Fairfield has embraced “Cities” as an area of academic focus

Education reform is a hot topic across the nation. Connecticut Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor gave a presentation on urban education reform titled, “Urban Education Reform: A New Vision for Connecticut Schools” on October 2 at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

Pryor spoke about Connecticut’s education reform law, which is designed to transform both teaching and learning and eliminate the state’s highest-in-the-nation achievement gap.

“We were delighted to host this event at Fairfield,” said Susan Franzosa, Ph.D., dean, GSEAP. “Commissioner Pryor is in the forefront of the education reform movement in Connecticut and our students and faculty want to be a part of that movement.”

Crossing the BLVD Project: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in A New America

In November, Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer, artists of the award-winning traveling exhibit, Crossing the BLVD project, arrived at Fairfield for a special presentation about their work.

The project presents photographs and stories of immigrants and refugees who have recently come to the United States, documenting the challenges they have faced, their successes and their struggles. The presentation was held in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.

The artists discussed their book, traveling exhibition, audio CD, and multimedia performance with photographs, sounds and stories, and how this cross-platform project used the tools of contemporary art to create a multimedia experience reflecting the changing face of America.

Crossing the BLVD was the winner of the 2004 Brendan Gill Prize, an award given to a work of art that captures the spirit and energy of New York City. It premiered at the Queens Museum of Art in 2004 and has traveled to 15 locations in the U.S.

Digital Citizens Living in Virtual and Real Cities

Not all cities are physical places. Sometimes, they are virtual.

Roxann Riskin, the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Technology Specialist, and her team of tech students were inspired to take part in the 2012-2013 campus-wide “cities” Events theme. Riskin and her team created the Digital Citizens Project: an initiative to explore the role of a good “digital” citizen in the fathomless “city” of the Internet.

“As our students are good citizens in the real world, it is now time to consider our students as being good citizens in the digital world,” said Riskin. “A person’s social presence can be obscured when presented with the ability to have multiple online identities — such as multiple screen names, texting identities, email accounts, that exist only in the digital world.”

Riskin and her students set out to ask how educators could foster good digital citizenship in the expanding digital world.

Students explored nine themes of digital citizenship, interviewed faculty and staff members, and created YouTube educational videos. The videos, available on the library’s YouTube page, discuss ethics, literacy, rights, responsibility, security, health, and wellness.

Riskin envisions that the Digital Citizens Project will help Fairfield students discover their unique identity as virtual citizens.

For more information about “Cities” events, go to www.fairfield.edu/cities.


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