April 14, 2016

Diya Abdo, Damon Akins, Eric Mortensen Named 2016-17 CPPS Fellows

Diya Abdo, Associate Professor of English, Damon Akins, Associate Professor of History, and Eric Mortensen, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, have been named CPPS Faculty Fellows for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Diya Abdo currently serves as the Faculty Director of the CPPS Every Campus a Refuge (ECAR) initiative at Guilford College. Professor Abdo’s fellowship project will focus on developing the next phase of the ECAR initiative. Specifically, Diya plans to formulate and distribute ECAR Best Practices for the dozens of campuses now engaged in this effort of radical hospitality. Internally, Diya will develop a PPS Experience minor with interested faculty that will provide students with an extended learning opportunity on topics and concerns connected with forced displacement and refugee crises. The PPS Experience minor is unique to Guilford’s curriculum. This minor features student engagement and it allows faculty to develop a one-time interdisciplinary teaching and learning community focused on a particular topic, theme or real-world concern.

Damon Akins’ fellowship project will expand upon work he and his students have begun in the nearby Lindley Park neighborhood. Professor Akins has, in conjunction with the Lindley Park Neighborhood Association, proposed a Living Map Project to coincide with the neighborhood’s centennial in 2017. This project will document the history and lived experience of the neighborhood through collecting the memories, photographs, perceptions, anecdotes, artifacts and the changing physical environment. Damon and Guilford students will apply practical urban theories to problems identified by Lindley Park residents and facilitate the growth of neighborhood cohesion and community.

Eric Mortensen’s fellowship will focus on developing innovative student-centered techniques for bringing collaborative digital map-creation as a process of geographical learning into the classroom. This effort will draw Professor Mortensen’s humanities based teaching more fully into the digital realm of knowledge creation and dissemination and help students more fully understand how place matters in learning about human traditions and cultures. Eric will also emphasize a collaborative approach for digital map-creation and engagement in a manner that will help students move beyond the often individualistic nature of digitally engaged learning.

CPPS Faculty Fellows, in addition to their unique projects, also participate in developing and promoting principled problem solving instructional, programming and community engagement resources.

The CPPS is an academic center dedicated to promoting engaged learning, teaching and scholarship motivated and shaped by Guilford’s core values of community, diversity, equality, excellence, integrity, justice and stewardship.

The CPPS Faculty Fellowship provides interested Guilford faculty with the time and resources necessary for undertaking an extended PPS project and to assume a leadership role in the life of the CPPS. Fellowships and associated projects generally take place over the course of one academic year.

Faculty from all five of Guilford’s Academic Divisions as well as the College’s Interdisciplinary Studies have participated in this program since its launch in the fall of 2008. A complete list of CPPS Faculty Fellows can be found on the CPPS “Engage” page on the College’s web site.

For more information about this unique program, contact CPPS Director Mark Justad at extension 2358 or at justadmj@guilford.edu.