From mystery to history: Cultural arts exhibit on display in the Learning Commons

Copy of Melamed_LibraryArtShow

A special part of the library is going on exhibit Feb. 15. Photographs, video clippings and newspaper articles from Baltimore’s Cultural Arts Program (CAP) will be on display in the Division of Legal and Ethical Studies on the third floor of the Learning Commons in Room 317, the CAS Faculty Lounge. There will be an opening reception with light refreshments from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.

The CAP collection is normally housed in Langsdale Library’s Special Collections and is accessible to researchers and community members just by making an appointment. The collection is in the process of being digitized, as well.

The Baltimore community has a unique opportunity to see the special showing this month and meet CAP participant Angela Koukoui, who also helped organize the exhibit. Koukoui is in the Integrated Arts program at UB.

UB President Kurt Schmoke, will be at the opening as well.

Dr. Nicole Hudgins, associate professor in UB’s Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies, initially approached Koukoui about doing the exhibit and they have since been working on it together.

CAP started in 1968 with War on Poverty Funding and its Model Cities Program (MCP). By 1974, CAP was being run by the Urban Services Agency (USA) and continued until 1993.

Kokoui joined CAP’s dance program in 1986 and stayed until 1993 when she graduated from high school. CAP enabled Kokoui to apply for and attend Baltimore School for the Arts.

She now runs a non-profit dance program inspired by her time in CAP. CAP also offered piano, singing, visual arts and drama. Jada Pinkett Smith starred in a CAP production of West Side Story at the age of 14.

Everyone who participated in CAP hasbecomesuccessful,saysKoukoui. “We tried to find someone who did not succeed and we could not.” Emmy Award Winning ABC News Cameraman Pete O’Neal got his start in CAP.

Baltimore’s African American Festival (AFRAM) started through CAP, as well. Kokoui danced at AFRAM in 1976 as part of CAP’s Expanded Arts Program and was paid for her performance. Her children dance at AFRAM, currently.

Koukoui initially discovered the CAP collection at Langsdale Library as a community member. She had first checked the city archives and the Maryland Historical Society, but could find nothing. She only found two news clippings at the Pratt Library.

Finally, at an arts advocacy meeting, Kokoui got information. It was there she discovered that Urban Services Agency photographer Breck Chapman, who had covered CAP from its inception to its end, donated his entire collection of CAP photo- graphs to the Langsdale Library.

The CAP collection at Langsdale is called the Breck Chapman collection.

Come to the opening on Feb. 15 and see for yourself. You can also call to make an appointment.

Many of Langsdale Library’s Special Collections can be viewed online.

Langsdale Library is open:

Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Riding in a winter wonderland: Stay safe after dark, in the cold, rain and snow

Copy of Melamed_BikeColumnWinter“Don’t skimp on being seen,” says UB Sustainability Planner, Jeff La Noue. You’re more likely to be riding in the dark during the winter because of shorter days. Windshields can be foggy or icy. Visibility is reduced on the road. Sometimes it’s raining, sleeting or snowing.

Wear bright and reflective clothing, lights on your bike–both front and back, as well as lights on your helmet or backpack, says La Noue, who commutes to UB by bicycle.

“Reflective tape on the bike is a cheap way to increase luminescence.”

“The more you glow and light up the dark the more likely it is you will be seen,” says La Noue.

“Lights are the biggest thing,” says Bernardo Vigil, who works at Baltimore Bicycle Works (BBW) a bike shop two blocks from campus on the Jones Falls Trail.

BBW sells lights that allow you to be seen–and lights that allow you to see. There are red lights for the back of your bike and white lights for the front of your bike. Some lights can be adapted to fit on your backpack or helmet. Other lights are made specifically for these locations.

I rely heavily on a 300-volt Cat Eye white light that sits on my handlebars. I don’t leave home without it. It does double duty: it lets me see on dark, wet streets, and it makes me visible to drivers and pedestrians in similar conditions.

