Rosemarie Dombrowski shakes hands with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

Faculty Fellows work on poetry, leadership this summer

Lincoln Center Faculty Fellows come from almost every discipline at ASU and execute a diverse range of ethics-related projects. Because of this, it’s no surprise that Rosemarie Dombrowski and Elissa Adame are spending the summer working on very different but equally innovative endeavors.

 Dombrowski, a senior lecturer of Languages and Cultures in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, is working on a variety of projects focused on enhancing community engagement with the arts.

 As the inaugural poet laureate for the city of Phoenix, she performs poetry workshops and curates shows all over the valley. Specifically, she’s started a Teen Poetry program including workshops and open-mic nights at the Burton Barr Library, and she hopes to expand the program to the other branches of the Phoenix public library. She teaches writing courses at Changing Hands and with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She’s also been invited to attend the Desert Stars Rising Stars Conference as a poetry workshop lead.

 With each of her projects, Dombrowski works to increase interaction between ASU and the community. For example, she is the co-founder and faculty editor of the creative journal Write On, Downtown, which publishes literary and art pieces to represent downtown from both students and the outside community.

 “We look for pieces that have a downtown ethos. We like personal pieces, and pieces that we think represent downtown Phoenix. We get a lot of photography too, which are physical representations of downtown, and the pieces range from short essays, profiles of people in the community, poems, but all with kind of a downtown vibe. There’s a lot of truth-telling, and people get to represent their city through their stories. It’s powerful,” she said.

 Ultimately, Dombrowski firmly believes in the power of art to foster identity and community. “Poetry engenders humanity,” she said.

 Adame, an Assistant Research Professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, is working on a research project to determine which method of teaching leadership yields more ethical leaders.

 The project began last semester. “We had approval from the department to offer two leadership classes taught by the same professor. One class taught leadership from a traditional perspective, and the other was from a new perspective. In the new perspective, the students don’t spend a lot of time learning theories taught in the traditional course, but a lot of time is devoted to enacting those theories and reflecting on activities,” Adame said.

 At the end of the semester, students from each class were paired one-on-one to participate in a ten-minute leadership scenario. The team is now in the process of coding those interactions to determine if there are in fact statistical differences in how students from the different classes conducting themselves.

 “We’re looking for things like, did they request information from others. Did they ask questions that would not just advance the current topic, but also that would advance the goal of the team. We also had trained actors who participated in each scenario and observed from the outside who rated the students’ leadership. So we’re in the process of sifting through all that data,” she said.   

 Adame’s team plans to reach out to the students who participated in the courses and ask how what they learned has affected their careers or further education.

We look forward to seeing how both Dombrowski’s and Adame’s projects pan out, and what future endeavors may bring them.