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Mary Rocco preparing boards to be installed for the Undesign the Redline exhibit in the Milstein lobby
Professor Mary Rocco at the installation of the Undesign the Redline exhibit

We're excited to announce that Mary Rocco, Term Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, has been named BLAIS Faculty Partner of the Year for the 2021-2022 academic year! She was nominated by Melanie Hibbert, Director of IMATS and the Sloate Media Center, and Miriam Neptune, Senior Associate Director of BCRW (and former Director of Teaching, Learning and Digital Scholarship at BLAIS), for her work as a critical ally and co-leader of the Undesign the Redline project.

Beginning in Fall 2019, Professor Rocco helped to conceive of and execute how the Undesign the Redline exhibit and programming series was proposed to the college and funded. In summer 2021, just prior to the exhibit’s installation, she helped shape the CEP’s Summer Faculty Seminar on teaching with the exhibition, as well as worked with students to plan a Design Charette, a summer workshop attended by community members who shared their vision for anti-racist communities. After the exhibit was installed in Fall 2021, she project-managed and programmed the Undesign Fall Symposium, ​​which highlighted undergraduate researchers, local artists, and Barnard staff, including the Zine Library.

Professor Rocco’s work with BLAIS goes beyond her deep involvement with Undesign the Redline. She conceived of creative assignments and connected with IMATS/Media Center, the Empirical Reasoning Center, and Personal Librarians. These partnerships helped students learn and express themselves in a variety of ways, including creating StoryMaps and then documentaries for her Shrinking Cities course. Professor Rocco’s students provided critical research assistance for the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI) as part of her Barnard Engages Mellon grant course, Neighborhood and Community Development. She has also demonstrated her commitment to accessibility by being one of the first faculty members to pilot Blackboard Ally, an accessibility content checker in Canvas.

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Mary Rocco with the entire Undesign the Redline team, on the Milstein terrace
Professor Mary Rocco (front row, fourth from the right) and Miriam Neptune (front row, third from the right) with other members of the Undesign the Redline Planning Committee

We applaud Professor Rocco for her multi-dimensional partnerships across BLAIS. In their nomination, Miriam and Melanie note that: “Mary has demonstrated her respect and support for the expertise of BLAIS and Milstein staff as colleagues, collaborating equitably, and encouraging library staff to take on leadership roles in our planning committees.” Congratulations, Professor Rocco!

Previous BLAIS Faculty Partners of the Year: