The New York Six Upstate-Global Collective (UGC) project aims to create a scholarly community supporting teaching and learning around academic themes that have rich historical roots in upstate New York but that also are of current consequence worldwide. For environmentalists seeking preservation of wild lands, the history of the Adirondack Park matters. For women seeking suffrage and other fundamental rights, the history of the women's movement in upstate New York matters. For those seeking understanding of the indigenous people and their relationship with foreign settlers, the history of the Iroquois nations matters. Our region has played a critical role in issues of global significance, and the UGC will provide an opportunity to heighten awareness and understanding of the history and cultural context we share in upstate New York while contributing to global scholarship in these areas of inquiry.
The Collective will be launched with two themes - sustainability and human rights - with other themes developing through faculty engagement over the course of the grant. These themes were chosen because of common interests among faculty on our six campuses and existing infrastructures to support this work. The interdisciplinary nature of these areas of study provide us with an opportunity to build a model for faculty engagement in future consortial activities. With the Mellon Foundation's support, our particular emphasis will be on activities that draw upon and enhance our school's rich resources in the humanities and human sciences.
The Initiative will combine study on the home campus related to the selected topic, followed by a study-abroad experience integrating the same theme. Students then will return to connect their experience back to the classroom and to the other New York Six colleges through mentored research projects and a research symposium. A key factor in the success of the UGC will be the participation of faculty and ensuring that they are well prepared for the combination of pedagogies the program will require. Faculty participants will be designated as UGC Fellows and provided with a stipend and support including training and other forms of faculty development. In particular, we are eager to bring faculty together to understand and experience best practices in the integration of technology into their work, as well as the integration of domestic and international experiences in the curriculum.