More than two dozen administrators and academic staff members from Malmö University in Sweden are visiting Rochester Institute of Technology through Saturday as they attend a partnership symposium, designed to build on collaborative initiatives between the two universities and discuss new contributions including sustainability practices and implementing new technology.
This is the third year for the academic exchange between Malmö University and RIT, universities that take pride in their innovation, collaborative and sustainability efforts. Last October, 37 RIT faculty traveled to Sweden for a similar event with Malmö University colleagues.
“The purpose of these exchanges is to give our faculty and academic staff from Malmö a forum to share ideas and implement projects regarding curriculum, joint courses, collaborative research and student and faculty exchanges,” said Ann Howard, senior associate dean and professor in RIT’s Department of Science, Technology and Society and co-chair of the partnership academic committee.
Two dozen “labinars” are planned beginning Thursday, where people who have common interests can come together to talk about those interests. Topics include “Transgressed Bodies in Socio-Political Space,” “Social Disorder & Violence in the Community” and “Demographic Shifts: The Critical Reshaping of Planet Earth.”
RIT Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeremy Haefner said attending the labinar discussion was the most memorable part of his trip when he participated in the symposium in Malmö last October.
“When you walked into a room, there was an electricity of new ideas,” he said. “And the look on the faces of the faculty, the research they could do, the exchange of ideas, was inspiring.”
The labinars, on the second floor of Louise Slaughter Hall, are open to all RIT students, faculty and staff. Click here for the complete schedule.
“There are new opportunities for more faculty to become involved,” Howard said.
The visitors also plan to tour the Rochester area, with visits along the Erie Canal and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography.
People are also welcomed to attend an exhibition from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Thursday in RIT’s University Gallery that will showcase some of the ongoing activities that have come from the collaboration so far.
“This partnership has been a lot of work, but has also borne tremendous fruit for my students and me,” said Jessica Lieberman, an associate professor in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts. “I have developed research and teaching partnerships, collaborated on publications, curated international exhibitions and produced and taught international curriculum. My students have not only studied in an immersive situation abroad, but are now a part of the partnership themselves, working with Malmö University students, engaging in research projects and independent studies with Malmö University faculty, and producing collaborative on gallery installations with students and faculty alike.”