To begin a year-long discussion of urban renewal, University of Maryland President Jay A. Perman, MD, welcomed John Puckett, PhD, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who was instrumental in that institution's development in West Philadelphia. Puckett spoke at an academic symposium held Aug. 31 at the Southern Management Corporation Campus Center.
A professor at Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education, Puckett addressed the "Role and Responsibility of the University in Urban Renewal" in his remarks. The symposium was one of several activities for students who are starting the fall term at the University of Maryland (UM) campus in Baltimore.
Illustrating his remarks with slides of the Penn campus and city streets, Puckett reviewed changes that took place from 1948 through the 1990s, cautioning against designs in which the university "turned its facades inward," shutting the campus off from the adjacent blocks. In contrast, more recent efforts have encouraged vibrant, multi-use projects by private developers.
A lively Q&A session with Puckett, which Perman facilitated, was followed by a reception. The photo above shows Perman, left, and Puckett, right.
The lecture was the initial event in a series on urban renewal. This theme underlies the President's Symposium and White Paper project, an interprofessional education (IPE) initiative that engages faculty, staff, and students from all of the university's schools and academic programs in a topic that is of interest and importance to UM and its community.
Perman has begun serving as co-chair, along with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, of the Westside Strategic Committee, a group of leaders whose task is to draft proposals to improve the institutional, retail, and residential neighborhoods that lie west and north of the Inner Harbor.
"I am so pleased to have a role in our Westside development. I am very committed to that," Perman said, emphasizing the importance of the university's relationships with the surrounding neighborhoods to stimulate their revival, encourage retail, and promote economic development.
Among the guests at the symposium were Brian Greenan, MA, the Westside coordinator for the Mayor's Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development; M.J. "Jay" Brodie, MA, president of the Baltimore Development Corporation; and Deputy Mayor Kaliope Parthemos, JD, an alumna of the School of Law.
Parthemos will speak on urban renewal as one of the guest lecturers in the President's Symposium and White Paper project. Others invited are Judith Rodin, PhD, president of the Rockefeller Foundation; Majora Carter, the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant who is an advocate of urban sustainability; Baltimore Police Commission Frederick H. Bealefeld III; Ira Harkavy, PhD, associate vice president and founding director, UPenn Netter Center for Community Partnerships; Andres Alonso, EdD, JD, chief executive officer, Baltimore City Public Schools; and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, JD, an alumnus of the School of Law.
A joint initiative of the UM President's Office and the UM Office of Academic Affairs, the President's Symposium and White Paper project will draw on the work of six UM students selected as fellows to work together as an interdisciplinary team. They will prepare a white paper on the betterment of our urban community.
Fellows include Jeffrey Clark, who is earning a master's degree at the UM School of Social Work with a placement in the Social Work Community Outreach Service and Michael DeWane, an MD/MPH candidate who is completing studies in epidemiology at the UM School of Medicine.
At the School of Nursing, Jennifer Jarin is pursuing a master's degree with a specialty in community and public health nursing and a certification in environmental health, and Catherine Wolkow is a former research scientist who entered the School in hopes of translating discoveries to improved patient care.
At the School of Law, Nikola Nable-Juris is a third-year student whose interests include reproductive justice and affordable housing, and Michael Raykher is a third-year student who has been active in the University Student Government Association as a Law School senator.
The honor of introducing Puckett at the symposium went to Raykher, whose community service took him into the same neighborhoods that were the subject of Punkett's talk. For nearly three years, while earning a bachelor of economics at Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Raykher was co-chair and head tutor of the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project.