I also wear a turquoise helmet, and sometimes even day-glow orange yoga leggings which do double duty as cycling pants. Both stand out at night and against a snowy background.

A bright orange wind jacket helped Pete Ramsey stay visible whenever he commuted from UB at night during the winter. Pete, who used to work at UB’s Langsdale Library, always set his lights to flash before he took off.

“I always use lights after dark,” says Pete. “One small flasher in each wheel, two lights forward–one flashing and one to see the ground–and one bright red flasher in the back.

Now you know several ways to stay visible. But how will you ever stay warm?

It can be done, say staff at BBW. “It’s all about layers,” says Casey McMann, who has experience bike riding through Michigan winters. Vigil agrees. Vigil is from Minnesota and bike rides in winter as well. “I’m very partial to Merino wool for everything,” says Vigil. “It doesn’t smell as bad as synthetics. It’s very warm, but still breathable.” Virgil advises not to wear a heavy jacket, as you heat up very fast once you get moving.

I’ve seen bike-riders stuck with a heavy coat, luckily accompanied by friends with backpacks. They always, without fail, pass their coat over to the person with the pack.

“I might wear a pea-coat if I were going a really short distance,” says Virgil, “but otherwise a thin waterproof shell is essential. It should be large enough that you can layer underneath.”

You also want a good cinch between your sleeves and gloves, says Vigil, to keep out the wind. A tube-like scarf can keep your neck warm, without risk of getting caught in your chain or your wheels.

About gloves, Vigil says “You want them!”

Vigil wore wool liner gloves under leather work gloves, while bike-riding through Minnesota winters, mainly because he had them around.

They need to stop wind, said Vigil of winter-riding gloves. They shouldn’t be bulky—you want to make sure you can maintain dexterity. BBW has cycling-specific gloves made for various temperature ranges, says Grace Blair, who also works at BBW.
Endura Deluge gloves are designed to keep you warm down to 35 degrees–but Blair has worn them at 20 degrees while cycling downhill 7 miles, from Towson, to BBW.

The shop also has Giro gloves for winter. According to the label, the Giro gloves (specifically the “proof” glove) will keep you warm down to 25 degrees.

BBW also sells wool caps you can wear under your helmet.

Pete Ramsey doubles up on socks when it drops to 25 degrees.

You can find winter-specific cycling shoes at BBW as well as covers you can put over your existing shoes.

Now that you’ve got the gear down, how do you get around?

Vigil recommends non-studded winter-specific tires that can handle the regular road as well as snow and ice. They are a little wider and a little softer than regular tires, but they harden when exposed to cold. These tires have a little extra tread, as well.

Another option for winter riding, says Vigil, is to get the fattest tires your bike can handle. Don’t fill them up as much. You want them a little soft, so they widen when you’re on the bike, giving you a little more traction.

Allow extra time for travel. “I leave more time so I can ride a little slower and pay a little more attention than I usually do,” says Vigil.

Fenders help, Vigil adds, but wouldn’t say they’re necessary. They do keep your drive train clean, though, which includes the chain, crank set and cogs. You need to clean your bike more often in winter, says Vigil, especially the chain. Otherwise, grit will wear things out faster.

Do you want to save money?

BBW is having a 30 percent off sale on all Endura products. Also, there may be a tune up special in February.

BBW is located at 1813 Falls Road on the Jones Falls Trail

BBW Hours:

Mondays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7p.m.

Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Go visit them before you get cold feet.

 

Continuing the discussion of diversity with President Kurt Schmoke

Before the end of the last semester a petition was sent to the President of University of Baltimore challenging aspects of diversity on the UB campus. The petition focused heavily on racial diversity, encouraging opportunity for students and faculty of color.

With the start a new semester the issue of diversity continues to be on the forefront, and it seems the petition and ideas are still in the air. The UB Post was able to speak with President Kurt Schmoke about his perspective on diversity and the petition. President Schmoke wants the campus to be aware the diversity is a broad spectrum. “Diversity means more than black and white,” said Schmoke. “If we can all agree to that then we can have a better conversation about diversity. There are a lot of groups underrepresented in the academy, and we should be sensitive to that.” Below are the questions provided by the UB Post and the answers from President Schmoke.

