We're excited to announce that Spanish Professor María Lozano has been named BLAIS Faculty Partner of the Year for the 2020 to 2021 academic year! She was nominated by Melanie Hibbert, Co-Dean of BLAIS, Director of the Media Center & IMATS, and Rachel James, Associate Director of the Media Center, for her 'Radio Immigrante' project - a podcast series and StoryMapJS about the immigrant experience in the United States. In their nomination, Melanie and Rachel noted that "this project builds on BLAIS’s mission of ‘engaging new forms of digital inquiry and developing new media skills’ as well as its values of learning, diversity, and critical thinking."

Radio Imigrante StoryMaps screenshot
The first slide in Professor Lozano's StoryMapJS

For this project, Professor Lozano paired up with the Media Center to teach students in her Advanced Language Through Content course how to create podcasts. Rachel led a workshop on recording techniques, and the students used that knowledge to record interviews with Spanish-speaking immigrants living in the United States. Through additional workshops with Rachel, students learned how to edit their interviews and transform then into podcasts.

people gathered in a classroom with sticky notes and computers
The Thinking Digitally Syllabus Hackathon

At the Thinking Digitally Syllabus Hackathon, an all-day workshop from IMATS, the Digital Humanities Center, and Center for Engaged Pedagogy, Professor Lozano learned about StoryMapJS - a web-based tool for creating projects that combine media, text and mapping. Working with Elana Altman, an Academic Technologist in IMATS, she used StoryMapJS to display the students' podcasts and written transcripts alongside a map of where the interviewees emigrated from. She plans to continue building with the project with new podcasts from future versions of the course, and use it as a learning tool for students in her Spanish language courses.

Professor Lozano presented her project at the CEP's Summer Pedagogy Symposium. We applaud not only that she collaborated with BLAIS to bring media and technology into her teaching and learning, but also that she brought shared her new knowledge with her fellow faculty members. When we can gather in person again, we look forward to celebrating Professor Lozano's accomplishments with a reception!

Runners-Up: Meredith Benjamin, Wendy Schor-Haim, and Cecelia Lie-Spahn

We are also recognizing three runners-up for their collaborations with the Zine Library. Nominated by Jenna Freedman, Curator of the Zine Library, these faculty members within the First-Year Experience program all creatively incorporated zines into their courses:

Students in these courses read and created zines, becoming both consumers and producers of knowledge. The zines showcases perspectives that are often left out of traditional publishing spaces, and helped students stay connected after coursework moved online. According to Jenna, "each having their own zine to talk about made the world a little smaller for a minute."