In Class News

May 3, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Students Tap Power of Networking in ELIP 5140 for Fine Arts

Graduate students in ELIP 5140 participate in weekly group discussions.

Graduate students in ELIP 5140 participate in weekly group discussions.

By Mary Vandeman

Grant writing + Networking + Professional and Academic Writing = ELIP 5140 for the College of Fine Arts.

A collaborative effort between Fine Arts and the English Language Improvement Program’s Academic & Global Communications program in the Linguistics Department, the course launched Spring 2017.

Tailored to the specific communication needs in all disciplines of the arts—such as film, music, painting, and printmaking—this course prepares graduate students for their professional careers.

“The ELIP 5140 CoFA course opened my eyes to writing on a whole new level,” says Filmmaker student Yaphet Jackman, who appreciated the professional writing and networking in the class. “As a creative, I reengaged the tenants of strategic writing, networking and professional communication, all of which inform and shape my career as a filmmaker.”

Graduate students build their spoken global communication as well.

“I appreciate the diversity in this course,” says Printmaking graduate student Anh Chung Ta, who loves the class mix. “It was refreshing to learn from students of different creative disciplines and be with other students from the College of Fine Arts.” Discussion-based assignments serve as a catalyst for establishing connections and building community.

College of Fine Arts faculty agree.

Melissa Haviland, Professor of Printmaking in Art, took a similar class her first year at the University of Nebraska.

“It set me up to write two successful grants during that first year—one which allowed me a large university fellowship for my full second year,” she says. “I use what I learned in the class all the time as an art professional and consider it one of the most useful decisions I made in graduate school.” ELIP 5140 students put their grant-writing skills to work, earning competitive scholarships during the semester such as the Student Enhancement Award.

The sense of community leads to increased trust for the in-class critiques of students’ work. Not only do the artists benefit from the comments, but as Painting and Drawing student Angela Mendoza notes, “It’s very important to think of your community in terms of what you can do for them, rather than what they can do for you.” The exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking in a supportive atmosphere is the ultimate springboard for motivation.

Angela Mendoza (let) and Peilian Wu (right) critique the work of their classmates in ELIP 5140.

Angela Mendoza (let) and Peilian Wu (right) critique the work of their classmates in ELIP 5140.

Art student Peilian Wu describes the course as “very useful and interesting. We practice professional communication skills and formal writing in class. I can also take my articles to the ELIP Graduate Writing lab, and practice my speaking in the ELIP Presentation & Pronunciation lab. The mock critiques really help me improve my communication skills.”

“I believe this course is necessary for fine art majors that need to hone their writing and communication abilities to better equip them for their career choices,” notes Jackman.

The 3-credit hour ELIP 5140 course is available each spring semester. For more information on professional and academic communication courses offered by the ELIP Academic & Global Communication program, visit the website.

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