How do you feel about conversations surrounding diversity before the PoC coalition’s petition?

KS: There were many conversations about diversity. From students, faculty, staff and alumni prior to the drafting of the petition.

Do you think this petition grew from the conversations already happening, or more so grew from the events happening in Baltimore and Mizzou?

KS: You’d have to ask the people that drafted the petition. But I think people who have been around a while recognize there was a Culture and Diversity Committee created at UB four years ago because the UB community recognized the need to focus in more clearly on the issue of diversity.

What does diversity mean to you or University of Baltimore?

KS: For me, diversity is broader than just the concept of race. It involves creating a welcoming environment on campus for people of different backgrounds, different gender orientation, different races, and ethnicities and points of view. So diversity is a broad concept but primarily the goal is to make this a welcoming environment for people who have differences—whatever those differences may be.

Do you feel the conversation in regards to diversity have differed since the petition has come from the students, or is it about the same?

KS: There has been some in- creased focus on issues, not only because of the petition, but what happened in Baltimore last April.

And then following other issues at other universities, like Missouri. But I thought the petition raised some important issues that needed further investigation, that’s why I responded to it the way that I did, in writing, saying that I thought points that they raised needed further investigation. I promised that I would take an initial step in meeting with the cultural and diversity committee, and I did that last Monday morning.

When you say further investigation, you mean points in the petition need further investigation?

KS: Yes. For example, one of the points they raised in the petition was that there was a disproportionate discipline of African-American students rather than white students for similar offenses. They didn’t provide details. They made the allegations but they didn’t provide any evidence to support it. I didn’t dismiss the allegation, but I said we need to find out whether it’s true or not and the only way to do that is through further investigation. That’s just an example, but there were some others that were in the petition. As I said it raised questions but there was a need for further work to determine the answer to those questions.

So should students put more work into investigating?

KS: No. I thought the best way of doing it [was] for the community together. That’s why I wanted to meet with the Culture and Diversity Committee because it has as its members: students, faculty, and staff. I thought that would be the appropriate group to begin this process of investigation. I’ve asked them to have more regular meetings and to raise their profile a bit so people who were interested in diversity issues at UB would know of them, and know about their work, and would find an easy way to raise their concerns.

I know the Culture and Diversity Committee’s goal is to increase diversity and make known diversity issues on campus. That is their mission right?

KS: It’s to make sure the issue of diversity is viewed as an important priority.

 

How did you feel when you received the petition from the student? Would it have been different coming from faculty?

KS: No, as I said I think the petition raised important questions. Had it come from faculty, I would have reacted the same way. I didn’t dismiss the petition. I just, in my response, said “you raised some important issues.” We need to do further work.

Did you feel the need to meet with the people of color coalition?

KS: I didn’t feel compelled. What I felt was compelled to respond to the petition. And I also wanted the petition to be public, so that I could get input from all aspects of the community because initially it just came to me and nobody heard about it, except a few other students. I wanted the petition to be public so that I could get input from those with knowledge about the issues that are raised. I want to hear from faculty members about their response. I wanted to hear from other students, and I must say the responses that I got from other students vary widely. They were not all supportive of the petition. So it was important for me to get input from those who might be affected by what the petition said.

When you made it public, and you were hearing responses from faculty and students, how did you respond to that?

KS: It confirmed my view that there needed to be more investigation

of what was alleged in the petition.

I have sat in on an SGA meeting in which the PoC Coalition mentioned racial diversity in faculty and staff. Many people on campus, pose the question, “what if there aren’t any qualified candidates?” “What if we can’t find people of color who qualify?” How do you feel about people raising the question, “What if there are not enough qualified candidates of color?” More so, your response to that statement.

