Summer in Snyder-Phillips Hall

Though classes at MSU don’t begin until August 28, Snyder-Phillips Hall has been full of activity since the academic year ended in early May. From MSU College Advising Corps training and Office of Admissions events to exhibits and intercultural exchange programs, the learning spaces in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities have been the location of a variety of summer programming.

Most recently, this week marked the kick-off of the East Lansing portion of the Asan Greater Lansing Youth Exchange Program. This exchange program, sponsored by the Lansing Sister Cities Commission and part of the RCAH’s ongoing partnership with Edgewood Village Community Center, provides an opportunity for students from the greater Lansing area to travel to Asan, South Korea (July 5 through 14), and for junior high school students from South Korea to collaborate with Edgewood Scholars students on creative and civic engagement projects at MSU (July 19 through August 9).

Earlier this month, RCAH students Cooper Franks and Hanna Obbink traveled with Edgewood Scholars to Asan to stay with host families, make day trips to Seoul and other nearby destinations, and visit local schools and businesses. Now, in collaboration with the Lansing Sister Cities Commission staff, RCAH faculty Joanna Bosse, Franks, Obbink and fellow RCAH student Ben Thorp are engaging with the Edgewood Scholars and students from Asan in a variety of activities centered on language learning, musical traditions and performance, and exploration of Michigan. In the fall, the new Edgewood Commons will be opened, and RCAH civic engagement programs will be working there throughout the year.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) also marked the start of their Summer Institute in Snyder-Phillips this week. The institute, sponsored by MSU’s Department of Philosophy and titled “Development Ethics: Questions, Challenges, and Responsibilities,” brings together 25 higher education faculty for a four-week seminar focused on discussion and debate over critical issues in the field of development ethics. In week three, Dean Steve Esquith will be the resident guest lecturer for conversation dedicated to “Ethical Failures in Politics: Violence and Displacement” with visiting speakers Bronwyn Leebaw and Jay Drydyk.

Earlier this month, new and returning MSU College Advising Corps members gathered in Snyder-Phillips for several weeks of training and preparation for the academic year ahead. Amongst this group of members were Derek Flint, RCAH alumnus and returning college adviser in Freemont and Hesperia High Schools, Chelsea Kinjorski, RCAH alumna and returning college adviser in East Jordan and Boyne City High Schools, and Kelsea Solo, RCAH alumna and incoming college adviser in Lakeview and Montabella High Schools. 

Since July 8, RCAH Dean Steve Esquith has been teaching an Introduction to Philosophy course to a group of students in High Achievers, a program for academically talented students currently in grades 9 through 12. High Achievers is sponsored by Gifted & Talented Education (GATE), a division of University Outreach & Engagement at MSU.

In June and July, programs sponsored by the MSU Office of Admissions brought prospective students from high schools in Detroit, around Michigan, and beyond to Snyder-Phillips for tours and hands-on workshops in the RCAH Art Studio and Language and Media Center. While this year’s Green Carpet Days and Green and White Days have just wrapped up, there’s still one more Summer Quest group visiting the week of July 29.

Beginning in mid-May, the RCAH’s LookOut! Gallery space on the second floor of Snyder-Phillips has been hosting “Mali On Our Minds,” an exhibit curated by Chris Worland that celebrates Malian culture through textiles, sculpture, and photography. Through September 20, “Mali On Our Minds” is open weekdays, noon to 2 p.m.

Still to come next month is the second RCAH Parents College, which will take place in Snyder-Phillips classrooms and the RCAH Art Studio on the weekend of August 2 through 4. This year, the topic for exploration at Parents College is forgiveness. In addition to discussions about the chosen topic, last year’s group completed a fabric arts project. This year’s participants will experiment with letterpress printing (led by Arie Koelewyn, a regular artist-in-residence in the RCAH) and reader’s theater performances.

Outside of Snyder-Phillips, current and recently graduated students, faculty, and staff have been busy in and around Greater Lansing. From college-sponsored study abroad and away programs in Costa Rica, Israel, and Detroit, to internships with local organizations, a collection of these RCAH adventures from May, June, and July are on the Summer of RCAH Tumblr.

For additional information about upcoming events, contact Katie Wittenauer, RCAH communications manager at