A MESSAGE OF GRATITUDE

To the Campus Community,

We are grateful the terrible events that unfolded Monday evening have been brought to a close with the

Photo of ChenWei Guo. Click here for download

apprehension of the suspect in the shooting death of our student ChenWei Guo. This senseless act of violence has shaken our community and ended the life of a dear son, true friend, and promising scholar. By all accounts, ChenWei was a wonderful young man, and we mourn his death.

To honor him and recognize the impact this violent event has had on our campus community, the flags of the University of Utah will be flown at half-staff through Friday, Nov. 3, until sunset.

We want to thank our University Department of Public Safety, Salt Lake City Police, and all the other law enforcement agencies that responded quickly last night and worked so well together to solve this crime. Staff members across campus also reacted with compassion and professionalism and we appreciate everything they did to assist our students and law enforcement.

While classes will resume tomorrow, we understand a tragic event like this has a lasting impact and that members of our community will require time to heal. For students, faculty, and staff who would like to talk to someone please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Counseling Center at 801-581-6826.

Our thoughts are with ChenWei’s family and friends during this sad and difficult time.

David W. Pershing
University of Utah President

Ruth V. Watkins
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Update from U police chief

Dear Campus Community:

We are gratified to report that Austin J. Boutain has been apprehended and is now in custody.

He was spotted by an observant citizen—a librarian—at Salt Lake City’s Main Library, who notified library security. Security officers made contact with the suspect. Boutain was cooperative and immediately taken into custody by Salt Lake City Police, who handed him over to us.

Boutain has been brought to the University of Utah Police Department for questioning and processing. Later today, he will be booked into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on multiple charges. Officers from the City of Golden (Colorado) Police Department are en route to Utah as Boutain is also a person of interest in a homicide in that city.

We appreciate the full support from local law enforcement, who worked through the night to help search for Boutain, following the tragic, senseless shooting of our student ChenWei Guo. We have relayed this development to ChenWei’s family and we are doing as much as possible to support them at this terrible time.

— University of Utah Department of Public Safety Chief Dale Brophy

A tragic event on our campus

To our campus community,

It is with great sadness that I must tell you that on Monday evening, ChenWei Guo, one of our international students, was killed in a senseless, random act of violence.

Photo of ChenWei Guo. Click here for download

We have cancelled classes today in respect of ChenWei and the impact this violent event has had on our campus community. ChenWei was a pre-computer science major with a promising future and worked as a peer advisor in our International Student and Scholar Services Office.

We have been in contact with ChenWei’s family in China and they are understandably devastated by the loss of their son. We are working to bring them to Utah as soon as possible and will offer them all the assistance we can.

At this point, here is what we understand took place last night. ChenWei was parked near the gate in Red Butte Canyon when the suspect fatally shot him while attempting to hijack his vehicle.

Chief Dale Brophy and the University’s Department of Public Safety are confident that our campus is secure. I want to thank Chief Brophy and his team, the Salt Lake City Police, Unified Police, West Valley City Police, South Salt Lake Police, Cottonwood Heights Police, West Jordan Police, Utah Highway Patrol, FBI and all the other law enforcement agencies that responded last night as this tragedy unfolded and continue to work to locate this individual and take him into custody.

While classes have been cancelled today, campus services will remain open. The Counseling Center is prepared to support students with additional staffing, and Human Resources has arranged for the Employee Assistance Program to help with counseling for staff and faculty.

We will share more information online as it becomes available.

— President David W. Pershing

Emergency updates on campus tragedy

STATEMENT FROM CHENWEI GUO'S FAMILY

[Time Stamp: 5:30 p.m., Nov. 3, 2017] Click here to see a statement from ChenWei Guo's family.

A MESSAGE OF GRATITUDE FROM PRESIDENT PERSHING

[Time Stamp: 4:45 p.m., Oct. 31, 2017] Click here to see President Pershing's message to campus on tragic death of U student ChenWei Guo.

CLASSES TO RESUME

[Time Stamp: 3:28 p.m., Oct. 31, 2017] Classes resume tomorrow (Nov. 1, 2017). Our thoughts continue to be with ChenWei's family and friends.  

ARREST STATEMENT FROM CHIEF BROPHY AND 2 P.M. PRESS CONFERENCE

[Time Stamp: 2:30 p.m., Oct. 31, 2017] University Department of Public Safety Chief Dale Brophy and Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown provided an update on the arrest of Austin Boutain, the suspect wanted in connection with a fatal shooting on campus the evening of Oct. 30.

Click here to see a statement from Chief Dale Brophy and view the full press conference below.

SUSPECT APPREHENDED

[Time Stamp: 1 p.m., Oct. 31, 2017] Austin Boutain, the suspect wanted in connection with a fatal shooting on campus Monday evening, has been apprehended. He is now in custody.

GATHERING OF SUPPORT BEING HELD AT 5:30 P.M. AT THE UNION BALLROOM

[Time Stamp: 11:45 a.m., Oct. 31, 2017] There will be a gathering of support for students who have been affected by this tragic event at 5:30 p.m. at the Union Ballroom today, Oct. 31, 2017.

10 A.M. PRESS CONFERENCE

[Time Stamp: 10:30 a.m., Oct. 31, 2017] University President David W. Pershing, University Police Chief Dale Brophy, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown and Dean of Students Lori McDonald provided an update on the Oct. 30 shooting.

View the full press conference below.

[Time Stamp: 4:10 A.M., October 31] Click here to read the letter President David W. Pershing sent regarding the tragic event on campus.

[Time Stamp: 2:55 A.M., October 31] Secure-in-place has been lifted for all of campus, including hospitals. While the suspect has not been detained, police have determined there is no imminent threat to the safety of those on campus. Officers will hold a perimeter through the night and continue searches throughout Red Butte Canyon and surrounding area during the day. Classes for today (Oct. 31, 2017) have been cancelled. Campus services and facilities will remain open. Further updates via email. 

[Time Stamp: 1:05 A.M., October 31] Many people are asking how classes may be impacted in the morning. At this time the situation is still evolving and we anticipate having more information about campus impacts within the next few hours. We will post that information here as soon as it becomes available.

[Time Stamp: 12:50  A.M., October 31] Secure-in-place lifted WEST of Mario Capecchi Dr ONLY. Students needing temporary shelter proceed to Marriott Library Plaza Entrance.

[Time Stamp: 11:49 P.M., October 30] Suspect has been identified as Austin J Boutain, a 24-year-old male with brown eyes and brown hair. He has more tattoos than are seen in these pictures. He has a teardrop tattoo under one eye and a cross tattoo under the other as well as neck and arm tattoos. He is armed and dangerous. If you have any information about this person or his whereabouts, contact police at 801-585-2677 or 911.

[Time Stamp: 10:04 P.M., October 30] CAMPUS ALERT: Suspect male, white adult. Black clothing, beanie with cross, tear-drop tattoo on face. Possible forest green pick-up CO plate.


[Time Stamp: 9:05 P.M., October 30] FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH EMERGENCY ALERT NOTIFICATION SYSTEM:

CAMPUS ALERT: Shots fired, Red Butte Canyon. Shelter in place.

MORE INFORMATION TO COME.

Cultural appropriation or appreciation?

Editor’s Note: Halloween is here – a fun time for people to explore their creativity and walk around in various costumes or as characters. But when does your costume shift from fun to disrespectful? Often times, costumes attached to traditions or identities of marginalized communities appropriate and exploit these communities. In turn, this reduces rich cultures and histories and turns them into oversimplified stereotypes.

In the U Student Affairs Diversity Council newsletter, U students Amerique Phillips and Alexis Baker wrote about the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation and provided tips to follow to ensure a respectful Halloween.

As you get ready for Halloween, here are some tips you can put into practice. Think to yourself:

  • Does the actual name on the costume packaging say “tribal” or “traditional?”
  • Does the costume include race-related hair or accessories (dreads/locs, afros, cornrows, a headdress)?
  • Does the costume play into racial stereotypes?
  • Does this costume represent a culture that is not my own?

If you answered, “yes,” to any of these questions, you should rethink the costume and try again.

There have been many conversations regarding what cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation looks like, and to what extent we all participate in it. Cultural appropriation can be defined as the “cherry picking” or selecting of certain aspects of a culture, and ignoring their original significance for the purpose of belittling it as a trend. Appreciation is honoring and respecting another culture and its practices, as a way to gain knowledge and understanding. Within this article, we highlight examples of what both cultural appropriation and appreciation look like, and how we can practice the latter. In short, we aim to define, exemplify and practice what we preach.

