EFR's for 2013-2014 (Session 33)

EFR 33.15: Yalda Night

Organization: Iranian Graduate Student Foundation (IGSF)
Status: Agreement
In ancient Iranian traditions, the winter solstice with the longest night of the year was a fortunate day, and included customs intended to protect people from misfortune. On that day people were advised to stay awake most of the night. To celebrate, people have small parties and gatherings and eat the last remaining fresh fruits from summer. This tradition has passed through many generations and is still being celebrated in Iran, known as Shab-e-Yalda or Shab-e-Chelleh (Yalda's or Chelleh's night). In most parts of Persia the extended family gather around and enjoy a fine dinner. Many varieties of fruits and sweetmeats especially prepared or kept for this night are served. It is believed that consuming watermelons on the night of Chelleh will ensure the health and well-being of the individual during the months of summer by protecting him from falling victim to excessive heat or disease produced by hot humors. After dinner the older individuals entertain the others by telling them tales and anecdotes. Another favorite and prevalent pastime of the night of Chelleh is divination by the Divan of Hafez. It is believed that one should not divine by the Divan of Hafez more than three times. The 13th century Persian poet Sa'di wrote in his Bustan: "The true morning will not come, until the Yalda Night is gone". Today Yalda is celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Tajikestan and most Persian speaking countries. Unfortunately, due to facing funding difficulties in the past, we have only been able to organize brief events for this special night. Since Iran is the largest country that celebrates Yalda night as the first night in winter, we have been told by other students from other countries that they expect us to initiate the Yalda celebration events. It is interesting to note that this night is celebrated in other countries under different names such as Christmas in America. We hope to be able to organize a more comprehensive introduction and celebration event for Yalda 2013 in order to first, introduce this beautiful ancient culture to our friends from other countries who may have never heard about it, and second, to renew our cultural bounds with those friends who come from countries that share it with us. This event is a great opportunity for the students who would like to learn about the Persian culture. We hope this event will: - introduce Iranian traditions and Persian culture to non-Iranian members of the campus community. - provide a warm and friendly atmosphere in which students can discuss things other than academic issues. - allow the students to have entertainment and relaxing time during their Winter break. We would like to organize Yalda as a free event if we can get enough funding for it.

EFR 33.08: Notes from New England

Organization: TEMPO
Status: Agreement
TEMPO is a contemporary music ensemble run entirely by graduate students of the University of Maryland School of Music. Concerts specialize in performance of music written post-1950. TEMPO had its third call for musical scores this fall and received over 60 pieces from students across the world! Works to be performed include the winning piece chosen from our call by student composer Christopher Chandler, two works by visiting composer Elliott Schwartz, as well as Steven Mackey and Steven Sametz.
The purpose of the concert will be to introduce the music of important contemporary composers to the university community and encourage interdisciplinary dialogue. TEMPO has produced a concert every semester since the fall of 2008. Admission is free and attendance fulfills a concert-reporting requirement for students taking music courses. We foresee attendance by a mixture of faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduates, and community members. A reception will follow the performance.

EFR 33.07: Coffee Hour and Poster Forums

Organization: Association of Agricultural and Resource Economists at the University of Maryland, College Park
Status: Agreement
At each coffee hour, four to five posters presentations will be organized permitting graduate students an opportunity to learn about one another's research and promote cross-disciplinary discussions at the Coffee Hour and Poster Forums. Our aim is twofold: (i) to foster inter-disciplinary discussions between graduate students interested in environmental, agricultural and development issues, in order to spur interdisciplinary collaboration; and (ii) to increase interaction between graduate students and faculty in the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC).
Students from other departments are invited to attend and encouraged to present posters alongside AREC graduate students at the event. Historically, at least one student outside of the AREC department has presented a poster at each event. One focus of these presentations will be to showcase the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration by increasing an awareness of ongoing research projects in other departments. We also typically organize the coffee hours around an interdisciplinary research theme to attract a wide range of graduate students (e.g. "Energy and Water Conservation: Perceptions, Incentives, and Policies"; "Saving the Chesapeake Bay: Benefits, Policies, and Data Needs"). As an incentive to become involved, we may also offer to pay for poster printing with funds received from GSG.
Announcements requesting poster presentations will be distributed to several departments, including Geographical Sciences, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Engineering, Computer Science, History, etc. We plan to advertise the events using posters in the Stamp Union. We will also notify the entire campus through the FYI and Grad Student Service Announcements, on the GSG, and Agricultural and Resource Economics department's websites. We will emphasize that the event is open to both undergraduates and graduates from different backgrounds.
We will make particularly concerted efforts to target recruitment presenters from outside of the department. We will request faculty at other departments to personally distribute announcements and invitation notices. We may specifically invite students registered for the University of Maryland Council on the Environment Green Fund Fellowship contact list, as these individuals demonstrate a clear interest in cross-disciplinary collaborations related to the environment.
AARE will hold one Coffee Hour and Poster Forum during the Fall 2013 semester and two during the Spring 2014 semester. We hope to receive GSG funding for all three of the Coffee Hour and Poster Forums with this EFR.

