cultural Resource Center and the National Air and Space Museum Udvar Hazy Center.


On July 17, Assistant Professor Greg Walsh joined the Fjord Fika podcast to talk about the growing power of co-design—the idea that an effective design of literally anything is reliant on input from users, even young children.

In addition to teaching and directing several programs in the college’s Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies, Walsh leads UB’s intergenerational design team, KidsteamUB, through which children and adults work as partners to design new technologies for children.

Listen to the Fjord Fika podcast.
Learn more about Prof. Greg Walsh.

UB alum, adjunct wins The Journal’s 2017 Non/Fiction Collection Prize

Congratulations to Anthony Moll, M.F.A. ’14, adjunct faculty in UB’s undergraduate writing program, on winning the 2017 Non/Fiction Collection Prize from literary magazine The Journal. The Non/Fiction Collection Prize is awarded annually to a book-length collection of short stories, essays, or a combination of the two, and carries a cash award of $1500 and publication with The Ohio State University Press.

The book is now under contract and is scheduled for a fall 2018 release from OSU Press. Moll said that a portion of the manuscript was developed while he was a student in UB’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program, under the mentorship of Klein Family School of Communications Design Professor Marion Winik.

photo courtesy of The Journal

Learn more about the Non/Fiction Collection Prize.