Bard Alumna and Award-Winning High School Mathematics Teacher Profiled in the Bronx Times
Kate Belin BA ’04, MAT ’05, who recently won the 2021 Math for America (MƒA) Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education, has taught mathematics at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx for the past 17 years. “The school is really just incredible,” said Belin. “I don’t think there’s another place like it. They (her students) keep me connected and inspired.”
Bard Graduate Programs in the News
Kate Belin BA ’04, MAT ’05, who recently won the 2021 Math for America (MƒA) Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education, has taught mathematics at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx for the past 17 years. Growing up near Niagara Falls, Belin always loved math. At Bard, She majored in math as an undergraduate and went on to receive her masters of arts in teaching. She was a professor at City College of New York and Bard College and the Bard Prison Initiative before finding her “second home” at Fannie Lou. “I knew as soon as I got there that I wasn’t leaving,” Belin said. “I really just wanted to be a great teacher. The school is really just incredible. I don’t think there’s another place like it. They (her students) keep me connected and inspired.”
The Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking (IWT) and Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching Program (MAT) have been awarded their third grant to imbed digitized Library of Congress primary sources into their programming for teachers and students. Bard MAT and IWT are known for their innovative strategies in supporting literacy instruction across disciplines through writing-based, student-centered teaching practices. The latest grant of $48,617, awarded under the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program, supports their collaborative one-year project “Mapping Unknowns: Writing to Read Primary Sources.”
The Bard MAT/IWT project will make use of the vast archival resources of the Library of Congress in professional development workshops that model how to apply writing-to-read and writing-to-learn strategies to primary sources in ELA, Social Studies, and STEM classrooms. The project will develop a workshop series for teachers, teachers-in-training, and middle school and high school students, focused on an interdisciplinary collection of sources (historical surveys, maps, and representations of the American landscape). The primary goal of the workshops is to offer writing-based strategies to help students delve into texts that might feel daunting and inaccessible and to give them tools to slow down their reading and uncover surprising connections and meaning.
Proposed workshops include one-day events during the school year, programming in the MAT summer semester, and an intensive weeklong workshop that will be offered within IWT’s popular and long-running July Weeklong Workshop series. Some workshops will be held in person on Bard College’s campus in New York’s Hudson Valley; some will be held online.
The thematic focus of the first year of the project will be “Mapping the Natural Landscape.” Utilizing writing-to-read practices that are fundamental to IWT’s philosophy and pedagogy, faculty development workshops will explore the many facets—personal, historical, ecological, political, and socio-economic—that shape the ways that we read and interpret natural landscapes. To inform this work, participants will draw on Library of Congress sources such as maps, photographs, and explorer accounts. Sources might include Army Corps of Engineers maps and surveys of the Mississippi River flood plains, photographs of Native American life on the Great Plains, and photographs of ice farming on the Hudson for example. Workshops will use a variety of writing practices to consider the “expeditionary” techniques that explorers, scientists, artists, and activists have used to investigate the natural world. This work will invite participants to ask: How has ecological change been fueled by historical ideas about the “ordering” of wilderness into the “unknown” and the “known”? How have we inherited and/or internalized these ways of “reading” our natural surroundings? How can socio-political movements shift perspectives on how we value the landscape?
Reading primary sources poses particular literacy challenges for students—whether because of challenging language, unfamiliar visual conventions, or simply because (unlike many texts that students encounter in the classroom) primary sources were not written or produced with twenty-first-century students as their intended audiences. The writing-to-learn and writing-to-read strategies, modeled in the IWT and MAT workshops, help teachers guide students through encounters with challenging texts. When teachers practice these strategies alongside their students and integrate them into the regular rhythms of their classrooms, students make them their own, and overcome the psychological and affective blocks that diminish engagement. Writing-to-learn and writing-to-read strategies are particularly empowering when students use them to navigate and decipher historical and primary sources, helping them to find unexpected layers of meaning and interpret unfamiliar data.
Bard College IWT/MAT have previously been awarded two TPS Regional grants in 2019 and 2020 for the projects “The World of the Poem: Teaching Poetry through Primary Sources” and “‘If Woman Upset the World’: Reading and Writing Women Activists of the Hudson Valley.” These successful projects operated through the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Regional Grant Program.
