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ACM and Field Museum Announce New Partnership, Program

Published: June 24, 2020

ACM and Field Museum Announce New Partnership, Program

Copyright Field Museum, Photo by Lucy Hewett

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) and the Field Museum have created a partnership that will open up teaching and research opportunities for ACM faculty as well as educational opportunities for ACM students and Chicago youth.

The first program to result from the partnership will be the ACM Field Museum Semester: Research in Natural History, providing ACM students an intensive research and class-based experience at the Field, the world-renowned natural history museum in Chicago.

“The ACM is thrilled to partner with the Field Museum to create opportunities that encourage excellence in teaching and learning for our faculty, students, and our city’s youth."

Sonya Malunda, President of the ACM

Scheduled to begin in fall 2021, the program will comprise a course taught at the Field by an ACM visiting faculty director, a seminar led by museum staff, and an immersive internship in one of the museum’s departments for each student. The faculty director will also have the ability to conduct research at the museum and in collaboration with museum staff.

A second program, in which ACM students use the museum to engage and mentor Chicago youth during summer months, is also in development.

“The ACM is thrilled to partner with the Field Museum to create opportunities that encourage excellence in teaching and learning for our faculty, students, and our city’s youth,” said Sonya Malunda, President of the ACM. “Through this collaboration, we’ll help more of Chicago’s young students explore the liberal arts and sciences while giving ACM college students and faculty an unparalleled experience at one of the world’s most respected museums.”

“We’re delighted to partner with ACM, both so our scientists can help guide a new generation of researchers, and so we can learn from the insights of these budding scientists.”

Richard Lariviere, President of the Field Museum

“The Field Museum’s mission is to learn about the world, share what we find with others, and use those discoveries to build a brighter future,” says Richard Lariviere, President of the Field Museum. “We’re delighted to partner with ACM, both so our scientists can help guide a new generation of researchers, and so we can learn from the insights of these budding scientists.”

The Field joins a list of ACM partner institutions that also includes the Newberry Library in Chicago and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, which also offer interdisciplinary semester-long programs to ACM students and a professional development opportunity for faculty.

“By partnering with distinguished institutions like the Field Museum, the ACM is able to provide off-campus study opportunities that would be harder for our students or colleges to access on their own,” said Jonathan Brand, President of Cornell College and Chair of the ACM Board of Directors. “Combining coursework, research, and professional experience, these immersive, place-based experiences bring the liberal arts to life and help our students strengthen the connection between inquiry and practice.”

“Research experience is crucial for new scientists in learning analytical techniques, presenting their work, and developing relationships with mentors that guide them through their careers,” says Thorsten Lumbsch, the Field’s Vice President of Science and Education and Curator of Lichenized Fungi. “Interns at the Field Museum have been part of incredible discoveries, and we’re delighted to offer this opportunity to ACM students and to learn from them, too.”

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