Annual Theme

College Park Scholars' annual theme brings the community together in a shared intellectual experience. We take on a complex, multifaceted problem that demands thoughtful, creative, hands-on solutions, allowing Scholars across all 12 programs to engage with one another.

The theme and related programming afford us the opportunity to realize on a grand scale an idea that shapes everything we do in Scholars: We learn better when we learn together.

Students holding theme shirts

#ScholarsAt25, 2019–2020

The 2019–2020 academic year was organized around a celebration of Scholars' 25th anniversary.

Migrations: Populations and Practices on the Move, 2018–2019

The trend toward globalization has increased the movement of ideas, goods and services around the world. Meanwhile, a variety of forces have prompted greater migrations of people and wildlife, putting new pressures on national borders and identities. This Scholars theme was tied to a campus-wide initiative, “Year of Immigration,” sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities and the Office of International Affairs. 

Going Viral, 2017–2018

Tied to the program’s participation in Dr. Don Milton’s CATCH the Virus study of the roles of biomarkers, social networks and buildings in the spread of flu viruses and other respiratory diseases, "Going Viral" examined how things spread in the physical and virtual environments of modern life—from viruses to cultural phenomena to fake news. 

  • Muddied Waters: Online Disinformation During Crisis Events, a lecture and discussion with Professor Kate Starbird (marquee event)
  • Other lectures and panels: CATCH study kickoff, memes
  • Participation in CATCH study, including internships and research assistantships
  • Film screenings: "28 Days Later," "How to Survive a Plague"

Power: Citizenship, Circuits, Societies, 2016–2017

Tying into the 2016 Presidential election year, this theme provided a study of power across social, political, cultural, scientific and technological domains. 

  • Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives – A Conversation with Leigh Gilmore (marquee event)
  • Other lectures and panels: Presidential debate watches, Do Facts Matter?
  • Co-sponsored and affiliated lectures: Democracy Then and Now, Crimmigration conference
  • First Year Book: "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson
  • Academic Showcase poster competition

Trash: The Problem of Waste in Our Lives and World

Scholars' first annual theme leveraged the book, "Picking Up," Robin Nagle's anthropological study of New York sanitation workers, to prompt a program-wide examination of how the world deals with trash.

  • Majora Carter lecture: Home(town) Security (marquee event)
  • Other lectures and panels: Robin Nagle, Allison Orr, bay pollution
  • Film screenings: "Bag It," "Terra Blight," "Gravity," "WALL-E"
  • Book: "Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City," by Robin Nagle
  • Academic Showcase poster competition
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