Amanda Ervin recently joined Union as Makerspace coordinator, a new position at the College.
As coordinator, Ervin will oversee the Collaborative Design Studio, an interdisciplinary research Makerspace in the Wold Center. The mission is to foster and accelerate novel research by harnessing the power of rapid prototyping design and 3D printing.
Ervin will manage Union MakerCorps, a group of students trained to run the equipment and assist campus researchers in their design tasks.
She will also support projects that will be funded through a recent grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to promote the integration of the arts and humanities across academic disciplines. This includes “pop-up labs” for faculty to incorporate “making” into their courses using portable makerspace, and a Humanities Maker Faire that will showcase the work of faculty and students, including artists, sculptors, writers, tech enthusiasts and others.
Hometown: Albany, N.Y.
Education: Bachelor of arts in studio art, with a photography concentration, and master of fine arts in studio art with a concentration in combined media, both from University at Albany.
Before Union: Artist, Arts Initiatives in Higher Ed, Teaching (ARTstor, SUNYPurchase, 3rd Ward, Tech Valley Center of Gravity, Skidmore College)
Hobbies: eTextiles and wearable devices, electronic sensors, handmade electronic music
Last book read: “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir” by Carrie Brownstein
Why did you choose Union?
My background is in art, and I am fully immersed in the combination of the arts with technological disciplines like electronics and code. Union's goals align very well with the combination of the humanities with engineering and technology.
What do you see as your role?
I'm here to make connections for people and to help enable creative work at the intersections of the humanities and STEM fields (aka STEAM), things fully embraced by the Maker Movement.
Experimental projects need support and I love to see them take off. Even if they aren't successful from a financial perspective, what is learned through developing them can be priceless.