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Three Faculty Awarded Course Development Grants

By Upstate Institute on September 29, 2015

Janel Benson of Sociology and Anthropology, Jessica Graybill of Geography (“Urban Geography”), and Tim McCay of Biology (“Applied Natural Resource Conservation”) were recently awarded course development grants through the Upstate Institute.

Benson will teach a course on Sociology of the Family beginning in the spring of 2016, in partnership with the Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Madison County and the Madison County Department of Social Services. Her students will examine the way in which family dynamics have changed over time and why those trends vary by social class, race-ethnicity, gender and sexuality. They will consider how social policies impact families, and in doing so will analyze data from several programs operated by CAP and Social Services in order to give these organizations valuable insights into the effectiveness of various operations.

Graybill will also be teaching a course this spring, in partnership with a Utica-based organization that provides services to resettled refugees and immigrants. Students in Graybill’s Urban Geography course will consider the role of an active, engaged citizenry in the creation of space and place in cities around the world, and how cities can become better places for individuals and communities in a globalizing world. By interviewing recently-resettled refugees and telling their stories through digital means, the students will explore place-making and identity-making, and the challenges and successes of citizenship and identity in Utica.

Beginning in the fall of 2016, McCay will partner students in his Applied Natural Resource Conservation course with local land trust organzations in the Central New York region. McCay’s course is designed to appeal to students studying a wide array of subjects at Colgate, and will pair those with expertise in the natural sciences (geology, biology and physical geography) with those in social sciences such as economics, geography and sociology and humanities such as philosophy and ethics, and allow them time to work in groups on the various research questions that are posed by local land trusts.

The Upstate Institute offers course development grants to provide faculty with the resources necessary to offer students immediate opportunities to apply research skills in the support of local agencies that exist to provide service to the community. These grants are administered in partnership with the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, and support a course that provides a community-based research component in one or more disciplines while addressing a significant, community-identified need.


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