October 6, 2021
October 6, 2021
EAST LANSING, MI. – Two MSU students have been named 2021-2022 Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) Fellows by Imagining America (IA) for their demonstrated commitment to public scholarship, artistic practice, and activism.
Initiated in 2003, Imagining America’s PAGE Fellowship program is a network for publicly engaged graduate students in humanities, arts, and design who participate in a yearlong working group in support of collaborative artmaking, teaching, writing, storytelling, and co-creating knowledge with and within community.
Eight Fellows from universities across the country have been named to the 2021-2022 PAGE cohort, including two from Michigan State University: Stephany Bravo, Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Chicano/Latino Studies Program, and Will Langford, Ph.D. student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Bravo and Langford are the first MSU students to be named PAGE Fellows by Imagining America.
“Engaged scholarship is one of MSU’s core principles, and to have not one, but two graduate students in the arts representing those principles as PAGE Fellows is truly exciting,” said Laurie Van Egeren, Interim Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement. “It speaks to the desire of this generation of emerging scholars to have a direct impact in and with communities.”
Stephany Bravo was born in Los Angeles and raised within the underfunded public schools of Compton, CA. She says that being a first-generation transdisciplinary scholar who identifies as a woman of color means reimagining fields, disciplines, and institutions to benefit those who have been historically excluded. Her research documents how BI&POC in Southern California account for their lived realities through poetry, murals, photographs, and archives.
“I seek representation beyond the landscapes of my community because I know that our stories can move people to enact change across the sociopolitical level. The stories that I share come embedded with the histories, theories, and epistemologies needed to transform the world as we continue to tackle issues of race, class, sex, and gender,” said Bravo.
As a PAGE Fellow, Bravo will continue to document stories and create platforms for their dissemination.
“One of the many projects that I am looking forward to upon my return to MSU this year is a recollection of experiences based on the pandemic by BI&POC graduate students through a podcast miniseries which I think can simultaneously serve as a contribution to the PAGE Blog and an archive for future studies on the pandemic,” she said.
Bravo is a member of Electric Marronage and GLAM-WOCollective. One of her recent publications can be viewed at: https://kairos.technorhetoric.net/26.1/topoi/aguilar-et-al/stephany-bravo.html.
Will Langford’s nomination for the Fellowship reflects his commitment to community engagement through the arts and his creative approach to doing so amid the global pandemic. A Detroit native and poet, Langford says he is honored to join the 2021-2022 cohort of Imagining America PAGE Fellows.
Langford’s community engagement includes a partnership with Poets & Writers Inc. and Hearst Foundations to produce a free-to-view spoken word poetry series: Spoken Word Poetry with Detroit’s Own Will Langford. In celebration of World Poetry Day, he performed an original suite of poems alongside fellow Fulbright poets for a dynamic Evening of Poetry. He also recently partnered with Granny’s Chandelier Art Gallery in Hamtramck in the production of community master classes in low-cost/low barrier art making.
Receiving the Fellowship will allow him to reach even more communities in the Detroit area with artistic opportunities.
“Moving forward, I plan to expand my arts-based education programming by creating a series of arts-based community events in Detroit, Hamtramck, and the surrounding Metro area,” he said.
To be eligible for nomination, students must be enrolled in a graduate program at an IA member institution during the entire 2021-2022 year. Fellows receive a year’s worth of mentorship, professional development training, and community support, as well as a travel stipend to attend a Fellows Summit during Imagining America’s National Gathering in October.
“The MSU outreach, research, and teaching missions are closely intertwined, which allows our students to excel in cutting edge advanced impactful scholarship,” said Thomas Jeitschko, Associate Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Dean of the Graduate School. “Stephany and Will have demonstrated remarkable accomplishments and they provide a great example of what our graduate students can achieve.”
The Imagining America Consortium brings together scholars, artists, designers, humanists, and organizers to imagine, study, and enact a more just and liberatory ‘America’ and world by promoting public scholarship, cultural organizing, and campus change that inspires collective imagination, knowledge-making, and civic action on pressing public issues.