Faculty members of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and an alumna of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program (VAP) have been nominated for the 2022 GRAMMY Awards. Bard faculty member Gil Shaham has been nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for his performance in Beethoven & Brahms: Violin Concertos with The Knights. Sō Percussion, a musical group of which Bard Conservatory faculty Eric Cha-Beach and Jason Treuting are members, has received a GRAMMY nod for its performance of composer Caroline Shaw’s Narrow Sea, which has been nominated for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Dawn Upshaw, star soprano and VAP founding artistic director, also performed in the recording, with pianist Gilbert Kalish. VAP alumna Sophia Burgos MM ’16 was nominated as a principal soloist in the Best Opera Recording category for her performance in Janáček's Cunning Little Vixen with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, and London Symphony Orchestra Discovery Voices. The 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards will air on CBS on January 31, 2022.
For the December 2021 cover story of Opera News, Jennifer Melick profiles classical singer and curator Julia Bullock VAP ’11 as she returns to live onstage performances after a pandemic year of performing for video. “Bullock has an unusual quality of being a vivid onscreen presence while seeming simultaneously to be someplace very distant that she wants to take us. The velvety warmth of her voice, phrasing that is not overdone, a natural delivery of the words—all translate well to the screen and microphone. But her unwavering focus and active engagement with the listener are what really jump out,” writes Melick. On coming back to the stage, Bullock says, “I’m not challenged by the scope and scale of the performance, but it’s a very different vibe, a space that I need to practice filling out again.”
More and more, writes Melick, Bullock finds it “very clear the places I want to work, the people with whom I want to work, to ensure that I am entering into a legitimate collaborative relationship.” She also feels the responsibility of making the kind of spaces where unfettered creativity can happen, on more equitable and safer terms, for artists.
When Al-Quds Bard student Ahmad Hijawi ’23 set out to find a way to tackle the problems of industrial stone waste and discarded tires in his native Palestine, he had no idea he would also wind up creating useful household products and winning national entrepreneurship competitions in the process. Hijawi credits much of his venture’s success to the skills he developed while taking OSUN’s network collaborative course on Social Entrepreneurship in 2020, as well as the valuable peer feedback he received throughout.
“The class had a great impact on helping me gain leadership and analytical skills, specifically in brainstorming solutions for the problems we wanted to tackle,” says Hijawi, who cofounded CleanPalCo. Hijawi found that the methodical research, experimentation, and consultation with classmates in different countries helped his team find a solution that was both viable and innovative. Ultimately, the course’s collaborative processes contributed to the team realizing they could chop up discarded rubber tires then combine them with polluting stone waste and water to produce useful household products such as bricks, tiles, and rubber flooring.
“We not only solved a pollution problem but also produced something useful that could serve as safety padding in parks and playgrounds,” he says.
Eliza Edge, who received a Bard MBA in Sustainability in 2020 and is one of several Bard College instructors teaching Social Entrepreneurship, agrees that the globally networked structure and the platform supporting the course were invaluable. “Getting comments and feedback from global peers can help others understand models that might already exist in other parts of the world,” she says. “Knowing that we don't want to recreate, say, a food delivery app everywhere in the world, our system allows us to share examples and ideas from our own lives and worldviews that can be very helpful for thinking outside of the box.”
In its second year, the course is connecting over 100 students from countries across the globe, including Bangladesh, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Taiwan, and the US, creating a brain trust of multicultural interactions that is not available in most classrooms.
The Bard College Conservatory of Music and Graduate Vocal Arts Program present Songs From The Real World: The French Cabaret, a benefit for the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Scholarship Fund. The concert features renowned mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe (artistic director), pianist Kayo Iwama (associate director), as well as members of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program and Conservatory Collaborative Piano Fellowship exploring the beginnings of the world of French cabaret, a musical movement that was born to explore an exotic and bohemian ideal, expressing social and political satire through song. The performance will be held on Saturday, November 6 at 8 pm in the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater. Tickets start at $25, with $5 tickets for Bard students made possible by the Passloff Pass. Virtual livestream tickets are pay what you wish. All ticket sales benefit the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Scholarship Fund. To purchase or reserve tickets visit fishercenter.bard.edu, call 845-758-7900 (Mon-Fri 10am-5pm), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“One of the most important missions of the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program is to teach the art of communication and collaboration. So it makes perfect sense that on the heels of a worldwide pandemic that took us all out of the public world and cast us into very private and often solitary settings, that we would emerge through the world of French chanson,” writes Artistic Director Stephanie Blythe. “These extraordinarily popular songs began in the 1880’s with the appearance of the chanson realiste—unapologetically truthful statements about life on the streets of Paris and all the elements that defined those lives—working class poverty, debauchery, sex, crime, and much of it seen through the lens of romantic, smoky cafés and rain soaked, cobblestone streets. Here was found a healthy dose of nostalgia, peppered with wit and charm, as well as a deep sadness and longing, and not a little accordion. These songs are a perfect way to initiate an intimate dialogue with an audience—one that we have been developing even more keenly after such a long, forced separation from all of you. Through the art of the chanson, we see what it means to be fully human, something we have all been taking a hard look at over the last year and a half.”
