Faculty Working Groups

The Center for Social Science Scholarship invites applications for Faculty Working Groups to promote intellectual exchange in the social sciences and across campus. These collaborative scholarly learning communities will meet regularly to engage in such activities as: working on research projects, reading key literature, exploring new methodological approaches, and/or engaging in matters of public interest related to the social sciences, across campus, or with community partners.

Up to four Faculty Working Groups will be selected by the center director and advisory board members. Groups should be faculty-led and must include at least one faculty member from a social science department at UMBC. Additional priority will be given to groups whose members and/or areas of interest are multi- or interdisciplinary. Advanced graduate students may participate as Faculty Working Group members but may not serve as leaders.

Faculty Working Groups can apply for up to $1,000 in annual support ($500 per semester); groups will also be able to apply for continuation funding. Groups may use funds for such items as: supporting regular group meetings; purchasing software, books, or other materials; hosting external speakers; creating scholarly resources; traveling to external sites for research or public engagement purposes; and other similar activities. A brief report of the group’s activities will be due at the end of the funding period.


2022-2023 CS3 Working Groups

“Ethnography Working Group”

Ethnography typically relies on face-to-face interaction. However, during this time of social distancing, the participant-observation and interview methods that ethnographers employ cannot be carried out as usual. This working group will draw faculty from across campus to discuss ways to continue our own ethnographic research and to coach our students in theirs.

This continuing Faculty Working Group will meet virtually throughout the year to share resources, develop strategies, and support each other’s ethnographic research and teaching in this challenging time. As a group, we will determine if there are any outside resources we want to draw in and whether there may be products from our work that we want to share with the larger campus or scholarly communities, or perhaps with the general public.

The establishment of this working group will help support ongoing faculty research and the university’s long term commitment to community engaged research, complementing emerging efforts to support teaching from a distance at this critical period.

This group is currently accepting new members. Contact co-facilitators Bambi Chapin (Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health) and Noor Zaidi (History) for more information.

“Public Health Discourse”

The Public Health Discourse group seeks to bring together faculty and students from across campus who have a scholarly interest in public health. Faculty from each of UMBC’s Colleges are doing work that falls under the umbrella of public health. We seek to create a workgroup for faculty to discuss public health interests; this may include discussing findings, obtaining feedback on grant proposals, promoting student public health research, etc. Our hope is that through such efforts faculty may identify aligned interests and over time, cross-college collaborations may grow.

This group is currently accepting new members.  Contact facilitator Andrea Kalfoglou (SAPH) for more information.

“Fostering Pedagogies that Engage and Support Transfer Students”

This group began as a 2021-2022 Faculty Learning Community (FLC).  As an FLC members sought to explore the following questions: Transfer has been framed as a social justice and equity issue. How might that classification shape our pedagogical practices in the classroom? Recognizing the heterogeneity of transfer students, how can we  leverage their strengths and support their areas of growth?  Though transfer issues are often considered to be the domain of admissions, advising or student affairs, what are our roles and responsibilities as instructors to engage and support transfer students? Taking into account the interests and questions of our group, we will explore and discuss best pedagogical practices across different disciplines and consider what it means as faculty members to approach transfer from an equity/social justice perspective.  During the FLC this group collected pilot data from students in our classes about those faculty level practices that foster transfer student inclusion and self-efficacy in the classroom. We hope to further this exploration by planning and executing scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) projects that can contribute to the gap in literature on this topic.

Interested persons should contact facilitators Nancy Kusmaul (Social Work) or Sarah Jewett (Provost’s Office) for more information.

“Education for Social Responsibility in Technology”

Universities are being called to revise their approaches to education to incorporate greater attention to social responsibility, specifically for students expected to participate in technology development and innovation. Particularly given the fact that algorithms and artifacts may often be biased with regards to race or gender and manipulative of the public for social harm, students must learn to critically understand the responsibility of creating technologies and the long-term effects of their implementation.

With support from the Hrabowski Fund for Innovation, a team of researchers from the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) have been investigating faculty and student perceptions of education for social responsibility in technology. The research team is now convening a Faculty Learning Community housed in the Center for Social Science Scholarship to build upon the insights of this study and develop a framework for incorporating social responsibility in technology in the COEIT curriculum.

Members of the Faculty Learning Community on Social Responsibility in Technology will be expected to meet biweekly in fall 2022 and spring 2023. They will work collaboratively in the development of pedagogical strategies for the education of COEIT students in social responsibility, potentially including the creation of: instructional materials, assessment rubrics, a micro-credential or certificate program bridging COEIT and CAHSS.

Faculty interested in joining the community should complete this brief google form