Spelman President Releases Year in Review Letter

Spelman President Releases Year in Review Letter

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The president of Spelman College, ranked the No. 1 historically black college on the lists of both the U.S. News & World Report and the Wall Street Journal, recently released her year-in-review letter to the Spelman community.

The entire letter is worth reading, which you can do here. However, I’ve excerpted some of it below. The following words are those of Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.:

As 2017 comes to an end, our country is being re-shaped by profound changes. The revisions of the tax structure and the Higher Education Act (HEA), if passed, will have a definitive impact on families, individual students and every educational institution and not-for-profit in this country. In the midst of this turbulence, Spelman continued to ascend. …

I write now to provide just a few highlights of the past year and to preview some of the ways in which we are thinking about securing our future in light of changes to the tax code and HEA.

Innovation is one of the four themes of the College’s strategic plan, and this year Spelman made several innovations under the umbrella of ARTS@Spelman. Our Innovation Lab, currently located in the Rockefeller Fine Arts building and directed by Dr. Jerry Volcy, Brown-Simmons Professor of Computer Science and faculty member in the computer and information sciences department, initiated a long-distance learning project between our Innovation Lab and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, under the direction of Colin “Topper” Carew, Ph.D. The Media Lab website highlights our Spelman students designing digital musical instruments using microcontrollers.

Two new majors were added to the Department of Art and Visual Culture: documentary filmmaking and photography. Filmmaker Julie Dash and photographer Myra Greene joined the Spelman faculty. Jeanne Gang, founding principal of the architectural firm Studio Gang, has begun working with the College to plan the new Center for the Arts & Innovation that will house all of Spelman’s arts disciplines and the multi-disciplinary Innovation Lab.

In addition to the innovations in the arts, the College became one of the nation’s first Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers. Led by Dr. Cynthia Spence and Spelman students who are Social Justice Fellows, Spelman held a series of “Difficult Dialogues” with other local campuses.

Summers continue to provide opportunities for Spelman students to advance their studies and this year students spent time in climate change institute internships, social entrepreneurial incubators and biomedical sciences programs. They returned in the fall to research genes, win a corporate finance competition and produce arts podcasts. Amid their studies, they successfully advocated to stem the tide of food insecurity across the entire Atlanta University Center.

Spelman faculty continued to win important research awards that allow them to not only investigate topics in their field but involve Spelman students in research as well. Research grants included topics in materials science, in teaching teachers how to make use of data science and in the development of a major theatrical production. … Our continuing expansion of global studies has been fueled, in part, by the expanding involvement of Spelman faculty in our study abroad programs.

Read more at the Spelman website.