by Patricia O’Flynn Pattillo
Hurricane Katrina touched many and Milwaukee generously responded. An initiative, sponsored by Vice Chancellor Joan Prince’s office of Diversity and Partnerships has culminated in a historic memorandum between two major institutions.
More than three years ago, Dr. Cheryl Ajirotutu, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Climate, began the UWM association with Dillard University of New Orleans. Her vision and relationship building with UWM students strengthened the development of the UWM/Dillard University Founding Academic Partnership.
Aijrotutu’s work and labor culminated with a special ceremony in acknowledgement of the partnership recently held on the UWM campus.
Present from Dillard University was Dr. David Taylor (Provost), Dr. Carlen McLin, Chair of the School of Public Health; Dr. Abdalla Darwish, Chair of the STEM programs, and a Professor of Physics; and Cynthia Charles, Interim Dean of the Library.
UWM dignitaries included, Dr. Johannes Britz (Provost); Dr. Joan Prince, Vice Chancellor of Partnerships and Innovation; Dr. Cheryl Ajirotutu, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Interim Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Climate; Dr. Mark Schwartz, Chair of the University Committee; all of the Academic Deans; and Dr. Colin Scanes, Vice Chancellor for Research.
Senator Lena Taylor provided citations and words of encouragement. Pamela Broom, Executive Director of Women and Agriculture, was also present for the signing
The partnership entails academic exchanges of faculty, staff and students between UWM and New Orleans colleges and Universities (Dillard, Tulane, University of New Orleans). Students from New Orleans are expected in Milwaukee during 2011 sessions.
“We have a strong partnership with residents from the Lower Ninth Ward,” Dr. Ajirotutu shared. “Valeria Schexyneder, whose home was demolished by Katrina, is present. UWM Architecture students drew up plans for her home, as well as for other residents, provided free of charge, as part of their Service Learning class.”
Said Vice Chancellor Prince: “Our goal is to be a good partner as they rebuild their community, to learn from their resilience and to understand and embrace different cultures and communities as part of the academic experience for our UWM family.”
Collaborating community partners include the Milwaukee Urban League, Black Vets of Milwaukee, Aurora-Sinai, LISC and others. New Orleans partners include organizations, as well.
The Milwaukee Community Journal focused on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina during its 34th Anniversary celebrations, in August, and announced the preliminary connection between UWM and New Orleans during the gala held at the Mitchell Park Domes.
August 19, 2012 //
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