Popular Poet To Keynote Research Day At York

The Second Annual Research Day exhibit and seminar will take place on April 14th, 2011 and will feature the works of York College students from across the disciplines.

The all-day event ((10 AM to 5 PM) will include dozens of posters and research findings in the Atrium, classroom discussions and a lunch session in the Faculty Dining Room from 12 to 2PM.

Staceyann Chin, author of The Other Side of Paradise and co-writer and performer in the Tony-nominated "Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway," will be reading from her memoir and speaking on the “Role of an Artist in Times of Struggle."

"One of my objectives with our Undergraduate Research Program is to showcase and encourage research not only in the sciences, but in all disciplines, including the Humanities and the Creative Arts, said Dr. Ivelaw Griffith, provost and senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. “In that respect, having had a distinguished scientist as the Luncheon Keynote Speaker last year, we sought an inspirational individual from the Humanities or the Creative Arts for this year.”

Ms. Chin has been lauded for her human rights activism as well as for her creative endeavors. She is the recipient of the 2007 Power of the Voice Award from The Human Rights Campaign, the 2008 Safe Haven Award from Immigration Equality, the 2008 Honors from the Lesbian AIDS Project, and the 2009 New York State Senate Award.

She “unapologetically identifies as Caribbean and Black, Asian and lesbian, woman and resident of New York City.” She has shared her talents throughout the US and abroad in writing-workshops in Sweden, South Africa, and Australia. Chin’s one-woman shows, Hands Afire,  Unspeakable Things, and Border/Clash all opened to rave reviews at the Culture Project in New York City.

“We are thrilled that the powerful voice and presence of Stacyann Chin will be punctuating a day of creativity of our diverse community,” said Dr. Rishi Nath, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “She is a brilliant writer and we are looking forward to starting a conversation with her that will be mutually rewarding.”

Dr. Kelly Josephs, a professor in the English Department and Chin’s fellow-writer from the Jamaican community, will also be a panel participant.

Last year more than 200 students and faculty participated in Undergraduate Research Day, presenting original work; and Dr. Nath expects that number to increase dramatically this year. Dr. Griffith too is looking forward to another successful event.

“We've lucked out in having Stacyann Chin, who bridges both the Humanities and the Creative Arts,” said Dr. Griffith. “She's both a writer and a performer. Moreover, she's an exemplar of excellence in the arenas in which she works."

In addition to the poster presentations and lunchtime discussion, there will be breakout sessions featuring panels on jazz ethnography, economic development and fiction and theatre from 11:00 to 12:00 and from 2:00 to 4:00 in the 2A and 2B classroom areas.

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