Professor receives $526K grant for collaborative science education project

Dr. Elaine Silva Mangiante, in partnership with the Tiverton School Department, the University of California Berkeley and Rhode Island College, recently received a $526,000 Mathematics and Science Partnerships grant from the Rhode Island Department of Education.

The collaborative project, “Enhancing Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Skills of K-5 Educators in the Next Generation Science Standards,” is focused on deepening educator content knowledge and improving instructional practices, with the end goal of broadening students’ knowledge and skills in science.

“Salve Regina is fortunate to have been selected to work closely with the staff from Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science in providing this in-depth professional development to all elementary teachers in Tiverton,” said Silva Mangiante, an assistant professor in the University’s Department of Education. “Our efforts will establish protocols that can be used across the state to mentor teachers in conceptual understanding and pedagogical skills with the Next Generation Science Standards.”

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Seven local men, all over age 70, publish “500 Years of Living”

Six local men and their editor, all over 70 years of age and members of Salve Regina’s Circle of Scholars program, have published a collection of their memoirs documenting “500 Years of Living,” which they will officially launch at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 6 in the McKillop Library.

“500 Years of Living: Memoir Essays by the Men of WriteLife” follows these men as they present vignettes from memorable moments in their lives. The memoirs emanate from “WriteLife,” a Circle of Scholars writing course taught by Jack Galvin.

Three years ago, Galvin challenged six men who had taken his class a number of times to take on the project, prompting them with questions such as “How did you learn about hard work?” “What fight/argument did you win?” and “At a crossroads, what did you lose in your choice?”

The group met once a month to work on the project, ultimately creating 24 essays ranging from 3-5 pages each. Their stories appear in three sections: The Early Years, The Family Years and The Work Years.

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“Poetry of the Wild” installations featured throughout Aquidneck Island

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Community members who created public installations featuring their art and poetry are featured at numerous locations on Aquidneck Island as part of the “Poetry of the Wild” exhibition, which runs through Aug. 6.

Ana Flores, ecological artist, sculptor and founder of Poetry of the Wild, says the project connects people to the landscape by combining poetry, visual art and the natural world. It is supported by Salve Regina with help from additional community partners.

Flores – who runs Earth Inform Studio – has been bringing Poetry of the Wild to locations both public and wild for the last 12 years. Each installation features a box or sculpture, built by artists and community members using recycled materials, that contains an original or classic poem as well as a journal for passersby to contribute reflections of their own. Each unique site reflects the spirit of each place.

Jen McClanaghan, assistant professor and writer-in-residence at Salve Regina, and her class took on a leading role in organizing Poetry of the Wild in Newport, engaging with Flores and local artists to encourage submissions.

Installations are featured at more than a dozen sites throughout the island, including Eisenhower Park, Redwood Library, Aquidneck Land Trust, FabLab, the Met School, Community Garden at Quaker Meeting House, the Cliff Walk, Ballard Park, the Salve Regina campus and more.

The University’s engagement in Poetry of the Wild is one example of the type of community collaborations being spearheaded by Salve Regina faculty as part of a $173,800 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to intentionally infuse community engagement and civic learning into the curriculum.

The courses developed by faculty in each of the three years of the grant are built around a significant project developed in conjunction with partners that will fulfill a demonstrated community need and allow students to apply concepts and skills they learn in class. Regardless of discipline, students will be engaging with literature, practice, and reflection on justice, fairness, and social change in relation to their subject matter and their community project.

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Miami Dade partnership provides opportunities to pursue Salve programs

A partnership between Salve Regina and Miami Dade College in Florida has expanded opportunities for students and graduates from the college’s two-year programs to complete their bachelor’s degrees at Salve Regina, as well as enroll in the University’s online graduate programs and low-residency Ph.D. program in humanities.

Dr. Scott Zeman, provost/vice president for academic affairs, prioritized the partnership with Miami Dade when he arrived on campus in July 2014. Miami Dade is among the nation’s largest colleges, with several campuses and an enrollment of more than 165,000 students from highly diverse backgrounds. The institution, which proclaims itself as “Democracy’s College,” provides educational opportunities to many first-generation students.

“It has been an energizing experience to be working closely with the students and faculty of Miami Dade College,” said Tiffany McClanaghan, director of graduate studies and continuing education. “Their drive and enthusiasm for lifelong learning to benefit them both personally and professional has been invigorating. We look forward to welcoming and supporting more of their fellow alumni into our community.”

Presently, Miami Dade students are enrolled in all three degree programs, pursuing bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Salve Regina. Here are some of their stories:

Nathalie Bazile, B.A. in psychology

Born in Port au Prince, Haiti, Bazile moved to the U.S. at age 3 along with her mother and two siblings. At the time, her father was still in Haiti, so the family had to look after themselves. It wasn’t easy, as her mom worked two jobs away from home and only got to see her children a couple times a week. Education was not a family priority either – there simply weren’t enough resources to invest in it.

“The thought of my mom struggling, although she seldom admitted it, is what instilled the importance of education in me,” Bazile said. “I made it my priority to excel so my mother would not have to carry the burden of covering my educational expenses.”

Despite attending schools in the U.S. for more than 19 years, Bazile is not recognized as a citizen. The document she holds, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), allows her to live and work in the U.S., but prohibits her from receiving any type of federal aid. After graduating from the Honors College at Miami Dade in 2015, the process of transferring to a university was much harder for her because most schools were not familiar with her status.

“My status also disqualified me from most scholarships, forcing me to decline admission due to lack of financial assistance,” Bazile said. “I saw no way out, until I met with two representatives from Salve Regina [Dr. Scott Zeman and Dr. Khalil Habib].”

Bazile decided to attend Salve even before she was accepted. “I knew I had to do whatever it took to be admitted because I felt like I would be recognized for my hard work and achievements and not be discouraged because of my nationality,” she said. “Not only would the barrier that was blocking me from fulfilling my dream finally be eliminated, but I would now have the opportunity to flourish in a positive intellectual environment.”

While she stumbled over some obstacles during her first semester at Salve Regina, Bazile quickly learned that she could rely on the caring campus community. She adjusted quickly, thanks to numerous services and resources provided.

“The Salve community has proven to be astonishingly close and shows interest in everyone who attends,” Bazile said. “They genuinely want students to succeed. The faculty, staff and students have helped me come to the realization that I am not alone on this journey and are also a big part of me achieving my goal of getting above a 3.5 in my courses and also effectively managing my work schedule.”

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