Connecting academic theory with reality
Professor, Department of Political Science
Program Director, African and African American Studies Program
Donn Worgs is very good at capitalizing on teachable moments, and there have been plenty of those moments in recent years.
When Baltimore was rocked by civil unrest in spring 2015, Worgs saw an opportunity to engage students in important conversations and to connect academic theory with reality. “The beauty of the African American Studies Program is that we attract students from so many different majors and interests,” says Worgs. “Students get introduced to topics they might not be exposed to otherwise and can look at current events in their contemporary and historical context.”
Worgs cites what he believes are Towson University’s greatest strengths. “Faculty and students are really passionate and intellectually sophisticated individuals who are engaged in learning and participating in dynamic interactions.”
He draws on his strong community connections to the benefit of fellow faculty and students. For instance, a veteran of the 1960s civil rights movement was a guest speaker in one of his classes last spring, and Worg coordinated a number of lectures for Towson University’s Center for Student Diversity’s Annual Symposium. “The symposium was organized around police reform,” he describes. “One of our speakers created Black Lives Matter and another scaled the flagpole and manually took down the Confederate flag on the grounds of the South Carolina State House.”
One of Worgs’s latest outreach activities is a Black Comic Book Festival on campus that promotes culture and African American studies. “We had lively discussions around the historical, social and philosophical perspectives of comic book art,” says Worgs, who is eager to expand the event and build even stronger connections with the Towson and greater Baltimore community.