Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Lafayette and Albright College in Reading will share a $20,000 grant from the Community of Agile Partners in Education (CAPE). The funding will enable the two schools to expand their offerings in women’s studies by sharing courses and related academic opportunities through the use of videoconferencing and online communications.

Deborah Byrd, associate professor of English and coordinator of women’s studies at Lafayette, is principal investigator for the grant. She and Mary Jane Androne, coordinator of women’s studies at Albright, will work together to choose courses to be shared and coordinate other grant-supported activities. “The grant is for fostering student-centered electronic media communication between the two schools,” says Byrd. “It’s not limited to transmitting courses from one location to the other. It could include sharing an on-line discussion board.” The grant will also help support opportunities to bring together students from the two institutions, such as for a class field trip.

Lafayette’s video-conferencing program began at Lafayette in 1996 with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and CAPE. The objectives are to develop classroom use of video-conferencing and promote collaboration between faculty and students at different educational institutions. Lafayette has previously shared courses in this way with Lehigh University, Allentown College, and Vesalius College in Brussels, Belgium.

The CAPE grant will build upon initial Lafayette/Albright experiments in which a course taught at one institution is transmitted to a classroom at the other and taught simultaneously to the two groups of students. To help maintain the personal touch, the professor at the originating college teaches from the remote institution’s classroom at least twice during the semester.

For example, last fall Lafayette students took a class on “Women and Work” taught primarily at Albright by John Pankratz, professor and head of Albright’s history department. The course gives a comparative historical perspective on the productive labor of women from ancient times to the present. The previous fall, Albright students enrolled in “Gender and Dress,” taught by Lafayette visiting professor and Allentown art museum curator Ruta Saliklis. The class examines gender differences in dress from a crosscultural and feminist perspective, studying the meanings attached to elements such as clothing, cosmetics, hairstyle, jewelry, body piercing, and tattooing, as well as the shape and bearing of the body itself. It will be offered again at Lafayette and Albright in the fall.

The Lafayette/Albright grant is one of eight Cooperative Faculty Projects grants awarded by CAPE this year. Funded by the Fund for the Improvement of Education, the grants help support inter-institutional projects utilizing educational technology.

Categorized in: News and Features