In 2016, Rachel Dolezal was president of the NAACP, and a former African studies teacher. She had curly/kinky locs, tanned skin, that she used to gain the trust of African Americans, and bond over common struggles. She was a black woman…or so most thought. When asked in an interview to identify her parents, who are white, she did so and it became known that she was a white woman performing Blackness. She self-identified with the struggles that black people face, adopted a darker skin complexion and kinky hair, and ultimately took up space and opportunity within the black community. Dolezal adopted these aspects that are intrinsic to African-American culture for the greater purpose of being accepted into spaces she would not have otherwise had a seat at the table in. This belittles the significance of protective hairstyles uniting generations of black people to pioneer new standards of beauty and social value. It ignores the resilience that has been forged through historical and systemic trauma. Dolezal reduced the culture to the seemingly easy aesthetic ability to pass in black spaces, black thought and black history. In this case, Dolezal appropriated black culture via exploiting the narratives/struggles, the traditional and physical attributes of Blackness and gaining status in spaces meant for black people.

Kylie Jenner is another example of cultural appropriation as she attempts to physically embody black culture. She has adopted box braids — a traditionally African hairstyle meant to protect the hair, bigger lips and curves for the greater purpose of looking “good.” Physical features are an important aspect of black culture, because they are used to discriminate against black folks or justify oppression of black folks American society. In short, black features and culture are preferred to be performed by non-black folks, but black folks who do not have the choice to not perform their culture (because it’s not a performance but an aspect of who they are) are demonized for being authentic or too black. On the other hand, appreciation is like an invitation from said cultural group to participate in one’s culture with the intention of learning more about the culture and respecting its members.

Ways in which you appreciate a culture would be to attend a wedding or celebration and educate yourself on the significance of their traditions. For example, there is a huge difference between you and your friend having a luau-themed party and actually attending a traditional luau. Of course, there is a fine line between appropriation and appreciation.

A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT WHERE ALL THRIVE

Deans and administrators through the University of Utah campus issued this letter in mid-October to affirm their commitment to creating an inclusive environment where there is no tolerance for acts of racism or bias in any form.

As leaders of the University of Utah, we work daily to facilitate the intellectual development of all campus members and help our students, staff and faculty reach for their professional goals.

Over the past months, our campus — indeed our nation — has experienced several threats to our learning environment that challenge individuals’ ability to thrive. These incidents are not isolated and we understand that they are signs of deep racial and gender biases (among other bigotries) that have been perpetuated in our country for now hundreds of years. As leaders within the university community, we acknowledge with humility and with empathy the hurt, pain, and damaging effects on mental and physical well-being that these bigotries and threats can produce. Any such threats are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Understanding that we have much to learn, we are committed to gaining a more complex understanding of issues that challenge the respectful climate an academic setting demands. These include racial microaggressions, biases against women and LGBTQ+ individuals, and intolerance towards people’s citizenship status, disabilities, politics, and religion.  We commit to providing training to individuals within our units so that faculty, advisors, staff, and other students will better understand the problems and challenges that are daily faced by these groups so that we can act with greater understanding at all levels of campus life. Our aim is to create and sustain a university climate where all individuals treat each other with respect and dignity.

We as leaders at the University of Utah promise to develop strategies that work proactively to reduce the potential for such threats.  We feel passionately that the University of Utah must become an environment where all individuals on campus are physically safe, so that we all can stretch our minds to places that may feel intellectually unfamiliar, but that excite the mind and lead to new discoveries that benefit societies here and around the globe.  We ask for your patience as we strive for a university environment where this is possible for all.

Robert Adler
Dean, College of Law

Cynthia Berg
Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Science

Lorris Betz
Senior Vice President of Health Sciences

Martha Bradley
Senior Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

Richard Brown
Dean, College of Engineering

Darryl Butt
Dean, College of Mines and Earth Sciences

Elaine Clark
Dean, College of Education

Alberta Comer
Dean, Marriott Library

Randy Dryer
Acting Dean, Honors College

Sarah George
Executive Director, Natural History Museum

Dianne Harris
Dean, College of Humanities

Steve Hess
Chief Information Officer

Wyatt Hume
Dean, College of Dentistry

David Kieda
Dean, Graduate School

Patricia Morton
Dean, College of Nursing

Keith Diaz-Moore
Dean, College of Architecture and Planning

David Perrin
Dean, College of Health

David Pershing
President

Randall Peterson
Dean, College of Pharmacy

Taylor Randall,
Dean, David Eccles School of Business

John Scheib
Dean, College of Fine Arts

Barbara Snyder
Vice President Student Affairs

Kathryn Stockton
Associate Vice President of Equity and Diversity
Dean, School of Social and Cultural Transformation

