Welcome to the online presence of the Five College Collaborations newsletter. Here you will find all the content of our issues, plus additional information, images and links to related information. To receive the print version of Collaborations, send a request to Brian Acevedo, with the subject line "Collaborations."
Mellon Foundation awards $1.775 million to language center
Instruction in less commonly taught languages at the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages—from Albanian to Zulu—got a big boost from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The foundation has awarded Five Colleges $1.775 million toward developing a sustainable income for the center.
“We are profoundly grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for this generous award,” said Neal Abraham, executive director of Five Colleges. “This grant is a fitting capstone for this vital consortium program that has enjoyed deep support from the foundation for many years as it developed new pedagogical approaches to an increased range of languages.”
Nate Therien, Five Colleges’ academic programs director since 1995, will retire at the end of April. Therien is only the second person to hold the position since it was created in 1969.
“The consortium certainly does more now than it did when I started, because the campuses, often with support from external grants, have chosen to intensify their collaboration in many areas,” he says. Asked about some programs that particularly engaged his efforts over the years, he points to Crossroads in the Study of the Americas (CISA), the African Studies program, and the major in architectural studies.
Last fall, the Five College Culture, Health and Science (CHS) certificate program hosted a visit by physician-poet Rafael Campo AC ’87, who currently teaches at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Campo is also an award-winning poet.
Amherst College hosts “Between Us: A Social Practice Exhibition”
“My ideas were around collaboration,” says Amherst College second-year Jonathan Mark Jackson of his project for the Five College Advanced Studio course last fall. The course challenged students, three from each campus, to explore the many possibilities incorporating the principles of social practice in their art.
According to course instructor Amanda Herman, “social practice encompasses work as diverse as interventions, utopian proposals, guerrilla architecture, project-based community practice, art and activism, collaborations, social sculpture, interactive media and street performance.”
EIT accessibility a priority of the campuses
Ensuring that campuses are as accessible as possible to everyone has long gone beyond installing wheelchair ramps and braille signs. Every advance in classroom technology needs to be examined to determine its accessibility to students of all abilities. For years this role has been handled by an assistive technologies office for UMass, but the consortium’s colleges lacked similarly focused employees, and instead relied on collaborations of IT and accessibility staff members. That changed with the hiring of Rob Eveleigh as electronic and information technology (EIT) accessibility coordinator.
In October Five Colleges hosted the annual conference of the Association for Collaborative Leadership (ACL). ACL offers a variety of professional development services for staff members of higher ed consortia highlighted by the annual conference, which this year included 10 sessions in subjects ranging from assessment to strategic planning.
There have been more than a few milestones and celebrations at Five Colleges. From the 25th and 40th anniversaries of the Five College Women's Studies Research Center and Five College Center for East Asian Studies, respectively, to the literary successes of Five College staff and near completion of the Five College Library Annex, there is more to tell about these stories from the Five College community.
Editor: Kevin Kennedy
Writer: Taliesin Nyala HC ’10
Photographer: Noah Loving
Additional photography: Ben Barnhart