The Academic Minute for 2019.02.25-03.01

Swarthmore College Week from 02.25 – 03.01

Monday, February 25th
Syon Bhanot – Swarthmore College
Putting Behavioral Science to Work
Syon Bhanot is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Swarthmore College, studying behavioral and public economics. Syon obtained his PhD in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2015. In addition to his doctoral work, he completed an M.P.P. at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2009 and a B.A. in Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton University in 2006. His research focuses on designing, implementing, and evaluating field experiments that use behavioral concepts to influence decision making.

The work described here would not be possible without the support of The City of Philadelphia, The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility at Swarthmore College, The Fels Policy Research Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, and the many city departments and academic experts who have worked together to incubate and cultivate projects together. Funding support has also been provided by Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, the Knight Foundation, and ideas42.

Tuesday, February 26th
Syd Carpenter – Swarthmore College
Art and the Black Farmer
Syd Carpenter lives and makes mixed media/ceramic sculptures in Philadelphia. She exhibits her sculptures nationally and internationally, works in the collection of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Tang Museum of Skidmore College. She creates and tends gardens when not teaching and working in her studio.

My work would not have been possible without the generosity of the farmers.  Their names are Rashid Nuri, Atlanta GA., Sarah Reynolds, Gullah Islands, Helen and Joseph Fields, Gullah Islands, Albert and Elbert Howard, Monticello Georgia, Mary Howard, Monticello GA., Troy Johnson, Monticello GA., O’Neal Smalls, Hory County, S.C.

Wednesday, February 27th
Edwin Mayorga  – Swarthmore College
Mental Health of Latinx Youth
A parent-educator-activist-scholar, Edwin Mayorga is Assistant Professor of Educational Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies at Swarthmore College (PA). His scholarship examines a number of different areas in educational studies including urban educational  and social policy, critical ethnic studies and participatory action research. He currently directs two projects, the Education in our Barrios Project (#BarrioEdProj), a youth participatory action research collaborative based in Latinx core communities in Philadelphia, and the Community Schools College Partnership study which examines K-12 school and community partnership models in Philadelphia.

The BarrioEdProject would like to acknowledge all of the youth co-researchers who have co-lead the project, as well as Swarthmore College, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Esperanza Academy Charter School, Furness High School and South Philadelphia High School for their financial and social support over the years.

Thursday, February 28th
Nina Johnson – Swarthmore College
The Impact of Mass Incarceration
Nina Johnson, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Chair of the Program in Black Studies at Swarthmore College. Her research interests lie in the areas of politics, race, space, class, culture, stratification and mobility. Her book project: Black Privilege: Black Elites in the Age of Obama and Trump revisits Du Bois’ and Frazier’s classic works and considers issues of identity and meaning making processes among the black elite, its relationship to the larger black population, and its role in any projects of collective racial advancement. Her current project is a multi-method study of the impacts of mass incarceration at the neighborhood level, which is complimented by her teaching in Urban Sociology and public policy using the Inside-Out pedagogy. She wholeheartedly endorses every word of James Baldwin, but finds the following particularly prescient in shaping and informing her work, “The time has come, God knows, for us to examine ourselves, but we can only do this if we are willing to free ourselves of the myth of America and try to find out what is really happening here.”

The Philly Neighborhoods Research Team includes: Thomas Cotton, Priya Deitrich, Bryton Fett, Carrie Hutnick, Hana Lehmann, Marco Maldonado, John Pace, Kristine Polizzano, Elise Reynolds and Kempis Songster and is generously funded by the engaged scholarship arm of the Swarthmore College Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

Friday, March 1st
Art McGarity – Swarthmore College
Green Infrastructure to Reduce Water Pollution
Arthur McGarity is the Henry C. and J. Archer Turner Professor of Engineering at Swarthmore College.  He received PhD and MSE degrees from Johns Hopkins University and BS degree from Trinity University.  He has published research in the fields of Environmental Engineering, Solar Energy, Building Energy, and Operations Research.

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