The evening’s program includes a repertoire of French cabaret songs spanning 1866 through 1968, and includes “Les temps des cerises” (1866) by Jean-Baptiste Clément (1836-1903), “La Vie en rose” (1945) by Louiguy (1916-91), “Le serpents qui danse” (1957) by Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), and “Les moulins de mon coeur” (1968) by Michel Legrand (1932-2019) among many others.
Kate Belin BA ’04, MAT ’05, who teaches at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx, is one of two winners of the 2021 Math for America (MƒA) Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education. This honor is given to two New York City public school teachers who, during their tenure as MƒA Master Teachers, have influenced the teaching profession in exceptional ways.
“Belin brings a creative approach to pedagogy and has dramatically improved math education at their school and beyond. She is being recognized for bringing her deep understanding of mathematics to all students and taking a leadership role to improve education and educational equity everywhere and for everyone,” writes MƒA.
“I am beyond grateful to MƒA for this recognition and for providing a space for teachers to come together as learners and leaders. This award also recognizes the work of the entire Fannie Lou community which has always understood that teaching is political,” said Belin. “We aren’t simply teaching subjects. We are teaching to fight injustices. Our job is to be activists and organizers in collaboration with our students—to mobilize youth for any issues that exist in their community, country, or world, and work together to make it better.”
Belin was recognized for her impact on the teaching profession and awarded $20,000 during a virtual MƒA award ceremony on Monday, October 18. In addition, $5,000 was awarded to the school or organization of their nominator. Belin was nominated by representatives from the Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School.
Kate Belin has taught mathematics at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School for the past 17 years, transforming the mathematics curriculum of the school and mentoring student teachers. She was a recipient of the 2011 Sloan Award for Excellence in Teaching Science in Mathematics and was a Fulbright Distinguished Awards Teaching Fellow to Botswana in 2016. Belin earned their B.A. in Mathematics and M.A.T. at Bard College and has been an adjunct professor at City College of New York, Bard College, and the Bard Prison Initiative.
My Brother’s Keeper Grants for Teacher Opportunity Corps II Aimed at Increasing the Participation Rate of Historically Underrepresented and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals in Teaching Careers
Bard College’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program recently received a $325,000 New York State Education Department Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC II) grant. This grant will support Bard’s efforts to increase the participation rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. Funds will be used to strengthen Bard’s TOC II recruitment program, teacher preparation and mentoring, and teacher retention. The project will be led by Bard’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program, in collaboration with Ramapo for Children, Hudson City Schools, and Kingston City Schools.
Bard’s current TOC II program provides candidates with funding for tuition and supplies and offers substantial academic and social-emotional support throughout the candidates’ practicum and first year of teaching. The Bard MAT curriculum emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion through professional development in restorative practices led by Ramapo for Children and Bard’s Office of the Dean of Inclusive Excellence, as well as through specially designed courses taught by MAT faculty. The program also offers a yearlong, mentored series of hands-on experiences in partner schools, an internship, and monthly meetings led by Ramapo Alternative Classroom experts.
Bard was one of 17 New York colleges and universities to receive a My Brother’s Keeper Grant for Teacher Opportunity Corps II from the State Education Department. The project period spans five years and Bard will receive $65,000 annually through 2026.
Read the official NYSED press release HERE.
About Bard Master of Arts in Teaching
The Bard MAT is an intensive graduate teacher education program leading to a discipline-based master of arts in teaching degree and New York State Initial Teacher Certification in one of five subjects: biology, history, literature, mathematics, or Spanish. The Bard MAT responds to an urgent need for innovative education. This transformation requires teachers who can help secondary school students develop the thoughtful self-determination that builds from a genuine enthusiasm for learning. Learn more HERE.
