Professor Lee Badgett - UMass Amherst, "Social Policy and Economic Development: Towards Creation of an Urban Policy Center in Springfield." Existing development agencies are often under pressure to produce short-term results; with the result that many longer-term, potentially quite innovative, development strategies do not get adequate consideration. The Center envisioned here is designed to provide much needed resources in this context to Springfield and its surrounding area. Award amount: $40,000.
Professor Lucinda Kidder - UMass Amherst, "Youth and Shakespeare: Reconstructing the Connection." Modest additional funding has again been made available to continue an initiative begun the previous year. The project's leaders believe that live performance is a very effective way for students to learn not only about the texts themselves, but about the world in which those texts were produced, and they have had much success in using performance techniques to engage students and enhance their understanding of sometimes difficult texts. Award amount: $5000.
Professor Richard Wilkie - UMass Amherst, "Fostering Art and Culture in the Greater Franklin County." This project seeks to highlight and support the diverse economic activity of artists and artisans in the greater Franklin County area, making visible the rich activities already taking place in the region and helping to generate additional visibility and support. The University is pleased to work with Greenfield Community College in this endeavor. Award amount: $32,200.
Professors Christine McCormick, UMass Amherst; Carol Colbeck, UMass Boston; Ismael Ramirez-Soto, UMass Dartmouth; Anita Greenwood, UMass Lowell, "UMass - Math Pathway". The Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to grapple with poor quality mathematics teaching in grades K-8, not because teachers are indifferent to the necessity of developing students' mathematics power, but because too often the teachers may not possess this power themselves. This proposal will bring together math and math education faculty from four UMass campuses to develop a pathway to better educate pre-service, novice and experienced elementary and middle school teachers in mathematics content and pedagogy, and will place UMass in the forefront of institutions seeking to remedy this damaging situation. These efforts will ultimately help high-need populations acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to build a competitive workforce in Massachusetts. Award amount: $39,400.
Professor Barbara Lewis, UMass Boston, "Autobiographical Voices: Summer in the City." This project will transform some of Boston's busiest commercial venues and city streets into a multicultural hub of dance, cultural activity, and public conversation during the coming summer, and will add both to the quality of life in Boston and to the growing reputation of UMass Boston as an important creative force in the greater Boston community. Award amount: $40,000.
Professor Heidi M. Berggren, UMass Dartmouth, "Cohousing in Massachusetts." This project will support a survey of the memberships of all cohousing communities in Massachusetts. Given the continued downturn in the housing market in Massachusetts, coupled with our State's limited space for housing development, careful analysis of members' experiences with and perspectives on cohousing can be of significant value as we plan for Massachusetts' recovery and continued prosperity. Award amount: $4800.
Professors Lisa Knauer, Timothy Shea, Steven White, UMass Dartmouth, "Mujeres Artesanas Cooperative." This project seeks to develop a community-based micro-incubator to create jobs in an economically disadvantaged community by nurturing small businesses owned by women and minorities. This UMass Dartmouth initiative may well create a successful model that can be sustained and replicated elsewhere. Award amount: $30,000.
Professor Kay G. Roberts, UMass Lowell, "Making Music, Building Bridges, Connecting Cultures." This proposal, like the highly successful initiative of last year on which this new proposal effectively builds, will support, among other activities, new cultural fusion projects and other Lowell Youth Arts Engagement programs, bringing UMass Lowell music faculty into the community and into viable community partnerships. Award amount: $35,000.
Professors Michael Millner and Paul Marion, UMass Lowell, "Jack Kerouac and American Culture: a Permanent Exhibit and Website for Lowell." This planned exhibit on the life and influence of Jack Kerouac, which will be permanently located at the National Park Visitor Center in downtown Lowell, is expected quickly to become a popular and important tourist destination. The associated website will very likely soon be the central destination on the web for a wide range of persons interested in Kerouac, including scholars and researchers, students, journalists, general readers and others. Both these initiatives seem long overdue in Lowell and the University of Massachusetts is delighted to support them. Award amount: $35,000.