Martell Teasley
Dean, College of Social Work

Ruth Watkins
Senior Vice President Academic Affairs

Henry White
Dean, College of Science

DEFENDING THE DARK

By Lisa Potter, science writer, University Marketing & Communications

In early October beneath a full harvest moon, Jessica Dwyer spoke about artificial light at night to a packed auditorium at the Tracy Aviary, facing a group bundled up against the chilly night air. The visitors had attended the “Birds, Beer, and Bortle Scale” event to glimpse feathered shadows migrate in front of the moon (birds), taste Fisher Brewing Company drinks (beer) and learn about light pollution (the Bortle Scale measures night sky quality). It was the first official event of the Salt Lake Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association (Dark Sky SLC).

PHOTO CREDIT: Bettymaya Foott

View of the sky glow of Salt Lake City from Rockport. Light pollution interferes with more than stargazing; it impacts many aspects of modern human and non-human life.

Dwyer, academic program manager at the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Utah, founded the nonprofit chapter to protect and preserve the night sky on a hyper-local level. Through outreach and community organizing, she hopes to give Salt Lake City residents the tools to take action against light pollution to protect their health, safety, wellbeing and environment. She was invited to start SLC Dark Sky by the U’s Consortium for Dark Sky Studies, the first academic center in the world dedicated to studying the impact of the disappearing dark.

“The consortium is a place where industry and academia address light pollution, but there isn’t a citizen component,” says Dwyer, who is also a member of the consortium. “I founded Dark Sky SLC because the power of this work is in the individual’s ability to make a difference  – it’s a rare issue where individual, communities, companies and policy makers can all contribute meaningfully. I can change my porch light, or I can work to change city lighting policy – Dark Sky SLC supports local, community-based work.”

Birds, Beer and the Bortle Scale

Most songbirds migrate at night, Dwyer told the crowd of bird lovers, who murmured their surprise. When they pass through brightly-lit cities, they become confused and collide into buildings. This kills approximately 1 billion North American songbirds every year, she continued. The crowd responded with a stunned silence.

Excess artificial light at night, or light pollution, impacts far more than wildlife. Light pollution has been linked to depression, blood pressure and other diseases. It interferes with ozone pollution dissipating overnight. The United States wastes $3.3 billion annually on outdated lighting systems. Poor neighborhoods tend to have the worst light pollution, based on the myth that brighter lights make safer streets.

“Dark skies are a perfect way to encourage people from all backgrounds to preserve the night skies; you can focus on family and health. If you support governmental fiscal responsibility, we can improve that by addressing light pollution. You can be aware of the global climate crisis,” says Dwyer. “There were all types of people at this event. I was really pleased with how many sportsmen were there. They told me about how light pollution has impacted their ability to see stars from their family’s cabin, or how light has impacted a herd of elk they’d followed for years.”

Posted by The Consortium for Dark Sky Studies on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

SLC Dark Sky is a local chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association, the leader in fighting light pollution worldwide. The chapter’s co-sponsors, Cooper Farr and Tim Brown of the Tracey Aviary, helped organize “Birds, Beer, and the Bortle Scale” because of artificial lighting’s direct impact on bird migration.

“Cooper, Tim and I strategized a lot to conceive of this chapter, and tried make focus on the hyper-local to build really strong relationships that are mutually beneficial to preserving night skies,” says Dwyer. “What you do matters just as much as how you do it.”

The event was indeed a local affair: The Fisher Brewing Company, a Salt Lake City favorite committed to local ingredients and local Mountain West Hard Cider provided the beverages for the evening. The Hex Press, a local printing company, made handcarved stencils representing Dark Sky SLC and printed shirts onsite. The University of Utah AstronomUrs club set up a telescope so attendees could see the harvest moon up-close. Bettymaya Foott of the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative and the Consortium for Dark Sky Studies was on hand to provide insight into the value of protecting the night skies.

“It was great to engage with residents of the big city; many asked what they could do to make a difference. They were already doing it by supporting a dark sky event!” says Foott. “If you are looking for ways to protect the night sky, you can support Dark Sky SLC, check whether your own lighting at home is fully shielded, and talk to your community representatives about local lighting ordinances.”