About Teacher Opportunity Corps II
The purpose of Teacher Opportunity Corps II (TOC II) is to increase the rate of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in teaching careers. TOC II programs incorporate strategies for teacher retention and best practice, such as mentors for new teachers and differentiated instructional techniques. Learn more HERE.
Bard College and the University of Waterloo teamed up to win a Swift Grant award from Lever for Change. With this support, the two universities will expand their online Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice in March to engage students and faculty members from all disciplines in countries in Africa. The collaborative project aims to reach more than a million students from all over the globe to learn about climate change, climate solutions, and climate justice.
The Worldwide Teach-In is a project of the Graduate Programs in Sustainability at Bard College in conjunction with partners worldwide and the Open Society University Network’s Solve Climate by 2030 Project. For the past three years, OSUN’s Solve Climate by 2030 has been supporting globally coordinated education about the climate crisis. The project has engaged hundreds of colleges, universities and high schools– from Malaysia to Minnesota, and from Austria to Alabama– in discussions of climate solutions, across the curriculum. Targeting participation by a million students across the planet, the Worldwide Teach-in on Climate and Justice event on March 30, 2022 is perhaps the most ambitious component of the project yet, advancing a three-hour teach-in model that maximizes student involvement through faculty leadership.
“As educators, there is nothing more important than engaging students across our campuses in this extraordinary moment in which we are living,” says Eban Goodstein, director of Bard Center for Environmental Policy and director/faculty of Bard's Graduate Programs in Sustainability.
Lever for Change is a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation affiliate, whose mission is to unlock significant philanthropic capital and accelerate social change around the world’s most pressing challenges. In May 2021, Lever for Change introduced the Swift Grants fund, aimed to provide small grants to Bold Solutions Network members for collaborative projects. This fund provided an outlet for the world’s top problem solvers to leverage expertise and join forces to find creative solutions in their fields.
Lever for Change received proposals for innovative, collaborative projects addressing climate, health, and refugee support. In total, they selected five projects. Over the next year, each team will use their $25,000 Swift Grants to implement their respective projects.
Bard's Graduate Programs Review Progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives in the 2020–21 Academic Year
April 2021 | February 2021 | November 2020
Ama Codjoe Joins BGC as Consulting Director of Equity and Inclusion
BGC Hosts Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month Book Exhibition
BGC Teens Connect with NYC’s Underground Communities Through the Study of Objects
In fall 2022, the Bard College Conservatory of Music will welcome its first class of students to the new Graduate Instrumental Arts Program, a two-year graduate-level program leading to a Master of Music degree. This innovative master’s degree in instrumental performance combines academic and practical studies of music, with a strong emphasis on music as a means of engaging with, and serving, the broader community beyond the campus. Through this degree program, students develop the core value of music and musicians in service of society.
The Graduate Instrumental Arts Program’s three core components of performance, academic, and practical studies will prepare graduates to embark on a career in the professional music world, or to pursue a terminal music degree at another school. Complementing the Conservatory’s current graduate programs, this new program creates rich opportunities for collaboration and artistic projects among all the music graduate programs at Bard—the Graduate Vocal Arts Program, Graduate Conducting Program, and The Orchestra Now.
“We are so excited to welcome this new instrumental master’s degree program to the range of degree offerings at the Bard Conservatory. The Instrumental Arts Program aims not only to deepen students’ musical and instrumental skills but also to broaden their understanding of the role of music in civil society, and to develop their ability to connect with—and serve—the larger community through their art,” says Frank Corliss, director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music.
For more information about the Graduate Instrumental Arts Program, visit bard.edu/conservatory/iap/. For application and audition information, visit bard.edu/conservatory/iap/applying/. To open an application, visit here. Full information about the faculty for the Graduate Instrumental Arts Program may be found at bard.edu/conservatory/iap/faculty/.
The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) today announced the creation of a $50-million endowment, comprising a $25-million gift from the Marieluise Hessel Foundation and a matching commitment of $25 million from George Soros as part of Bard College’s transformational $1-billion endowment drive. Established in 1990, CCS Bard is the first institution of its kind in the United States dedicated exclusively to curatorial studies, an interdisciplinary field exploring the historical, intellectual, and social conditions that inform contemporary art exhibition-making and practice. This unprecedented donation, initiated by the Hessel Foundation in honor of CCS Bard’s 30th anniversary year, enables CCS Bard to continue its pathbreaking work in perpetuity.