KS: Well… first of all, I have to look, in the sense I have only been here a year and a couple of months, I have to find out whether in fact what they said was correct. I know, for example, in our Dean’s search for College of Public Affairs there were people of color in that pool of candidates. And that in the search for the provost there was not a person but there was gender diversity, so I had to go back and find out whether we had a history recently of no persons of color being in the pools of candidates.

So that requires further inquiry. I’ve encouraged the consultants that we use in the search committees to make sure they search broadly for qualified people. To the best of my knowledge nobody has been discouraged from pulling in people of color in the pool. So the bottom line is you can’t disagree with what they are suggesting. It’s just that, they may not have known that indeed there were people of color in some of these searches. They may not have been selected but they were in some of the searches. Again, it’s the type of general statement that needs further inquiry.

Do you think statements as mentioned previously are in the back of people’s minds and effect the hiring process? Not specifically at UB but in academia in general, that the pre-conceived notion that there may not be enough qualified people of color, do you think that effect the hiring process in academia?

KS: Some places yes and some places no. I mean I think academia knows that we need more PhDs of color in the academy generally. The numbers are pretty low. I’ll just give you a point- the president of University of Maryland, Eastern Shore which is a historically black college, [at our] last president’s meeting noted even at her school, the majority of her faculty are not African-American. They are white and people of color from overseas. So even at an HBCU (Historically Black College/University) there is a concern about getting African-American PhDs on campus.

So just to your point, I think there is a need to encourage more people of color to get PhDs and to pursue careers in the academy. I don’t think that it [has] been the mindset at UB that we can’t find any qualified people of color. In my review of things, I haven’t seen any evidence of that. So that is all I can say. The person who is occupying the College of Arts and Sciences, our interim Dean is a woman. In the academy in terms of higher education leadership women are still underrepresented. So, I feel proud of the fact that we have as our interim Dean a female PhD. No, the petition may not say that is diversity, but in my view, in the academy at least, that is diversity.

In the petition and your response, you mention cultural competency training. Is this recent?

KS: It’s interesting you should mention that because the folks in each of our departments said there is already a certain amount of cultural competency that goes on, but there has not been a single plan, like in our Title IX. There are individual issues going on, on cultural competency, but what the Culture and Diversity Committee committed to do is to review hiring procedures of our human resources department and various hiring procedures in our individual colleges and schools. They want to do a campus climate survey to get a sense from students, faculty, and staff of their concerns about diversity, and then following that develop a more…a broader cultural competency training program. They didn’t want to start doing that before they did the campus climate survey. The review of the hiring procedure is going to start, then the campus climate survey, then upgrade our cultural competency training.

One thing that I have heard from students is that they feel that they encountered microagressions in their classes and they don’t exactly know who they should talk to about that.

Do you know who they should talk to?

KS: They should go to the deans first. I would go to the teacher themselves. *Brian, for example gave us an interesting example where he felt that he was a victim of insensitivity by a professor and he actually went to that professor and said ‘Do you

realize what you are doing? How you are impacting me?’ The professor apologized, said he didn’t realize that and made a change that lead to an improvement in the class. That was one student that went directly to the professor. My view is that, the students, if they don’t feel comfortable, that they should go to the dean. If it is something that is so egregious—multiple students are having the same problem—then it’s through the Title IX coordinator, the provost, or they could email me and say ‘we got a serious problem here.’ But it [should] be at the individual school level first. I believe that is one of the things the Dean is prepared to do, is to be responsive when students feel they are being victimized.

The PoC Coalition sent another response in response to your response. Are you going to respond to that one? Have you received it yet?

KS: I am not sure if I received it yet. Was it after their town hall meeting they had? Oh! After upgrading the cultural competency training, I did commit to having a town hall meeting on diversity in the spring semester. That was the other thing… (after being provided a copy of the response mentioned) I did see [the response] and I just encouraged our Vice President of Student Affairs to continue to work with the drafters. I asked her to respond to this. I did, I remember seeing this. And she did respond. She met with them. I remember this issue of tenure/non-tenure, which lead me to meet with some faculty to members without disclosing confidential information that the issue about African-American faculty members being tenured is more complicated then set forth here.

