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NU grad student earns honorable mention prize from American Alliance of Museums


Tue, Apr 19th 2016 12:35 pm

By Niagara University

Christine Bacon, a graduate student at Niagara University, has been awarded an honorable mention designation by the nation's top professional museum association, the American Alliance of Museums.

Bacon's work, "A Thousand Invisible Cords," was part of the AAM's Education Future Fiction Challenge and included in an application for the Ford W. Bell Fellowship with the AAM's Center for the Future of Museums.

A resident of Williamsville, Bacon is studying toward a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies at NU. She is focusing on the disciplines of history, museum studies, education, writing, tourism, economic development, architecture, historic preservation and urban planning, among others.

Bacon was "shocked and excited" to be selected for the AAM award, "because of the prestige of the sponsoring organization and the national scope of the fiction challenge."

"A Thousand Invisible Cords" is a fictional short story set in Western New York in the year 2040. It envisions a lifelong public education program grounded in constructivist and experiential learning theories, rather than the behaviorist models that dominated K-12 public schools in previous decades.

"The interdisciplinary nature of the contest appealed to me," Bacon said. "I was able to combine elements I learned in my history and museum studies classes at Niagara University with a love of creative writing to envision a future where museums play an integral role in K-12 education."

Bacon credited her professors, Dr. Mustafa Gokcek, director of the MAIS program and associate professor of history; Dr. Shannon Risk, associate professor of history and director of the public history minor; and Marian Granfield, director of the art history with museum studies program, for guiding her studies.

Bacon noted, "Combining disciplines such as history, education, museum studies and creative writing is exactly the sort of work the MAIS degree prepares students to undertake. The flexibility and diversity of the MAIS program is one of the reasons I chose to attend NU."

To learn more about Niagara University's master's program in interdisciplinary studies, visit www.niagara.edu/mais.

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