Working-Class Studies Association Secretary Colby King will be giving a talk and a workshop on supporting the working class at the people’s universities this week at UNC-Pembroke. An Assistant Professor of Sociology at USC-Upstate, King will be discussing how state comprehensive universities (SCUs) host a large proportion of students, as well as faculty and staff, from working class backgrounds. He will describe Class Beyond the Classroom, a program he founded at Bridgewater State University with colleagues including fellow WCSA member Sean McPherson which worked to support students, faculty, and staff from these backgrounds through story-sharing events and other campus activities. Recognizing the contexts for SCUs today and their pivotal role in supporting working class college students, the events will highlight what working class college students, faculty, and staff, who also disproportionately represent a wide array of marginalized identities on campus, contribute to their institutions.
Please join other attendees for a reception and talk on “A Neglected Legacy: Reclaiming a Radical Past,” from former WCSA President, Michele Fazio, PhD at Lawrence Heritage State Park Sunday, October 6, at 2pm.
The exhibit tells the story of how Fazio, an Italian-American originally from Massachusetts, discovered her family’s hidden history. An alumna of MA’s Bridgewater State University, Fazio is an Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
The exhibit is open daily from 9am until 4pm, October 6th through 28th.
1 Jackson Street
Lawrence, MA 01840
The program is supported in part by grants from the Lawrence Cultural Council and the Freetown Cultural Council, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Working-Class Studies Association Steering Committee member Colby King, alongside colleague Dr. Laura Ramsey, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Bridgewater State University, presented a Faculty Plenary “Exploring Class and Gender in STEM” at the 2018 Winter Massachusetts PKAL Regional Network Meeting.
This session explored how gender and class shape students’ experiences in STEM fields and in particular, how the culture of STEM disciplines may be mismatched with the cultural expectations of women and working-class students, creating barriers to these students’ success and motivation in STEM. The session highlighted research, by each presenter and others, on gender and social class related to STEM education.
WCSA President Dr. Michele Fazio visited Bridgewater State University for several events last month. The visit was organized by BSU’s Class Beyond the Classroom (CBtC), along with BSU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Honors Program, and the Service Learning and Civic Engagement Initiative, with the support of BSU’s Promoting Diversity Grant.
Dr. Fazio shared her story as a panelist for an Our Stories event with other CBtC members, including Cynthia Svoboda and Dr. Christine Brandon. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Colby King, and involved each panelist sharing their story of going to college as a working-class and/or first-generation college student with an audience of more than 50 students.
Dr. Fazio also led a service-learning workshop titled “Class, Community, and Culture: Documenting Southeastern Working-Class Life in the Service-Learning Classroom,” hosted by Dr. Christy Lyons, in which she discussed her multi-semester oral history service-learning project on archiving the work histories of the Lumbee Tribe.
Later that day, Dr. Fazio led a Pizza and Professors discussion hosted by Dr. Teresa King and the Honors Center, during which she discussed her experience teaching an Honor’s course on social justice, inequality, and migrant farmworkers. She provided an overview of students’ service-learning projects currently in progress to promote National Farmworker’s Awareness Week, and discussed her current research project on labor radicalism and Italian American working-class culture.
The visit to BSU was particularly noteworthy because Dr. Fazio is an alum of BSU.
WCSA Steering Committee member Colby King is a co-PI on the SEISMIC grant program at Bridgewater State University, which was recently funded through the National Science Foundation’s S-STEM program (NSF-DUE 1643475).
SEISMIC will involve scholars in interdisciplinary undergraduate research, science based service learning, and mentoring and cohort activities designed to improve scholars’ social, psychological, and cultural capital. The program funds scholarships and academic support for academically talented, low-income students. Over five years, cohorts of nine SEISMIC scholars will be admitted to the program each year with an award of $6,000 each, renewable for three years. Dr. Thomas Kling is directing the program along with Dr. Colby King, Dr. Stephen Waratuke and Dr. Jennifer Aizenman at BSU.