African-American faculty being tenured is much more complicated? How so?

KS: Well that’s why I am telling you, it would involve me getting into the private business of individual faculty members and I can’t do that.

Do you think tenure effects diversity in academia?

KS: Some places yes. Some places no.

Do you think there are certain disparities that discourage people of color from certain opportunities when comes to working in academia?

KS: Again I won’t generalize but it depends. [Henry Louis ‘Skip’ Gates] was a class behind me, we were in college together. He didn’t get tenure at Yale. But he got tenured at Harvard. So what was the issue there? Well the Yale faculty viewed him as being involved more in popular culture than serious academic enterprise. Harvard on the other hand says of course this guy, he’s published some great stuff, so it’s hard to generalize about things like that. What I do know is that the decision on tenure is generally left to faculty committees. They make the primary recommendation. If there is bias on a faculty committee, yes, a person of color is likely to feel the brunt of that discrimination. If the committee is fair minded and opened to good scholarship then a person of color is not going to be discriminated against. There was a professor of classics at Yale, named Eric Segal, who wrote a book called “Love Story.” It became a movie. “Love Story,” because a great book, a popular selling book and then a movie about these two who fall in love and one of them dies, like Romeo and Juliet. This is one of the most popular books around. Yale denies him tenure because he didn’t pursue classical studies. Getting tenure is a unique process and it is not something the president does by him/herself. It has to come from recommendation from faculty. If you have bias at the faculty level you’re going to have problems.

Would the same answer you gave for the process of tenure be able to answer the question of including selected cultural studies programs (African-American studies, Asian studies, etc…) here at UB?

KS: If you don’t have the persons to teach it. Well the one thing about UB is that it doesn’t offer as broad a mix of programs as some other universities. At this point if we were to offer new programs, one we would have to have the money to fund it. Second, we would have to make sure we had enough students in it year after year to justify it as opposed to having a lecturer come in and do it one time. The third thing is we’d have to figure out whether there is a way of offering that course electronically with other schools in the system. For example: if Coppin or UMES offered that program could we use the computers, could [we] have synchronous teaching of that and have a professor at UMES give the course. I am willing to explore those courses if I see there is really a demonstrated interest sustained over time. I don’t want to go out and hire a person and find out that ten people are going to take the course. I am open to looking at that along with faculty. Because of the concept of shared governance, if we are going to create new courses, that has got to come out of discussion at the faculty of each school level. I can’t just impose a new course on them. Again, hopefully the petitioners understand they raised some important issues that need further discussion in the whole community and that’s what I’ve been trying to encourage rather than me giving some definitive answer when I know that I’d have to go back to the faculty anyway.

What is UB’s hope for the future when it comes to diversity?

KS: Right now we are viewed as the most diverse, in terms of our student population, we’re the most diverse university in the state university system. I’d like to see us produce from our student body more students who are going to pursue more careers in academia. And maybe come back here and teach.

 

University of Baltimore is making strides to provide a welcoming for various groups of people. Both students and faculty are making effort to increase diversity to avoid students feeling there is a lack of diversity, opportunity, and sensitivity in the future.

*indicates name change

Maryland Women Celebrate 10th Anniversary of National Championship

 

 

The fifth-ranked Maryland Lady Terrapins started off 2016 by celebrating the 10th anniversary of their national championship, when Head Coach Brenda Frese’s team came from behind to defeat Duke 78-75 in overtime at what was then known as the Fleet Center in Boston. The first 2,006 fans at the Jan. 2 game against ninth-ranked Ohio State received commemorative T-shirts as they made their way inside the Xfinity Center. During timeouts, videos were played on the scoreboard as players from that championship team shared their thoughts on Frese and their championship season. However, at the end of the day, Maryland wasn’t able to celebrate a fifth straight win against Ohio State.

