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Middle States Self-Study Briefing Sessions

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"We Are Here: Your College Life, Diversity, and Leadership" with Kevin Powell, Sept. 21, TP/SS Campus

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The Cultural Arts Gallery Presents Curtis Berry: A Retrospective

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Student Support Services TRiO Program Seeks New Students

MC's 2018 Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship Program - Applications Due Oct. 16

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Category: Professional Development

Published: 2017-09-07 00:00:01.000

The MC - Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship Program is the signature program of the Paul Peck Humanities Institute at Montgomery College. The program offers fellows a dynamic, academically challenging cohort learning community for faculty within which they develop professionally and personally.

The 2018 Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship Theme is "We The People: America's Grand and Radical Experiment with Democracy." This theme offers opportunities for all disciplines. Participating faculty learn how to teach with objects and museums, creating engaging new lessons and assignments--that support your core content--and which integrate with field trips to Smithsonian Institution museums. We experiment with time-tested and novel pedagogical approaches to help Montgomery College students formulate their own questions, generate knowledge and develop more sophisticated approaches to problem-solving.


"Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education."
--Franklin Delano Roosevelt

American-style democracy always has been more of an experiment than a formula. On July 4, 1776, The Founding Fathers declared independence from England with the strong belief that a people united by common ideas and ideals could succeed in as a nation without a monarchy or aristocracy. In the 241 years since then, the United States of America and its maturing brand of democracy have been shaken and stirred by power, pride, prejudice, and pain, all the while bolstered by that original belief that "all will be okay in the end."

Democracy is messy. Despite the original ideal that the voice of the people must remain a powerful ingredient in the new nation, two populations were marginalized from the nation's very beginning: slaves and Native Americans. Many more Americans over these two centuries were denied that most fundamental of American right, including women and freed blacks. Failures of inclusion continue to haunt a nation which promised that a vote is a voice. There is an enduring debate over the ideal make-up of America: whether America should be a multi-cultural mixing bowl or a homogenous nation. In the aftermath of the bruising and divisive 2016 US Presidential election, we are challenged to define what America is about, what it should be about, and indeed, who are "we the people" anyway?

Your questions will help form the foundation of the 2018 Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship that will usher critical discussions into Montgomery College classrooms on all three campuses.

Political Science professors can construct new approaches for students to explore citizens' rights and responsibilities, voting integrity and the importance of freedom of the press, especially in turbulent times of conflict. History professors can have students consider American democracy's path over time and its role in world history. English professors can spur students to construct arguments about democracy. Communications professors may consider how campaign messages are conveyed, or consider how false messages are crafted and communicated. Sociologists may ask their students to explain how some Americans can 'find their voices' in an uneven society. Others may question a democratic nation that broke treaty after treaty with sovereign American Indian nations.

What roles do music and theatre play in democratic movements? How is democracy central to public art or vice versa? Can students observe how democracy is expressed in formal or popular portraiture? How can the tools of economics and statistics be applied to interrogate participation in democracy? How does a democratic society ensure progress in science and technology? What is a citizen's role in helping to shape America today and to preserve not only our nation but our place as keepers of that democracy? Fellows will provide students with the structure and encouragement to encourage their academic growth as well helping them as they shape and define their own roles as citizens or residents in our unique democratic society.

The Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship program is a year-long commitment and is considered a part of your workload assignment; it is open to both FT- and PT-faculty. Fellows are awarded three ESH per semester, a total of six ESH for their work and participation.

Applicants must read the full details about the Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship on our website We observe that applicants who meet with our program coordinator, Mimi Mann, prepare applications that are more complete and competitive. Learn more! Professor Mimi Mann, (240) 567-3942,

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