EFR 33.06: Fresher's Party

Organization: Student Council of India
Status: Declined
Its a welcome party for the new graduate students of UMD. Its open to all Grad Students and Undergrads are welcomed too.Its to help new students make new friends and familiarize with the different cultures. It includes Dance Performances ,Singing by students followed by Authentic Cuisine for Dinner

EFR 33.05: Interventions: Doing Women's Studies on the Edge

Organization: Women's Studies Graduate Student Association
Status: Agreement
The mission of the first annual WMSTGSA Symposium, Interventions: Doing Women's Studies on the Edge, is to foster quality feminist research that pushes the boundaries of current scholarship in the field. The conference will also bring together and expand a community of scholars engaged and interested in feminist research, on our campus and campuses across the region, thereby building connections for future collaborations. Finally, the conference will give Women's Studies graduate students at the University of Maryland the opportunity to develop the crucial leadership skills involved in conference organization. The conference will also build too-rare links between graduate and undergraduate students, who will be invited to participate as presenters. This event sets the stage as the beginning of a series of annual symposia meant to continue to develop both leadership skills of graduate students and the stellar scholarship of feminists in the region. The University of Maryland has a reputation as one of the leading universities for producing feminist scholarship, especially feminist scholarship that addresses the experiences of women of color. Our conference builds on this mission by structuring presentations around three themes that elucidate the complexities in the diverse lives of women and communities. The first theme, "Translations," will encompass work that builds bridges across fields and disciplines as well as between the academy and activists outside the university. The second theme, "Taking Back Innovation," will attract cutting edge humanities research that considers the future of feminist scholarship within the academy. Finally, "Bridging Gaps in Women's Studies," is meant to push the field of Women's Studies itself in new directions. We plan to offer six concurrent panels throughout the day, each composed of three or four graduate and/or undergraduate students from across campuses in the region. The conference will attract feminist scholars who have found their academic homes in diverse disciplines and fields including Sociology, Psychology, History, English, Languages, Anthropology, Geography, American Studies, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual Transgender) Studies and Ethnic, (e.g. African-American, US Latino/a, Asian American) Studies, as well as Women's Studies. By attracting scholars from these various corners of campuses across the region, this symposium will provide a productive space for all participants to hone the skills necessary to successfully present their work, and to advance their thinking, and build co-curricular research that pushes at the bounds of conventional scholarship.

EFR 33.04: Nonhumans and Sympathy

Organization: Nonhumans and Humanities Reading Group
Status: Agreement
We have organized a symposium on the topic of "Nonhumans and Sympathy." The symposium will feature papers by University of Maryland graduate students writing about the role of literature in fostering sympathy for animals, plants, and the environment. We will also be hosting distinguished faculty speakers from Columbia University, CUNY, McMaster University, and University of Wisconsin. There will be lunch, a reception, and a dinner.

EFR 33.03: Meet & Greet Anna Hazare

Organization: Develop Empower Synergize India
Status: Agreement
A talk and interactive session with Anna Hazare. Anna Hazare is an Indian social activist who led movements to promote rural development, increase government transparency, and investigate and punish official corruption. In addition to organizing and encouraging grassroots movements, Hazare frequently conducted hunger strikes to further his causes --"> a tactic reminiscent, to many, of the work of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Hazare also contributed to the development and structuring of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan --"> the third-highest civilian award, by the Government of India in 1992 for his efforts in establishing this village as a model for others.

EFR 33.02: Language Science Day

Organization: Language Science Student Association
Status: Agreement
The University of Maryland hosts arguably the largest and most integrated community of language scientists in North America. Language Science Day aims to bring together the cross-departmental community of language science students and faculty to improve awareness of the rich opportunities for language science at the University of Maryland. The goal is to showcase research activities and opportunities, to make students aware of training possibilities, and to jumpstart potential interdisciplinary connections.
The event will begin with a catered lunch, followed by a series of short presentations about research and training resources available to language scientists at Maryland. The rest of the afternoon will be devoted to the Research Fair, during which research groups from around campus will be able to share their research goals and recent work. We hope the informal setup will allow participants to find new opportunities and connect with other researchers that share their interests.
Language Science Day hopes to include all areas of language science, including cognitive, computational, engineering, clinical, theoretical, philosophical, biological, and educational approaches.
Language Science Day is sponsored by the Language Science Student Association with help from NSFIGERT program on the Biological and Computational Foundations of Language Diversity, the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), the Department of Linguistics, the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Psychology, the Second Language Acquisition Program, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Human Development, and the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program. The event is being organized by the Language Science Student Association.

EFR 33.01: India's Independence Day Celebrations

Organization: Develop Empower Synergize India
Status: Agreement
The event aim to celebrate India's 67th independence day by showcasing the cultural diversity of India. Commencing with the flag hoisting ceremony at 5:00 PM at Nyumburu amphitheater, there will be cultural events at Nyumburu cultural center. The event includes, dance performances, patriotic singing, enchanting instrumental music, best ethnically dressed male and female and some tasty Indian food. The event is FREE & OPEN to all!