Maryland bounced back from a tough loss, coming up just short against defending national champion Connecticut, 83-73 in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 28. Brionna Jones scored 24 points against the Huskies. The Terps responded with a 79-63 win two nights later in their Big Ten opener at Illinois. Jones had another big game, scoring 16 points and grabbing a career-high 19 rebounds.

Maryland held Ohio State scoreless for the first 4:05 of the first quarter. Ohio State finally got its offense untracked, but the first quarter was a sloppy one for both teams, as they combined for 13 turnovers. Maryland led 18-14 after the first, led by seven points from Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. The Terrapins stretched that lead out to 28-20 with a 10-3 run over a three-minute stretch, capped by a layup from Walker-Kimbrough with six and a half minutes left in the second quarter, forcing Ohio State to call a timeout as the crowd of 10,119 roared its approval. However, the Buckeyes held the advantage for the rest of the quarter, cutting Maryland’s lead to 40-37 at halftime. Redshirt senior guard Brene Moseley led all scorers with 13 points and five assists.

Early in the third quarter, Jones found herself in foul trouble after getting called for her third foul on Ohio State’s first possession of the quarter. That triggered a 9-0 run by the Buckeyes to take a 46-42 lead as Maryland called a timeout with 7:42 left in the period. That timeout appeared to spark the Terrapins, as Moseley set up back-to-back three-pointers by Kristen Confroy and Walker-Kimbrough, and then made a free throw to put Maryland back up, 49-47 with just under seven minutes left in the third. Ohio State closed out the quarter on a 7-2 run to take a 61-57 lead into the final 10 minutes.

A three-pointer by the Buckeyes’ Ameryst Alston stretched Ohio State’s lead to 70-63 with 7:11 left in regulation. Walker-Kimbrough responded with a three of her own that cut the Buckeyes lead in half and pulled Maryland to within 72-69 with 3:11 left. However, that was as close as the Terrapins (12-2, 1-1 Big Ten) would get the rest of the way as they lost to Ohio State (10-3, 2-0 Big Ten) 80-71. Kelsey Mitchell of the Buckeyes led all scorers with 27 points, and the Buckeyes outscored the Terrapins in the paint, 34-14. Moseley scored 20 and dished out 10 assists off the bench. This was Maryland’s first ever loss in the Big Ten after 22 straight wins, and snapped a 28-game home winning streak. Buckeyes head coach Kevin McGuff acknowledged the significance of the win, but didn’t want his players to make it out to be more than it really was.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Maryland, and what Brenda and her staff have been able to accomplish here, so it’s a great road win against a great team. At the same time, we gotta take it for what it is: one Big Ten win,” McGuff said. “So we got to get back to work, make sure we continue to get better. As I told the team, we’re going to see Maryland again, and they’re going to be better, because they have a great team, and they always improve throughout the year, so if we’re not improving, and we’re not better, it’s not going to go our way.”

Frese chalked up the uncharacteristic play of her team to the effects of playing three games in less than a week.

“It definitely looked like you saw the effects and the impact of three games in six days. It’s not an excuse in terms of how we played. Like I told our team in the locker room, when you want to be a championship team, we want to compete for titles, there’s going to come a time in the tournament where we got to play three games in three days,” Frese said. “I thought there were a lot of uncharacteristic plays of us with fatigue today, which is the mental side of the game for us as a team that we got to improve on.” Frese credited Ohio State for coming out with more energy in the second half, and said her team played loose with the ball, committing 20 turnovers. With all the hype about celebrating the 10th anniversary of Maryland’s national championship, Walker-Kimbrough took responsibility for the loss.

“Today…I don’t think I came out ready to play, and so I’ll take this loss for my team. I have to come out better, and play a lot better,” said Walker-Kimbrough, who scored 16 points, but only shot six of 17 from the floor, and committed seven turnovers.

Maryland’s next game will be at home on Jan. 7 against Nebraska (9-3, 0-1 Big Ten) for “Basketball Bingo” Night.