Utahns protect the night

Utah is home to more dark sky-designated places than anywhere else in the world, two of which are close to Salt Lake City; star gazers can see the Milky Way sprawled across the sky on Antelope Island and at North Fork Park in Eden, Utah.

Access to truly dark skies is becoming an increasingly precious resource — light pollution prevents nearly 80 percent of Americans from seeing the Milky Way from their house. For Dwyer, dark skies can bring together all Utahns to protect their unique environment.

“The environmental movement that started in the early 1970s failed because they embraced identity politics that excluded a lot of people. The premise was that I’m right and you’re wrong,” she says. “Dark skies has a lot less emotion, less politics, and more solution-finding. And I’m interested in finding solutions much more than I am in being right.”

Join Dark Sky SLC and help defend the dark.

U Remembers

The University of Utah commemorates the victims of the Holocaust during annual U Remembers — a series of events that reflect on the historical actions leading to the Holocaust, and pulls parallels to contemporary social issues. This year’s topic is “The Power of Propaganda.”

In its most basic form, propaganda is the dissemination of a message that serves the purpose of shaping public opinion and behavior. “We know that during the Third Reich, Nazi leaders used propaganda to advance their political campaigns and to wage war abroad, and on a very specific group of people at home,” says Maeera Shreiber, professor in the department of English and chair of the U Remembers committee. “This historical framework sets the stage for us to learn more about how propaganda can be just as damaging to our efforts to sustain democracy today.”

2017 U Remembers events at the University of Utah include:

Film and Discussion: “The Eternal Jew”
Nov. 1, 12-1 p.m., Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building, Jewel Box, 215 S. Central Campus Dr.

“The Eternal Jew” was produced in 1940 as part of German Nazi propaganda efforts during World War II. Julie Ault, assistant professor in the Department of History at the U, will lead a discussion on the different techniques and messages within this film and other propaganda of the era that aimed to make anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe seem justified.

Keynote by Professor Jason Stanley: “The Destruction of Reality”
Nov. 2, 12-1 p.m., Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building, Child Hall, 1655 E. Campus Center Dr.

Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. His most recent book, “How Propaganda Works,” was the winner of the 2016 PROSE award for philosophy. He is also the child of Holocaust survivors. Stanley’s studies of propaganda as it intersects with freedom of speech and as a tool for authoritarianism, have led him to work issues such as mass incarceration. This presentation will discuss contemporary propaganda, reality and democracy.

A Student Lead Conversation: “Navigating Campus: Propaganda and Campus Climate”
Nov. 3, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Union, Room 311, 200 Central Campus Drive

Although most agree that propaganda was a critical tool during the Holocaust, many don’t easily recognize that propaganda continues to be a tool for promoting political agendas and shaping political climate. College students are constantly connected to mainstream media and are avid consumers of the narratives that shape the public perception of certain ethnic and religious groups. This student-led discussion will examine the role of modern-day propaganda in shaping campus climate. While everyone is encouraged to contribute to the conversation, this event is designed to center the perspective of students affected most by the current climate.

All events are free and open to the public. More information about U Remembers is available online.

SAFETY OF MINORS

By Marci Hutchinson and Larissa Trout

Keeping children safe is always the number one concern for programs that serve minors. Parents, children and the administrators alike expect that schools and other institutions of learning are safe havens, however we know that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be abused sometime before they turn 18. The number one goal of Youth Protection and Program Support (YPPS) is ensuring the safety and protection of youth participating in University of Utah programs.

YPPS was created in 2015 to help implement the Safety of Minors Participating in University Programs or Programs Held on University Premises policy.  The policy outlines several mandatory requirements for compliance, each of which is designed to provide a safe, educational environment for those in the programs. YPPS goes above and beyond to ensure the safety of minors with an informed policy, robust outreach, and comprehensive training and materials that are made available to individuals who facilitate and lead youth programming at the U. To learn more, we sat down with the director of YPPS, Nate Friedman.

What is the University Safety of Minors policy?

The Safety of Minors Policy establishes minimum requirements for any university entity providing programming to minors, as well as minimum requirements for the adults that will be working with youth as part of these programs. The policy went into effect in July 2016 and was created to provide for the safety and protection of minors who are participating in university programs or programs held on university premises. In creating this policy the U joins colleges and universities across the nation that are adopting similar policies.

