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Ellen Handler Spitz publishes letter in The New York Times on why handwriting is still important

“As a humanities professor at a large public university with a diverse student population, I ask my students to write longhand in class each week. At first, some protest, but I persist, for I have found that intimacy, immediacy and personal quality infuse their handwritten essays,” Spitz writes. Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz publishes letter in The New York Times on why handwriting is still important

Rembrandt's The Polish Rider

Ellen Handler Spitz examines the relationship between psychoanalysis and the arts in new publications

In a special online issue of the American Psychological Association journal, “Psychoanalytic Psychology” devoted to the humanities, Spitz has the lead article, linking the humanities with psychoanalysis by building on an expanded lecture presented initially at the Austen Riggs Center’s Erikson Institute. Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz examines the relationship between psychoanalysis and the arts in new publications

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Avanti Mehta, Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar heading to medical school, says UMBC taught her grit and perseverance

Mehta shares, “as a senior on my way to medical school in the fall, I can say with confidence that I look forward to all the challenges that life throws my way because UMBC has taught me to have grit and always persevere.” Continue reading Avanti Mehta, Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar heading to medical school, says UMBC taught her grit and perseverance

Goldwater Scholars 2016

Three UMBC students receive Goldwater Scholarships, a national investment in future STEM leaders

“As a first generation college student, I feel extremely fortunate to be pursuing higher education, let alone a career in scientific research,” says Daniel Ocasio. “To me, earning the Goldwater Scholarship is recognition of all those who made it possible…” Continue reading Three UMBC students receive Goldwater Scholarships, a national investment in future STEM leaders

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Participates in Community Development Program 2015 in Appalachia

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz recently traveled to Sewanee, Tennessee to participate in the Program on Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia. The program is co-sponsored by the University of the South, Scholastic Books, and the Yale Child Study Center. In addition to presenting a public lecture at the University of the South library on Appalachian-based children’s books, Spitz taught several classes jointly sponsored by the psychology and arts departments and read aloud to children at three elementary schools and two day care programs sponsored by the program and the university. The trip took place April 14-18, … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Participates in Community Development Program 2015 in Appalachia

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, on CBC Radio

On December 19, Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz participated in a discussion on CBC Radio on “The Secret Lives of Children.” The segment centered around the idea that advances in technology combined with a strong focus on achievement can often suppress creativity, and children’s imagination can be a strong shield against cultural confinements. During the segment, Spitz says that high tech toys should be traded in favor of letting children explore their inner worlds: “I think that children, when we allow them to make believe, this kind of vision and this kind of connecting…we should treasure it and not … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, on CBC Radio

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Publishes New E-book

A new e-book published by Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz analyzes the artwork of Belgian Surrealist artist René Magritte and takes on questions that are rarely asked when studying Magritte’s work. The book, entitled “Magritte’s Labyrinth,” introduces a psychological perspective and examines the emotional impact of Magritte’s paintings. Below is an excerpt from a book review posted on Amazon.com: Trained in art history, philosophy, and nonclinical psychoanalysis, Ellen Handler Spitz, the author of “Magritte’s Labyrinth,” was introduced to Magritte’s art by a New York psychologist who studied bereavement in childhood. Spitz found the images impossible to expunge. She reflects on them … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Publishes New E-book

The Baltimore Sun Highlights UMBC Honors College

The Baltimore Sun special section on education recently featured UMBC’s Honors College in an article on the rich educational experiences honors programs provide. The article discusses requirements and opportunities for Honors College students, and describes UMBC’s program as “respected and known for producing well-rounded intellectuals.” Simon Stacey, director of the Honors College, comments, “interdisciplinary, highly collaborative and discussion based classes” allow Honors College students to study, in greater depth, topics that interest them. This article is not yet available online. Continue reading The Baltimore Sun Highlights UMBC Honors College

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Direct Creativity Seminar at Austen Riggs Center

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz is leading the 2014 Austen Riggs Center Creativity Seminar, which will be held from August 1-2. Spitz is the author of six books and brings psychological perspectives to bear on the arts and on children’s aesthetic lives. The conference has the theme of “Translation,” and organizers have posted the following description on the conference website: “we will learn about the process of translation in different areas of creative endeavor in the visual medium of photography, through the embodied work of translation by an orchestral conductor, via the interpretative work of translation by a psychoanalyst, and … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, to Direct Creativity Seminar at Austen Riggs Center

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, on The Marc Steiner Show

Jodi Kelber-Kaye, associate director of the Honors College, joined The Marc Steiner Show on May 30 to celebrate the 163rd anniversary of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I A Woman?” speech. Kelber-Kaye spoke about teaching about the intersections of race and gender in the history of women’s rights advocacy, saying, “This is an incredibly interesting conversation that I actually have always had with my students. One of the things that’s really nice about UMBC is that we have an extraordinarily diverse population. So my classrooms have always been filled with people from all over the world and different races who have wanted … Continue reading Jodi Kelber-Kaye, Honors College, on The Marc Steiner Show

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New York Times Sunday Book Review

“Almost entirely absent from elementary school curriculums, rarely chosen as bedtime reading by parents, poetry — formerly a joyful accouterment of youth, an inexhaustible gift — seems forgotten. Yet poetry and children belong together. And who, among the great American poets, could be more appropriate for childhood than Emily Dickinson?” reads a book review written by Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz published May 9 in The New York Times.  In her article in the Sunday Book Review titled “That Amherst Belle,” Spitz reviews two new children’s books: Eileen Spinelli’s “Another Day as Emily,” illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, and Burleigh Mutén’s “Miss Emily,” … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in The New York Times Sunday Book Review

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Publishes Chapters in New Book

Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz has published two chapters in a new book out this month titled, “A Spirit that Impels: Play, Creativity, and Psychoanalysis.” The contributing authors in the book look at creativity through a psychoanalytic lens and analyze great works such as The Scarlet Letter, Mahler’s Eighth and The Miracle Worker, as well as great artists Van Gogh and Lennon/McCartney. The book brings together papers presented by scholars at an annual creativity seminar organized by the Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center. The authors explore the central questions of how to understand the creative process, contributions of psychoanalysis to that understanding, and what opens up … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Publishes Chapters in New Book

Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Writes Essay in City Paper for National Library Week

For National Library Week, Honors College Professor Ellen Handler Spitz wrote an essay in City Paper that examines the value of borrowing books, especially children’s books, from the library. “Feeling rebellious over our dizzying speed-mad era of e-books, e-readers, digital and virtual realities, I want to advocate for the practice of borrowing a good old-fashioned book from the library—especially now, during National Library Week. I want to remind everyone of the simple joy of settling down in a cozy nook, turning well-worn pages, and reading aloud to a child,” Spitz writes. She discusses the value of reading children’s books of the past and … Continue reading Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, Writes Essay in City Paper for National Library Week