IAS News

Helen K. Thomas: Young adult books connect Black girls globally

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A fan of young adult fiction, Helen K. Thomas explored the genre in the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies program and now is researching the books' global appeal with a Fulbright in Nigeria.

Although the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, Thomas plans to start her nine-month Fulbright this spring, leading reading circles with teen girls in Lagos, Nigeria. “My goal is to see how these books create a greater sense of agency in the Nigerian girls’ sense of their future, and then also to see how reading these books creates a stronger sense of community and interest in other Black girls around the world,” Thomas said.

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Karam Dana on “Learning Matters: A Bridge to Practice” podcast

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IAS faculty member Karam Dana was a guest on the “Learning Matters: A Bridge to Practice” podcast hosted by Scott Macklin from Trinity Western University in British Colombia. In the podcast episode addressing global connections, Dana describes his research, and its power in transforming our understanding with regard to studying Palestine and Palestinians, and with regard to the study of American Muslims ...

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David Nixon’s class inspires students long after it ends

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Students recall lifelong inspiration from the Discovery Core course Music and Philosophy taught by IAS faculty member David Nixon since 2008. Over the 13 years, Nixon’s course has undergone many changes, but it has always been about assisting students in personal growth by teaching skills rather than facts. Alumni Sarah Park and Kyle Piper discuss the course’s impact on their lives...

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Becca Price publishes annotations to biology education research

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IAS faculty member Becca Price and her colleague Clark Coffman (Iowa State) have published another set of annotations that introduce scholars to biology education research. The original paper (by Sana et al.) tests the effect of presenting learning objectives to students before they begin to study new material. The annotations ...

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Cultural Studies prepare diversity officers

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Graduates of the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies (MACS) program lead cultural change — a skill more organizations are seeking after witnessing widespread protests against racial injustice. Many employers are now looking for diversity officers to lead that change, and hiring for such positions increased more than 90% since 2019, LinkedIn reported.

“What’s strong about the Cultural Studies preparation is that it understands this is long term social and cultural change — changing the way people work and do things,” Bartha said. “The curriculum of the Cultural Studies program thinks about the dynamics of organizational change as well as community accountability and helps people know that ground.”

Along with the position of diversity officer, MACS graduates carry out similar work as artists, educators and activists.

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