Replica of ancient cave will transport visitors to China’s Silk Road

For ten days this fall, Bryant University will use virtual reality and painstakingly reconstructed replicas to bring an ancient Chinese cave and its artistic treasures to campus.

Dunhuang: An Oasis for East-West Cultural, Commercial, and Religious Exchanges Along the Ancient Silk Road  opens Sept. 27 in the George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology. Bryant is the first academic institution in the United States to host this interactive exhibition.

The centerpiece is a replica of Cave 285 of the Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Gansu Province, China. This visually rich 6th-century cave is known for its exceptional collection of Buddhist artworks.

Through Oct. 6, guided tours will take visitors through the exhibition — a panoramic projection of the cave site — and into the reconstructed cave, an experience that will incorporate virtual reality. Events related to the exhibition include a series of seminars focusing on arts, culture, history, and religions represented in these caves.

Details about tour reservations and the complete calendar of events are forthcoming from the U.S.-China Institute at Bryant University.

Dunhuang was a melting pot of cultures and religions between the the 4th and 14th centuries. Travelers to Dunhuang dug caves into the nearby cliff faces, then decorated the caves with art in the hope of ensuring safety and success along the Silk Road. The result: The Mogao Caves house one of the world’s most extensive sites of Buddhist murals, statues, manuscripts, as well as art from Islamic and Greek cultures.

Click to read more…

Trust academics to design classrooms of future, says president

How do you create a university building that will encourage outstanding innovative teaching?

That question has vexed architects, educationalists and higher education leaders throughout the world for years despite billions of pounds being poured into flashy campus facilities. However, one US university believes that it has found a relatively simple answer: ask academics to design their own classrooms.

While undertaking a major upgrade of its Rhode Island campus, Bryant University asked its most innovative teaching staff to take the lead on the creation of a $31.5 million (£24.8 million) Academic Innovation Centre.

Teachers from all disciplines were invited to submit ideas for a syllabus that would be taught in a bold new way, with an eight-strong faculty committee choosing the best applicants to guide architects on plans that could put their ideas into action.

Click to read more…

Department of Public Safety Receives Prestigious CALEA Accreditation

SMITHFIELD, RI – Bryant University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) at a conference held in Providence last week.

CALEA is a credentialing authority with the mission to improve the delivery of public safety services by maintaining standards, recognizing professional excellence, and accrediting public safety agencies, including law enforcement agencies, training academies, communications centers, and campus public safety agencies.

The organization recently expanded from certifying sworn law enforcement agencies to non-sworn college and university public safety departments. Bryant is one of only four non-sworn departments in the country to receive the CALEA certification.

Bryant Director of Public Safety Stephen M. Bannon and Assistant Director John Rainone spearheaded the five-phase accreditation process, the most stringent in the country. The process includes self-assessment, on-site assessment, commission review and decision, and maintaining compliance and reaccreditation.

Click to read more…

New fund for nutrition, health education will promote healthy lifestyles for Bryant students

It’s a common concern among parents and college-bound students: Will students successfully manage the responsibilities and challenges they face when living away from home for the first time? Will the healthy habits they have acquired withstand the stressors that are sure to arise?

Richard Leto ’73 and his wife, Bonnie, first became aware of the prevalence of eating disorders when their daughters were undergraduates at universities in Florida and North Carolina. “As we researched it and learned more, we saw that many more people than you want to image are affected by this,” explains Richard.

The Letos felt this was a health issue that needed to be elevated in importance and considered what campus programs could be developed to address it. Believing that a positive, preventative approach to health and nutrition can make a real difference for vulnerable students, they made a $200,000 gift to Bryant University to establish the Richard and Bonnie Leto Nutrition and Health Education Endowed Fund.

An additional gift of $25,000 ensures that the initiative will begin immediately. A part-time health and nutrition educator will begin overseeing a range of holistic educational and awareness programs beginning in the fall 2017 semester. The goal is to create and sustain an environment at Bryant that promotes healthy lifestyles in which students maintain a wise and balanced relationship with food.

The Letos’ gifts were made in support of Expanding the World of Opportunity: The Campaign for Bryant’s Bold Future.They worked thoughtfully with Bryant leaders, including John R. Saddlemire, Ed.D., Bryant’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, to develop a meaningful initiative that would complement the student-centered objectives of the campaign.

Click to read more…