a2ru Welcomes New Mellon Research Fellow Dr. Edgar Cardenas

a2ru News

April 13, 2016

Media Contact:
Debra Mexicotte
a2ru Associate Director
The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities
Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ann Arbor, Michigan, April 6, 2016 —The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) and the University of Michigan’s ArtsEngine welcomes Dr. Edgar Cardenas as incoming Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow beginning April 6, 2016. Dr. Cardenas will work closely with Gabriel Harp, the ArtsEngine/a2ru Research Director, to design research protocols for the Supporting Practice in Arts, Research and Curricula (SPARC) Project, a three-year initiative to apply, support, and disseminate best practices in the integration of arts practice, research and curricula at research universities.

Edgar Cardenas received his PhD in Sustainability from Arizona State University. His dissertation, entitled Art-Science for Sustainability focused on coupling sustainability science with the arts with the objective of bolstering more creative problem solving in sustainability. The culmination of this work resulted in both a written dissertation and a solo thesis exhibit. As a social scientist, Dr. Cardenas focuses on social creativity and small group dynamics, exploring which processes and mechanisms foster creative collaborations. As an interdisciplinary artist he investigates the ecological, cultural, and technological subtleties of human/environment relationships. He has exhibited internationally at both art and science venues and has been published in art and science journals as well.
In addition to his research and art practice, Dr. Cardenas has also developed, organized, facilitated, and led several artists-scientists collaborative projects, as well as moderated panels on the topic. Dr. Cardenas also holds an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven with a focus on organizational development and conflict management.

Gabriel Harp, Research Director of ArtsEngine, is excited about Dr. Cardenas’ unique skill set and the contributions he’ll bring as a Mellon Research Fellow. “One of the things that’s really neat about Edgar,” says Harp, “is his ability to identify how patterns of disciplinary training can shape a person’s worldview. Edgar applies that kind of insight to cross-cutting research challenges, finding ways to transform those discipline-driven identity conflicts into areas of cooperation. That kind of cross-cultural understanding is critical, and Edgar’s unique qualities are going to be a big contributor to our success.”

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) is a partnership of over thirty institutions committed to ensuring the greatest possible institutional support for the full spectrum of arts and arts- integrative research, curricula, programs, and creative practice for the benefit of all students and faculty at research universities and the communities they serve. The organization is housed at the University of Michigan. www.a2ru.org

Leave a Reply