Tackling Free Speech in the 21st Century
Dr. Anand Rao, Professor of Communication
Free speech. Civil discourse. Trigger warnings. These complex terms have become buzz words in the media as society grapples with understanding first amendment rights in the United States. Which speech is allowed? Who has freedom of expression? What happens when you disagree with a statement protected by free speech? These are the questions our faculty and students tackle in the classroom and in their communities through debates, conversations and critical thinking.
Dr. Anand Rao, professor of communication and director of UMW’s speaking intensive program and speaking center, specializes in communication and social media issues. Find out how he approaches public debate and discussion and the role you play in the conversation today.
Breaking Down Social Barriers with Intention
Dr. LaWanda Simpkins, Post Doctoral Fellow
What does the world look like from your seat? How does it look from the seat of the person across the room from you? Today’s students and graduates need to be prepared to address a multi-faceted and complex world brimming with conflicting viewpoints and ideas. That’s why UMW students learn just as much from their peers as they do from their professors – bringing a spectrum of perspectives into the classroom and beyond. How do you start that conversation with someone who seems so different from you? It starts with intention.
LaWanda Simpkins, James Farmer post-doctoral fellow in civil rights and social justice, specializes in black feminist thought, critical race theory and broad issues dealing with intersectionality as it relates to social justice and advocacy. Find out how she approaches others with intentionality to break down barriers.
The Call for Diversifying Education
Dr. John Broome, Associate Professor of Education
Do the people in your textbooks and reading materials look like you? If they do, you’re among a privileged minority in 2018. While the United States has continued to be a melting pot of cultures, races and ethnicities, our education system yet to catch up. What does it mean to have a diverse education? And why does it even matter? Established as a teacher’s college in 1908, UMW has remained at the forefront of these questions as it prepares its students to be teachers in communities locally and around the world.
John Broome, associate professor and program director in the College of Education, is an expert whose research focuses on social justice and civic education. Find out why he believes putting different people in the same room – and classroom – matters, and what it means to have diversity in education.
The Critical Decision of Preserving History
Dr. Michael Spencer, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation
How do you preserve history? What stays and what goes, and more importantly, why? As America gives a critical eye to the monuments, relics and artifacts of the past, preservationists are increasingly being called on to help society unravel the decisions around these meaningful markers. Located in historic Fredericksburg, UMW is often front and center in the midst of these conversations as faculty and students do hands-on research in the local community.
Michael Spencer, associate professor at UMW and the director of the Center for Historic Preservation, is a preservationist with expertise in architectural conservation and building forensics. Find out how he tackles the topic of preservation and the critical difference that can help navigate these monumental decisions.
A Case for the Digital Liberal Arts
Dr. Jesse Stommel, Executive Director of Teaching & Learning Technology
In this hyperconnected digital world, it is imperative that we discuss how we relate to each other online and how we interact as citizens on the web.
Jesse Stommel experiments relentlessly with learning interfaces, both digital and analog, and works in his research and teaching to emphasize new forms of collaboration. Jesse is a documentary filmmaker and teaches courses about digital pedagogy, film, and new media. He is also co-founder of Digital Pedagogy Lab and Hybrid Pedagogy: a digital journal of learning, teaching, and technology.