On March 14, faculty and professional staff new to the university came together in a “creative collision” with a specially selected group of interdisciplinary faculty who lead creative, innovative and change-making endeavors at UF and in the greater community. The social networking event, held at the Marston Science Library, was the latest in a series of Experience UF events designed to help new faculty and professional staff navigate the university’s complex environment and to create a greater sense of belonging among those starting out in their careers at UF.
University Libraries’ Dean Judy Russell welcomed the 90 attendees and encouraged them to explore all of the often surprising offerings of UF’s modern library system. Marston Science Library was highlighted for its state-of-the-art digital technologies available for faculty, staff and student use — which include virtual and augmented reality equipment, 3D printers, 360-degree cameras and more.
Benjamin Lok, professor and director of UF’s Virtual Experiences Research Group, and Sam Putnam, assistant university librarian at the Marston Science Library, were on hand to attest to the value of both the libraries’ offerings as well as the power of collaboration. Lok, along with Sriram Kalyanaraman, professor of communications, are offering a Virtual Reality for the Social Good course at UF, which makes use of Marston Science Library’s virtual and augmented reality equipment to teach students from any discipline about how virtual stories can create social change.
Amy Bucciarelli, lecturer for the Center for Arts and Medicine and coordinator of the UF Creative Engagement initiatives sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the College of the Arts, discussed the Creative Campus initiative, which annually provides funding to individual and collaborative projects that include highly innovative approaches to teaching or multidisciplinary inquiry. She also shared information about the new Academy of Strategic Creativity, a program designed to support faculty and staff who want to unlock their creative potential (see related story).