Launch of The Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Collaboration, Learning, and Engagement
Michigan State University’s newest center for interdisciplinarity recently celebrated its launch to build and support successful interdisciplinary research, teaching, and engagement. The Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Collaboration, Learning, and Engagement (CIRCLE) will build community, provide training and support for interdisciplinary activities, and conduct research on interdisciplinarity, strengthening MSU’s standing as an inclusive and innovative place of scholarly research and exploration. Encompassing a broad definition of interdisciplinary activities encourages creative exploration and collaboration opportunities within the scope of education, learning, and engagement. Inaugural programming includes an interdisciplinary workshop series, a seed grant program, a residency for an MSU faculty member, and a series of mixers and informal events to help build an engaged and collaborative spirit throughout the MSU community.
The founding director of CIRCLE is Dr. Megan K. Halpern, an associate professor at Lyman Briggs College. Dr. Halpern was also the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence at MSU’s former Center for Interdisciplinarity. With a focus on art-science, science communication, and research through design, Dr. Halpern has taught courses such as “Drawing Comics as a Way of Knowing About Science in Society,” and “Nature Journaling: Art-science practice for exploring the environment.” Putting theory into practice, Dr. Halpern incorporated the comic prompt at the launch event, asking guests to draw an interdisciplinary alien and share with other guests. The CIRCLE launch reception was held on October 18 at the MSU Museum.