The final day of the STS4500 Global Classroom experience was a community event held at the city center. This space was offered to us city officials interested in our work. UVA students presented their work through the medium of posters built on the foundations of the Blueprints they worked on all semester. Tsinghua student posters were intermixed in the event by theme. This image is a debrief by the remaining students about the experience and the course. It was a pretty tense moment because everyone was exhausted and we diverged widely from all other sections of STS4500 (all students in the engineering school take this class).
The person in lighter color clothing was a community member who dropped in to see what we were doing. An email received after the event included deep concern for students and the university's support for "community engagement".
Good morning Sean,
I am the woman who was at City Space last night.
Can you provide me with the name of the head of your program (and email contact/phone)?
I have looked online and am unable to determine who that would be and if that person is the head of STS or of Engineering.
If there are several people who are responsible for STS program content and mandate to include community engagement, can you please offer their contacts?
Also, if it is not inconvenient, would you be able to send me the course description?
The “conversation” with the class was deeply illuminating as to the multiple layers of confusion that you faced as professors even before the class began.
I would like to address each of these pieces and speak to the numerous calamitous results (along with permanent trauma for a young person when they would consider any kind of community outreach) from UVA’s mandate to “community engagement”.
Thank you very much,
Anonymous, 6 December 2019, "Community member during poster event", contributed by Sharon Ku and Sean M. Ferguson, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 27 May 2022, accessed 3 December 2022. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/community-member-during-poster-event