Emerging onto the first floor of Quinn Hall out of the wind and rain on Monday, April 22, I entered into a lobby full of graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and community members chatting over refreshments. The majority of guests, however, were volleying for entrance into the TMD Department’s gallery space, where the famed quilts of “An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery” were displayed.
The exhibit was inspired by Rachel May, author of the book by the same name and PhD alum who graduated from URI in 2015. While she was earning her PhD in English at URI, May happened to take a Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design class and became fascinated by a pair of quilts made in the 19th century and donated to URI by Franklin Cushman, great-nephew of Susan and Hasell Williams. The Williamses were a slave-owning couple who met in Providence while Hassel was attending medical school at Brown University. Shortly after they were married, they moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where they owned four slaves by the names of Minerva, Eliza, Jane, and Juba.
The Talent Development (TD) program at URI marked its 50th anniversary this academic year. Founded as a response to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the program serves Rhode Island high school graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds. The roots of the TD program are in the Civil Rights movement and King’s fight to overturn systemic racism and provide opportunity for all. As we go into the Spring semester and consider the legacy of Dr. King this week, it is worthwhile to learn more about this program at URI that may not directly affect graduate students, but that continues to shape the university culture.
Recently, URI hosted two impressive yet different scholars: Lisa Gitelman, professor of English and Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU, and Claudia Rankine, writer and professor of poetry at Yale. Each spoke to their area of interest; Gitelman discussed how shoes are a metaphor for the industrial revolution and Rankine talked about flipping the script on our expectations of representation based on race, gender, and intersectional identity. Moving between these two talks, from the material product to the representational identity, was a juxtaposition that made both of the talks even more enlightening for me.
The final installment of “Non-traditional Career Opportunities for Students in Humanities and Social Sciences” on April 19th featured Nic Schumann, co-founder and COO of Work-Shop Design Studio. Focusing on digital skills and entrepreneurship, Schumann was a wonderful speaker on this topic who identifies primarily as an entrepreneur rather than considering himself as limited to one field or discipline. Throughout the talk, he asked thoughtful questions and gave broad advice that provided insight into the employer’s side of hiring and retaining the best colleagues. Continue reading “Nic Schumann discusses Non-traditional Career Opportunities”
The “Non-traditional Career Opportunities for Students in Humanities and Social Sciences” Speaker Series organized by URI librarian Bohyun Kim continued with Lisa Carnevale, co-founder and executive director of DESIGNxRI, on March 29th, 2018. This organization works to share information about the design sector in RI, create an environment for design businesses to thrive, and make grants to these designers and businesses. To support this mission DESIGNxRI runs programs, maintains a directory, and holds events, such as Design Week. Carnevale earned her degree in communications and since then has used her passion and interests in the arts and design to guide her career in the nonprofit sector.
URI librarian Bohyun Kim’s speaker series “ Non-traditional Career Opportunities for Students in Humanities and Social Sciences” recently hosted Andrea Russo on March 15th as the second presenter in a series of four. Russo visited Carother’s Library from her current position as the regional manager of Rhode Island for TEALS, an organization with the goal of bringing computer science programs to every high school. Russo’s presentation was essentially an autobiographical exercise, but showed the audience how your career path doesn’t necessarily need to follow a conventional or expected sequence.
The library has introduced a new speaker series in “Non-traditional Career Opportunities for Students in Humanities and Social Sciences” this semester. Organized by Bohyun Kim, Scholarly Technology Librarian, this series aims to help students of all levels explore working in fields that are not necessarily directly associated with the Humanities or Social Sciences.
The first session was Thursday, Feb. 22 with Assistant Professor Karl Aspelund of the Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design Department, with three more sessions to come. I attended this first session and thought that Dr. Aspelund’s talk was very interesting and the whole speaker-series project seems extremely pertinent to the current humanities job market.