Cultural Resources | Engagement | Academics | Technology | Enrichment

- The Andrew W. Mellon CREATE Grants Program -
Leveraging Cultural Resources through Intra-Institutional Collaboration

Academic Year 2017 – 2018 Awards

Summer 2017 Grant Cycle

“Using Visual Thinking Strategies to Enhance Clinical Skills.”

Grantee: Agarwal, Gauri Gaonkar, M.D., Miller School of Medicine

Team members: Caban-Martinez, Alberto, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H.; McNulty, Meaghan, M.D., M.P.H.; Torrents, Hope, Lowe Art Museum

Proposal Summary (excerpt): Many medical schools around the country have started to include visual arts training in the medical school curriculum. Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) has been employed as a facilitated method of guiding students in analyzing a preselected piece of visual art. A few studies have shown that employing VTS can improve clinical skills in medical students. VTS has been utilized at the Lowe Art Museum for the past three years with University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UMMSM) medical students as part of their “Introduction to the Medical Profession” course. This study will collect objective data regarding the outcomes of these sessions by enrolling fifty medical students from the entering MD/MPH class in August, 2017. Objective data on the impact of the VTS sessions is important for decision making regarding the inclusion of such programs in the curriculum at UMMSM and nationally.

Amount Awarded: $6,000

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“Developing a Rich Narrative History of Social Justice Activism in South Florida.”

Grantee: Scotney D. Evans, PhD, School of Education and Human Development

Team members: Ignacio Barrenechea, Doctoral Candidate, Ph.D. Program in Community Well-being

Proposal Summary (excerpt): The primary purpose of this project fits under the category of “collections-based research”. My research team and I would like to work with Special Collections librarians to access, review, and use the variety of materials in Special Collections that can be merged with data we are collecting from other sources, in order to create a historical account of the development and enactment of social justice activism in South Florida. A secondary purpose of this project fits under the category of “collections-based pedagogies”. Materials collected and synthesized during this project will be used for teaching and learning in two different contexts. First, I will be able to utilize these materials for teaching undergraduate and graduate courses here at the University of Miami. Second, I will be able to utilize information collected in working directly with community-based organizational partners. The uniqueness of the content of the documents contained in the archives allows me to have access to original materials, written at the time of the events they document. In addition, these underutilized materials will allow me to make my own analysis and historical reconstruction without needing to consider other secondary authors’ interpretation and opinions.

Amount Awarded: $6,000

Spring 2018 Grant Cycle

“Timeless Roses of Malmaison”

Grantee: Ali Habashi, M.S. / Lecturer, Department of Cinema and Interactive Media, School of Communication

Featured Collection: Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries

Research Statement: I plan to produce a cutting-edge immersive live media event held at the architecturally dazzling Kislak Center that will feature a lecture, three short films, a live classical music performance (that will be the music track of the screened films) and six projection mapping installations. These will collectively respond to Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s monumental Les Roses (1817-1824) in University of Miami’s Special Collections. It is a three-volume set illustrated by Redouté with commentary of botanist Antoine-Claude Thory, who categorized the variety of all roses illustrated in the work. Original copies of the three-volume set will be on display, as well as a digital copy for attendees to see Redouté’s illustrations of 170 roses.

The three narrative films I will produce will include images and the back stories related to Les Roses accompanied by uniquely choreographed projection mappings of Château de Malmaison, the historical French rose garden that inspired Redouté’s illustrations. Central to this live event production will be the narrative story of the relationship between Empress Joséphine and Napoléon Bonaparte. Moreover, this production will serve as a pilot program to bring more attention to the nationally acclaimed UM Libraries Special Collections and help seek additional outside funds to create similar programs in response to other narrative treasures within Special Collections.

Amount Awarded: $6,000

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“Navigating the Public Sculpture Program at the U: A Virtual Tour”

Grantees: Lien Tran, M.F.A. / Assistant Professor, Cinema and Interactive Media, School of Communication; Diana Ter-Ghazaryan, Ph.D. / Lecturer, Department of Geography, College of Arts and Sciences; Director, Geospatial Technology Program

Featured Collection: Lowe Art Museum (Public Sculpture)

Research Statement: Using several technology platforms already available at the University of Miami, we propose to prototype a geolocative application that will bring more visibility to the University of Miami’s Public Sculpture Program (PSP). By creating a virtual and interactive presence for the PSP, we aim to make the PSP objects easier to discover, to bring greater attention to this impressive collection of artwork, and to crowdsource items inspired by the objects in the collection. With the help of a CREATE grant, we plan to engage our students to help define and prototype a proof-of-concept application featuring the PSP. We plan to extend and modify this application in the future based on feedback we receive from this initial launch of the application. The application will help engage the university community and the general public with art objects that are always on view around campus and to include these constituents’ opinions and impressions of these art objects.

Amount Awarded: $4,500

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“Afro-Caribbean Religion: Healing and Power”

Grantee: Kate Ramsey, Ph.D. / Associate Professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences

Featured Collection: Special Collections and Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries

Research Statement: In Fall 2018, I am scheduled to offer a new seminar on the topic of “Afro-Caribbean Religion: Healing and Power.” This class closely connects to my ongoing research on a second single-authored book project. Both the seminar and my research will be greatly enriched by work in Special Collections and the Cuban Heritage Collection during the next academic year. For the course, students will be asked to work on an original research paper. Through regular visits to these Collections as a class, they will have the chance to deepen their use of the library materials and further develop their archival research skills. In terms of my own collections-based research, my current project focuses on the British Caribbean colonies during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It examines how Afro-Caribbean religion became an object of colonial law and an icon of colonial and metropolitan writing at a moment of rising medical interest across the Atlantic world in the mind-body relationship and mental science. Outside of the UK National Archives, the British Library, the Wellcome Library, and library and archival collections in the Anglophone Caribbean, my research for the book will be primarily based in UM Libraries. The project will draw on Special Collections’ extraordinary
bibliographic holdings on Jamaica through the mid-nineteenth century, the Caribbean Documents Collection, plus a wide range of texts in the Jackie Gleason Collection, among others. My development of the new seminar and my ongoing research for the book will be cross-fertilizing next year, and both will make the very most of the resources of UM Libraries collections.

Amount Awarded: $6,000

“Dancing Glass: Reflection of Art through Dance”

Grantee: Carol Kaminsky, M.A.; BC-DMT / Dance Program Director and Lecturer, Frost School of Music

Featured Collection: Lowe Art Museum

Research Statement: “Dancing Glass: Reflection of Art through Dance” is a collaborative project using artwork from the glass gallery at the Lowe Art Museum as a springboard for artistic inquiry in improvisational dance. University of Miami students enrolled in an improvisation class guided by their professor will create dances based on the exploration of shape, line, design, and symbolism of glass art. At the end of the semester, students will present their dances either in the gallery, on stage or at an appropriate venue. Participants in the project will be assessed with qualitative and quantitative measures on creativity, identity, and self-concept. Audience members will be engaged in evaluation of the dance performance.

Amount Awarded: $3,500

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