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 Tuesday, January 23, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Residential Academic Program spotlight - Libby RAP
By Corey Jones, sophomore, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Residential Academic Programs (RAPS) can be found in residence halls all across campus, connecting diverse students with similar interests while promoting extensive understanding in a vast range of subject areas. In this series, we explore these innovative programs that provide many undergraduates with close social and intellectual communities and shared learning and living experiences. Part five of this series features the Libby Arts Residential Academic Program.

Libby RAP (LRAP) is a three-year-old program that offers an interdisciplinary curriculum in the arts.

Willard Uncapher is the interim director for the program this year. Founding Director Deborah Haynes is presently on sabbatical. "Libby is an arts-related RAP with courses in fine arts, performance and dance, film, and some communication," Uncapher said. "We teach small classes in the fine, performing, and related arts, many of which cannot be found elsewhere on campus."

Sophomore Hailey Thompson is a student event coordinator for LRAP. Every year, the program designates one freshman and one sophomore to help coordinate events and ensure accurate communication between the faculty and the students, according to Thompson. "If we did not have student liaisons, I feel that many issues would never be addressed because students and members of the faculty are so busy, and there is no bridge between them without the liaisons," she said.

The curriculum and co-curricular activities are intended to enhance students' appreciation of the arts and their direct experience in the arts. Activities include lectures, films, exhibitions and performances. In the past, students from the program have also attended the International Snow Sculpture Championship in Breckenridge.

"We always tie an aspect of art into our events to make them intellectually stimulating," said Thompson. "Usually we sit and talk about what we saw, what we liked, and what was different."

The program also presents students with the opportunity to experience the arts by offering a wide array of classes each semester.

"We help develop interests and provide special access to programs that many students would not otherwise be able to get," Uncapher said. "We also help departments by getting students exposure to special classes, in some cases leading to declaration of majors."

While Uncapher said, "The arts play a key role in so many fields," the RAP does offer great resources for students who might not be majoring in fields directly connected to the arts.

Thompson explained that the classes and activities act as good substitutes for her usual routine. 

"I am a business major, so a lot of my classes can be really dry. Participating in LRAP is a great way to spice up your course selection and have something else to look forward to beyond classes that pertain to your major," Thompson said.

She added, "LRAP offers students an outlet to show their creative sides. The focus of the program has given me a much more well-rounded education."

For more information, visit the Libby RAP website.

Residential Academic Program spotlight - Libby RAP

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