COLA Connections Newsletter: April 2015

From the Desk of the Dean

Spring has finally sprung! In the words of Robin Williams: “Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s Party!’” Now that the spring semester is feeling much more “party-like,” it’s a great opportunity to take a look back at the work we’ve done so far and a look forward to what comes next. Our newsletter this month looks at several exciting accomplishments of which our college is quite proud.


First up, we have a profile of Public Policy alumnus Matthew Stepp. He’s been doing some important work for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank in Washington, DC.  Matt is Executive Director of the foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation, where he works to promote smart, sustainable energy solutions for a greener planet.


Next, we present a review of “How I Learned to Drive,” a play directed by David Munnell, our visiting professor of theater. The play was the culmination of a week of events called Taking the Wheel focused on drawing attention to the serious problem of sexual assault. The play was extremely well-received, and although it had comedic elements, it also delivered a powerful message regarding the importance of talking openly about sexual assault.


Third, we have a feature on our School of Communication’s professional development workshop “Communicating Connections” and its special guest David Cohn, executive producer for AJ Plus, a digital extension of Al Jazeera. David did several talks as part of the workshop, and his work in the intersection of media and technology reflects the nature of our communications programs.


Last but certainly not least, we explore Dr. Danielle Smith's role in the institute’s partnership with Malmö University in Sweden. Professor Smith is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Her research focuses on refugee housing, and she is collaborating with faculty at Malmö University to learn from their experience in a city with large immigrant populations. The RIT-MU partnership continues to break new ground for us, and we’re excited for its future.


We hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter, and we welcome any questions or comments as always.