Great Teachers Fund for Academic Enhancement
The Boston University Academy Great Teachers Fund for Academic Enhancement was established as a permanent endowment with a $100,000 gift from Ruth A. Moorman (CAS ’88, Wheelock ’89, Wheelock ’09, P BUA ’15) and Sheldon N. Simon (P BUA ’15), parents of Sarah Simon ’15, in honor of Phil Gambone, and in celebration and commemoration of BUA’s 25th anniversary year. The Fund supports BUA initiatives while honoring the school’s retiring master teachers. Gifts to the Fund benefit BUA students, teachers, and the school as a whole by helping to incorporate unique learning opportunities that lift the quality of teaching inside and outside the classroom.
Moorman-Simon Challenge: The Moorman-Simon Family is offering their $100,000 gift as a challenge to the BUA community, with the goal of raising at least an additional $100,000 from current parents, parents of graduates, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends. Please consider making a gift today!
2018-2019 Experiences: The Great Teachers Fund for Academic Enhancement was able to support the following experiences during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Jazz Show at the Regattabar with Dr. Brett Abigaña
Dr. Abigaña brought ten BUA jazz band students to a jazz show at the Regattabar. Reflecting on the experience, Dr. Abigaña writes:
“The trip to the Regattabar was truly inspiring for the kids. When the opportunity to see the Lauren Henderson Quintet was offered, we jumped at it! Many of our students do not have time to see live jazz and they now understand that it’s nothing like listening to an album. We were seated close behind the band (perfect seats for young musicians!) and so we had a behind-the-scenes view of the performance. At the next rehearsal, the students were already trying to implement some of the ideas they saw in action, and it made for some fine music! Without the trip to the Regatta Bar, I do not think those improvements would have been made, and I intend to take advantage of the Great Teachers Fund for Academic Enhancement again this coming year with either a trip back to the Regatta Bar or ideally, a trip to New York City to see the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.”
Viewing of the Movie Us with Dr. James Davis
Dr. Davis brought 12 students from his “Existentialism in Film and Fiction” class to view the film at a local theater. After viewing the film, Dr. Davis and the students discussed the horror genre of the film, its use of satire, and its commentary on modern American society. Dr. Davis wrote:
“I took my students to see Jordan Peele’s film, Us, as a part of the ‘Existentialism in Literature and Film’ senior seminar. We were reading Franz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, which uses French existentialism to analyze the social and psychological effects of European colonialism on people of color in the Caribbean in the 1950s. Students applied Fanon’s work to Peele’s Us and Get Out in order to understand better racism in contemporary America.”
Science Journalism Career Discussion with Ms. Victoria Perrone
Ms. Perrone invited a science journalist, Sarah Faulkner (COM’16), to speak with her chemistry classes about a career in science journalism. Sarah earned her Master of Science degree from Boston University’s College of Communication. Through this discussion, students were able to engage in conversation and ask questions about science journalism and pursuing a career in a STEM field. The discussion continued over lunch when students had more personalized time to learn more about the field and career path of Sarah Faulkner.
Irene Mitsiades ’21 wrote about her learning experience:
“This experience taught me that although the prerequisite of scientific advancement is discovery, this is only the first step towards real progress. The second and most important is communicating with the scientific community and sharing the conclusions of the experiments with everyone in order to advance the collective knowledge. This is the job of the scientific journalist, to share with the world the wealth of knowledge of the experts.”
Viewing of the Play Black Odyssey with Dr. Pat Larash
Dr. Larash took six students and four chaperones to see the play Black Odyssey at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge.
“Ten students and teachers from BUA went with the Performing Arts Outing Club (PAOC) — six students and four chaperones (representing Drama, Classics, and History) — to see the production of Black Odyssey. I’m grateful to the Great Teachers Fund for Academic Enhancement for making this outing possible. Some of the students who attended were first-time PAOC attendees–and I think making the tickets free to them made it a lot easier for them to try out the experience! Black Odyssey (more specifically, Black Odyssey Boston – they customize it for each venue) seemed a perfect fit for BUA students. It’s an African-American reimagining of Homer’s Odyssey – not a step-by-step retelling, but a new look at the themes of the Odyssey (homecoming, identity, family) through a distinctly African-American perspective. It was a funny, thought-provoking, and deeply moving creative response to a millennia-old epic poem. Not only was the style of the production African-centric (costumes, music), but also the episodes and characters selected commented on African-American experience both in contemporary times and throughout American history. Clearly, ancient texts can still speak to people today and creators today, such as playwright Marcus Gardley and the Central Square Theater, are giving these texts fresh new voices.”