Pamela Karimi, associate professor of art education, art history & media studies, is the 2018 recipient of the Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching at UMass Dartmouth for her efforts related to New Bedford revitalization.
The $10,000 prize, established by UMass Lowell alumni Robert and Donna Manning, honors professors at each UMass institution who hold the distinction of implementing innovative teaching methods that deepen the student learning experience.
Since joining the College of Visual & Performing Arts (CVPA) at UMassD in 2009, Karimi has focused her teaching, research, and service on revitalization and sustainability in New Bedford. Her yearlong exhibition, "Black Spaces Matter: Exploring the Aesthetics and Architectonics of an Abolitionist Neighborhood," was organized with students, artists, activists, residents, and UMassD colleagues. It highlighted the unique history of New Bedford in the abolitionist movement, and culminated with an exhibition in Boston.
"What happens in New Bedford often stays in New Bedford" said Karimi. "We wanted to take the exhibit to Boston in hopes that the multifaceted exhibit would help function as a hinge between the SouthCoast community, UMass Dartmouth, the New Bedford Historical Society, and the city of Boston."
Dedication & ingenuity
Also at the center of her unique teaching approach is her class "Architecture and Sustainability in the American Post Industrial City." Students work with local activists, policymakers, and artists to generate proposals for repurposing vacant lots and abandoned mills, building cost-effective community greenhouses, and supporting urban farming in New Bedford.
"Through her connection with students and the community, Dr. Karimi’s impact is felt around campus and the SouthCoast," said Chancellor Robert E. Johnson. "Dr. Karimi is an amazing example of the faculty dedication and ingenuity that make UMass Dartmouth an educational destination."
To express her gratitude for receiving the Manning Prize, Karimi has dedicated a portion of the prize to initiate an Art & Civic Engagement Award to support CVPA student work.