Faculty

Professor Margaret McFadden

Student

Gordon Fischer, ’13

“I read several books on public education in America. My entire life revolved around the movie.  I watched hours and hours of youtube videos, searching for footage and animations that might be useful.  I conducted two more interviews with professors on campus and as the days went by I got better and better at Final Cut….I sorted all the footage into different sections and then began the process of building a flow and putting the clips together in a sensible way.  In 2 weeks I had mastered the program and started putting sections together and the project just suddenly came together.  I watched it about 20 times in a row that night and made notes about final edits, sound adjustments and minor transition tweaks.  I showed it to my family and said that I still needed a name for it.  Right after seeing it I asked my mom and she said immediately “ALL CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND”.  I couldn’t have picked a better title. “

Project Description

ALL CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND

“The key to a democracy is an educated and informed electorate.” -Thomas Jefferson.

Schools serve societies. If people are not educated, if people do not have the basic skills to be truly active citizens, democracy simply can’t function. What type of society is the public education system in America serving?

democracy: rule by the majority
plutocracy: rule by the wealthy

ALL CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND is a 30 minute documentary that seeks to answer this vital question.

ALL CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND (2012) from Gordon Fischer on Vimeo.


Catherine L. Besteman
Professor of Anthropology

Anthropology 298

Exhibiting the Culture & History of Lewiston’s Somali Bantu Community

Goldfarb Center

This course covered Somali Bantu ethnography, issues involved in representing culture, visual anthropology research methods and theory and museum theory.  Students were required to do extensive reading on these topics during the first six weeks of the course.  The remainder of the semester the students focused on working with members of the Somali Bantu community, workshopping ideas, editing and constructing the online and physical exhibits.

Project Goals

The goal of this course was to create an online exhibit of Somali Bantu culture and history,  a portion of which was also installed at the Blue Marble Gallery in downtown Waterville and in the Colby Museum of Art.  Somali Bantus are a minority group in Somalia who were targeted by militias in Somalia’s civil war during the 1990s.  Thousands fled Somalia for refugee camps in Kenya, where they lived for over a decade.  In 1999, the US granted Somali Bantus P2 status as persecuted minorities and agreed to accept about 12,000 refugees for permanent resettlement. After their resettlement in the US, several hundred Somali Bantus moved to Lewiston, Maine. Many of the families in Lewiston come from the middle Jubba valley of Somalia, where Professor Besteman lived and conducted anthropological fieldwork in 1987-8. The exhibits was created collaboratively with involvement from many in the Colby community.  The Lewiston community was eager and thankful to have an archive of photos and audiotapes publicly available and used as a resource to educate others about their history and experience.

Project Description

Material collected for this online exhibit includes:

  • Historic photographs
  • Audio interviews
  • Music and poetry recorded in Somalia in 1987-8
  • Photographs of Lewiston’s Somali Bantu community
  • Artifacts from Somalia
  • Documentary films of Somali Bantu residents
  • Ethnographic text
  • Curricular materials for use in local schools
  • Maps and 1988 census forms from the middle Jubba Valley
  • Oral histories collected from members of the Somali Bantu community

Somali Bantu Website

Note:

Several staff members at Colby assisted with this project:

Lauren Lessing, Mirken Curator of Education, Colby Museum of Art
Marty Kelly, Visual Resources Librarian, Miller Library
Jason Parkhill, Director, Academic Information Technology Services
Tracy Carrick, Director, Colby Writers’ Center
Ruth Jacobs, Office of Communications


Philip Nyhus
Associate Professor
Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies 212:

Introduction to GIS & Remote Sensing

This course is a comprehensive theoretical and practical introduction to the fundamental principles of geographic information systems and remote sensing digital image processing.  Topics include data sources and models, map scales and projections, spatial analysis, elementary satellite image interpretation and manipulation and global positioning systems.  Current issues and applications of GIS are discussed with emphasis on environmental topics.  Students undertake independent GIS research projects. Topics may relate to Maine, or have a national or international scope.

Project Goal

Students will develop a series of maps highlighting the unique human and natural resources of Maine.


James Fleming
Science, Technology & Society

 ST 112   Science, Technology, and Society

This course provided students with an introduction to the interactions of science, technology and society and serves as a gateway to further study in STS at Colby.

Learning Outcomes: This course is writing intensive, and taught with the support of Academic ITS and the Writer’s Center.  You will be a better writer at the end of the semester.  One objective of the course is to develop sensitivity to and an awareness of the pervasive influences of science and technology on our lives and in the world around us.  A second objective is to introduce disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of these influences, specifically by studying the history and social dimensions of particular issues, their scientific and technical aspects, and by debating the often-controversial ethical choices they present us.  A third objective is to develop skills in discussion, analysis, research, writing, and presentation in this interdisciplinary field.

Format

Lectures, readings, discussion, weekly blog post “think pieces,” four critical essays, two poster presentations, and several extra credit guest speakers.  Students will engage in extensive revisions of their written work and will learn how to share their ideas using WordPress and in poster sessions.  Your input, through regular attendance, active discussion, and group participation, is crucial to making the course work.

Blogs and Essays

In your writing, you should focus on a particular topic, ask critical questions, present a clear theme or thesis, marshal supporting evidence and opinions, and provide clear and reasoned answers to your questions.  We will  be discussing three writing strategies: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos, all of which should find expression in your work.  Papers must be thoroughly documented using any major style. Your papers must demonstrate your engagement with a topic and represent your own opinions and conclusions, not just repeat those of others.  You will have the opportunity to revise each of these essays.  Here are some practical points:

• Give your blog or paper a snappy title.

• State the thesis in the first paragraph.

• Develop a thematic argument with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.

• Develop your argument and give an example or two if appropriate.

• Focus on completed paragraph formation.

• Avoid generalities and avoid trying to accomplish too much in the space allotted.

• Develop your ability to express yourself verbally and in print.

• End with a strong, memorable conclusion.

• Spell-check, grammar-check, and idea-check your paper.

• Read your paper aloud to a friend and discuss it, then revise it before handing it in.

• The writing tutor reads and comments on your first draft.

• The professor reads and comments on your final draft, which is posted on the weblog.

• Be proud of your language skills: Clear thinking and clear writing go hand-in-hand.

 


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