Who has to follow the policy?

One of the most common questions we get asked is “How do I know if my program falls under the policy?” The short answer is that the policy applies to any program or activity that is specifically designed for minors as the participants, whether it happens on or off campus. However, we have learned that not all programs are the same and there are a lot of questions about how the policy applies to them. Our recommendation is that any staff, faculty or program providing programming or activities to minors should contact us to determine how the policy applies to them.

Are there a lot of programs at the U that serve minors?

Many people are not aware that the U serves approximately 50,000 minors every year. The types of programs can vary from summer camps or athletic camps to academic classes or outreach programs working in communities throughout the state of Utah. There is so much value in giving children early exposure to higher education and these programs have a great impact on the youth and communities that they serve.

Why is the policy necessary?

We know that unintentional injuries and even abuse can occur in even the safest of environments. The impact that incidents of violent or sexual abuse has on the victim, the organization, and the community are so severe that it is important to do everything possible to try to prevent it. This is why the University of Utah has taken action to pass a policy that seeks to protect minors.

How does the policy protect minors?

The policy requires background checks and mandatory training for any adults that will be supervising or interacting with minors. The training covers mandatory reporting obligations and how to report known or suspected abuse of a child.  Most importantly, the training identifies behaviors that are and are not appropriate when working with minors and calls out red flags for predatory conduct and abuse. Awareness of these issues can be a powerful tool to prevent abuse from occurring.

The policy also requires that each program register with our office. The registration includes information on the program, such as a Risk Management Plan. When creating a Risk Management Plan programs must think through some of the potential risks to the safety of the minors in their care and how they will mitigate those risks.

What is the role of Youth Protection and Program Support?

YPPS was created to provide assistance to programs that serve youth and to help program directors and staff understand and comply with the Safety of Minors Policy. We work in collaboration with the Office of Equal Opportunity and the Office of General Counsel to meet these goals.  We understand, it is important to not only have a policy, but also to provide additional resources to the youth programs.

What kind of resources do you provide for these programs?

YPPS provides resources to help programs understand the policy and make it easier for them to come in to compliance.  Most programs have found that the requirements of the policy are easily met and can add to the value of their program.

Our office conducts the mandatory training, which can be done in-person or online. Since the policy implementation we have provided the training to approximately 2,000 staff, faculty, students and community volunteers.

A registration database that will allow all programs to register their information and track their staff and volunteers is in the final stages of development. This new database should help programs track background checks, staff training and other useful program data.

YPPS will also provide information about national organizations and other educational resources to help programs comply with state and federal laws in addition to campus policy.

How can programs get in touch with YPPS?

They can call us at 801-581-4444, or email youthprotection@utah.edu. We are happy to speak with anybody that has questions about how they can navigate the policy. Our website also has a list of resources and information here.

 

NEW ARTS PROGRAM

By Jana Cunningham, communications specialist, University Marketing & Communications

The University of Utah College of Fine Arts is now accepting applications for the inaugural cohort of its new Master of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in Fine Arts, MAT-FA, program. This two-year, primarily online program includes short on-campus summer residencies and is geared toward teaching artists – licensed or not – seeking a graduate level degree that emphasizes advanced coursework and pedagogy in teaching in and across the arts, including performing arts and visual arts.

“This program is taking shape at a really critical juncture,” said John W. Scheib, dean of the College of Fine Arts whose background is in music education. “We’re consistently learning more about the positive impact of arts experiences on education, and yet we have to work to keep arts funding vibrant. So, we are excited that this program is going to further support and refine the delivery of arts education in our communities.”

Due to the unique low-residency and hybrid structure, the program will provide working arts education professionals teaching in community or school-based settings the opportunity to obtain a master degree in their field of interest and expertise without having to relocate or stop working.

The program will embolden arts educators by providing the skills needed to discover new interdisciplinary knowledge they can use to enhance the quality and access of youth arts programs and curricula. It will also provide them the tools to promote the value of the arts in their communities.

“Arts advocacy is incredibly important both in our public-school spaces and in community settings,” said Anne Dibble, MAT-FA program administrator. “The intention of this program is to improve the ability of educators to act as advocates, as well as to educate the public on the power and intrinsic values associated with arts education.”

Applications for the summer 2018 semester are due by Feb. 1, 2018. For more information on the program, please visit the MAT-FA’s website.