The Hessel Foundation gift builds on over three decades of visionary support from CCS Bard Co-Founder Marieluise Hessel. In the late 1980s, the Foundation entrusted its growing collection of contemporary art to Bard for the exclusive use of its students and faculty, laying the groundwork for the creation of CCS Bard in 1990. Since that time, the Foundation has been an enduring supporter of CCS Bard with transformational gifts including the construction of the Hessel Museum of Art in 2006 and the expansion of the library, special collections, and archives in 2015, alongside annual operating contributions that have inspired many others to support the institution. Its collection, which forms the cornerstone of CCS Bard’s master’s program and the basis for many of its exhibitions at the museum, has grown to encompass approximately 2,000 works of art and is today considered to be among the most important collections of contemporary art on a university campus. Support from the Foundation has also enabled CCS Bard to provide 90% of incoming students with financial aid.
“This gift from the Marieluise Hessel Foundation marks a milestone moment in the 30-year history of CCS Bard,” said Tom Eccles, Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and Founding Director of the Hessel Museum of Art. “The groundwork that Marieluise established in co-founding the institution has catalyzed a shift in the field and, by extension, has advanced bold new discourses in contemporary art. In sustaining CCS Bard for generations to come, Marieluise’s generosity will allow us to build on that legacy and continue to advance new ideas in curatorial practice and contemporary art. Above all, it is a gift to the future.”
“CCS Bard is an integral part of the Bard College community, and we are immensely grateful for Marieluise’s enduring leadership and support. Her generous gift ensures that the groundbreaking work at CCS continues to flourish as it further advances Bard’s overall mission of fostering rigorous programs of free inquiry and creativity,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein.
“For the past 30 years, CCS Bard has had an outsized impact within the art world,” said Marieluise Hessel, Co-Founder of CCS Bard. “It is a privilege to be able to celebrate three decades of sustained, transformational inquiry and experimentation into curatorial studies and exhibition-making with this gift. I know that this program will continue to lead the way in finding new stories to tell, artists to champion, and boundaries to push.”
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, CCS Bard is currently presenting two exhibitions that draw significantly from the Marieluise Hessel Collection: Closer to Life: Drawings and Works on Paper in the Marieluise Hessel Collection comprises more than 75 works on paper and drawings collected by Hessel over the course of more than four decades to explore the artistic intimacy achieved by the medium; and With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985, the first large-scale North American survey of the groundbreaking women-led Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s and 1980s, showcasing major works from the Collection alongside significant loans to trace the movement's reach in postwar American art.
In addition, this fall CCS Bard will publish the first comprehensive publication on the Marieluise Hessel Collection, examining the impact of the collection on CCS Bard students through original writing from CCS alumni including Cecilia Alemani, Ruba Katrib, Sohrab Mohebbi, Serubiri Moses, and Gabi Ngcobo, among many others.
About Marieluise Hessel and the Marieluise Hessel Foundation
Born in Munich in 1939, Marieluise Hessel began collecting contemporary art in the 1960s. From the first works purchased from Heiner Friedrich in Germany, the Hessel Collection, which is held in trust by the Foundation, has grown contemporaneously with artists working from the middle of the 20th century through the present. The Collection today is considered among the most important contemporary art collections on a university campus and is remarkable for its breadth, eclecticism, and embrace of undervalued and difficult works of art. Hessel co-founded CCS Bard in 1990, launching a groundbreaking new type of institution dedicated to nurturing the next generation of contemporary art curators and critics.
About the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) is the leading international graduate program dedicated exclusively to curatorial studies, a field exploring the historical, intellectual, and social conditions that inform exhibition-making. With the Marieluise Hessel Collection at its core, alongside extensive and growing library and archival holdings, CCS Bard has served as an incubator for the most experimental and innovative practices in artistic and curatorial practice since its founding in 1990. Through its rigorous, interdisciplinary program and unmatched resources, CCS Bard provides unparalleled opportunities for students to research and organize museum exhibitions on an independent basis, and in so doing acts as a key platform for the next generation of curators, artists, and art world leaders in the earliest stages of their careers. CCS Bard receives support from a range of public and private foundations and individuals, including major support from the Luma Foundation, The Laura-Lee Whittier Woods Foundation, the Keith Haring Foundation, and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation among others.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in nearly 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 11 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 161-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at its main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
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