Dear Colleagues and Friends:
There’s so much to be grateful for as I look back at the Harrington School of Communication and Media highlights of 2013. Here’s my Top 10 List:
10. A faculty filmmaker with dogged determination. Professor Mary Healey Jamiel was featured on NBC’s Today Show on December 10 as she searches for the final $20K in funding to complete her film, Reliance. Her latest documentary follows the inspiring work of Matthew Zarrella, who rescues dogs from animal shelters and trains them for search-and-rescue missions. Click here to help Mary reach her goal by January 2!
9. Celebrating the past, present and future. Senator Jack Reed and nationally recognized library advocate Joan Ress Reeves both got a standing ovation from 150 national library leaders, alums and friends of the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies who attended a glittery gala celebration of the 50th anniversary of the program on November 8. We also hosted nearly 100 people at the Symposium on the Historical Roots of Media Literacy, a research symposium honoring our acquisition of the Elizabeth Thoman Media Literacy Archives from the Center for Media Literacy in Los Angeles. See photos of both events here.
8. Digital City inspires real-world collaboration. We developed a Providence co-work space for emerging entrepreneurs, a membership organization and a plan for advancing digital education initiatives statewide, thanks to Rhode Island digital media professionals who joined with URI’s Renee Hobbs, Gary Glassman of Providence Pictures, and the Rhode Island Foundation, with generous research support provided by Harrington School alum Mark Marosits of Worldways Social Marketing. Learn more about Digital City.
7. Advancing science communication. A social media SWAT team of Harrington School students, working under the supervision of social media expert Suzanne McDonald, increased visibility for Dr. Tom Mather’s Tick Encounter Resource Center by over 400% in four months. And Communication Studies Professor Pat Logan created a comprehensive benchmarking database of all science communication courses offered at research universities in the United States, paving the way for URI’s Harrington School to develop national leadership in this area. Learn more about SciCom at the Harrington School
6. New courses enable students to solve real-world communication problems. The UnClassroom is the brand name for a special group of courses where students help a real-world client solve a particular communication problem or challenge. In 2013, we forged UnClassroom partnerships with the Rhode Island Library Report, the Graduate School of Oceanography, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Committee to Aid Afghan Women. Learn more about UnClassroom.
5. Generous friends support new initiatives & student scholarships. Thanks to Dick Harrington, Advisory Board members Nancy McKinstry, Tom Cerio and Lori Merola, the A.A. Wilson Foundation, the Women’s Advertising Club of Providence, and friends of Frank Kellerman who were among the many people who made generous donations to help the Harrington School of Communication and Media. Advisory Board members also shared ideas about building the school’s academic programs in 2 Google Hangouts in Fall, 2013. To make a year-end gift, click here.
4. Enhancing URI’s visibility in digital education innovation. More than 60 educators from 15 states and 3 countries spent a week in Providence at the Summer Institute on Digital Literacy with Renee Hobbs and Julie Coiro, learning how to integrate digital media tools, texts and technologies into K-12 and college classrooms, and in school and public libraries. We’re grateful to distinguished author Doug Rushkoff, author of Present Shock and a member of the Harrington School’s Executive Advisory Board, who offered the keynote address.
3. More than 21,000 unique visitors checked out our new website. We launched our new website in September, thanks to Bruce Marable, a member of the Harrington School’s Executive Advisory Board, whose firm, Defined Clarity, helped create the website. We are grateful to have the creative services of graduate student web editor Kaylen Shimoda and Journalism major Kimberly Delande, who are helping us attract 6,000 new friends each month! Visit the Harrington School website.
2. Journalism joins Library and Information Studies in Rodman Hall. We are building on the success of our January conference, Convergence and Community, developed by journalism technology entrepreneur Bill Densmore, which gathered a nationally recognized group of 60 thought leaders in journalism and library fields. In order to encourage interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, we centralized faculty offices, created a new multimedia classroom, and established The Collaboratory, an open collaborative work space for faculty and students in Rodman Hall.
1. Faculty and students advance new knowledge through research and creative work. URI Harrington School faculty are amazing teachers, productive researchers and creative professionals. Working together, we taught thousands of students in 2013! And as of September 1, the URI Harrington School faculty produced 2 books, 19 journal articles, 8 book chapters, 7 works of creative and professional writing, and presented at 56 conferences.
Of course, I had a blast in 2013. So thanks again to all of you — current and former students, full and part-time faculty, and our many friends of the School — who have helped the Harrington School of Communication and Media towards its goal of becoming a school of regional, national and global distinction in 2013. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and productive 2014!