News from Mardigian Library: June 2019

June 20, 2019

This month the library highlights the Provost Office’s first research and writing retreat, feature a Mardigian Library student assistant as she shares insights from her experience earning the LGBTQ Studies Certificate and suggest some great new books and DVDs in the browsing collection for everyone

Mardigian Library and the Provost’s Office host first research and writing retreat

The Mardigian Library partnered with the Provost’s Office to host the first annual Faculty Research & Writing Retreat in May. The planning committee included Interim Library Director Maureen Linker, Associate Provost Ilir Miteza, History Professor and Natural Sciences Interim Chairwoman Georgina Hickey History, and IMSE Professor and Chairman Armen Zakarian.

The retreat offered an opportunity for focused work within a supportive community of peers. A dinner social was held the night before the start of the retreat at Mint 29 in Dearborn. At the dinner, faculty from across campus had the opportunity to learn about each other’s research and enjoy some social time together before getting to work. The retreat then met for two days off campus at conference rooms in the Courtyard Marriott in Dearborn, which provided a distraction-free environment to write, discuss, and learn about productive research habits and practices.

Participation in the event was limited to 20 tenure-track faculty members based on applications demonstrating readiness for the writing activities, with preference for faculty in their first three years. Participating faculty were surveyed after the retreat and qualitative comments included, “Excellent choice to have it right at the beginning of the summer. I've had so many service and teaching meetings to attend this May that I might not have gotten into my research mindset if it weren't for the writing retreat. I feel very grateful that now I have my focus on research.”

Mardigian Library student assistant shares insights from experience earning the LGBTQ Studies Certificate

In honor of Pride Month, the Mardigian Library would like to highlight Bethany McQuiston, a student assistant in the library’s User Services Department, who recently earned the LGBTQ Studies Certificate during this year’s Lavender Celebration ceremony. In this article, Bethany provides insight into her motivation behind earning the certificate, her favorite class, and advice for students interested in earning the certificate.

Why did you choose to earn the LGBTQ Studies Certificate? How does earning this certificate tie into your future career goals?I chose to pursue the LGBTQ Studies Certificate mainly because I am going into psychology and plan on becoming a mental health counselor who works with children, adolescents, and young adults in the future. I know that the rates of mental illness within the LGBTQ community are high and that I will more than likely work with someone who identifies as a part of the LGBTQ community in my future career. I thought that it would be beneficial to my future clients if I knew more about specific issues that the community faces. I also just thought that it was really cool that there was an LGBTQ Studies Certificate program being offered at UM-Dearborn. LGBTQ rights and activism have been very important to me for many years now. I thought that it was a really cool opportunity to be able to study these topics more in an academic setting.

What was your favorite class that was offered from the LGBTQ Studies Certificate?
I really enjoyed all of the classes I took for the LGBTQ Studies Certificate. But, if I had to choose a favorite, it would be WGST 366: Sexualities, Genders, and Bodies. It is the only required course for the certificate and it is a really good introduction to learning about the LGBTQ community. Everybody in that class started off the semester with varying degrees of knowledge when it came to LGBTQ identities, history, and rights. We all were able to learn so much from each other through class discussions. The readings were fascinating, but really just a starting point for much larger conversations that really changed my perspective on many things.

Was there anything you learned in your courses that surprised or challenged you?
Almost everything I learned in my courses for the certificate challenged the way I thought about the world and the messages that our society is sending us that forms so much of our lives. Because of the certificate program, I feel that I am a lot more open-minded, accepting, and aware of the world around me. The things I’ve learned through the certificate have helped me far past those specific courses and have helped make me a better person in all aspects of my life.

Do you have any advice for students interested in pursuing the LGBTQ Studies Certificate?
I think that anybody who is thinking about pursuing the LGBTQ Studies Certificate should try it out. There are many courses offered as a part of the certificate, take one and see what you think. You are sure to learn something new. The topics you learn about in the courses for the certificate can be helpful to anybody, no matter what your major is or what your future careers might be.

More information about the certificate can be found on the LGBTQ Studies Certificate web page.

Browsing collection selections

To help you have a happy, relaxing, stress-free summer, the Browsing Collection has added new books and DVDs for everyone to enjoy on these lazy days of summer. Here is a list of some recently added titles.

Recently Added Books

Bestseller: A Century of America’s Favorite Books, by Robert McParland (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2019).
Whether reading is done through a tablet or smartphone, or in physical book format, Americans love to read. The author examines the reading tastes of the nation from the twentieth century to the present and shows how current events and popular culture shaped the reading habits of millions.

Girl Who Smiled Beads: a Story of War and What Comes After, by Clemantine Wamariya (Crown Publishing, 2018).
When Clemantine Wamariya was a young child, she and her 15-year-old sister fled the Rwandan massacre. Not knowing if their parents were dead or alive, she and her sister spent six years migrating through six African countries enduring refugee camps, hunger, imprisonment, abuse, and unexpected kindness. At twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States. Clementine was taken in by a family who raised her as one of their own. But living the American Dream did not automatically erase those years of being treated less than human. Clemantine Wamariya’s story is one of perseverance and transcendence.  

Him, me, Muhammad Ali, by Randa Jarrar (Sarabande Books, 2016).
This is the first short story collection by Arab American Book Award winner Jarrar. Stories included in this collection revolve around the lives of Arab women and contain themes such as gender politics, race, generational conflicts, with some magical surrealism thrown in as well.

Back to top of page