An Indian American professor of communication arts at Salisbury University in Maryland, Dr. Andrew Sharma has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the United States-India Educational Foundation for his proposal, “Interactive Design Documentary as a Method For Civic Engagement.”
As part of the proposal, Salisbury University, the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication in India as well as the American Geosciences Institute will collaborate to develop interactive documentary (iDoc) filmmaking, which allows audience members to modify their viewing experience via multimedia tools and place-based (local) education, according to a press release.
The result is expected to provide instructors with techniques, tools, skills and knowledge to encourage civic engagement through the creation of documentaries.
“This project will promote civic engagement in India and the U.S., both among the faculty and students and among members of the community,” Sharma said.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the grant is part of the USIEF 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian higher education institutions, and to encourage mutual understanding, facilitate educational reform, foster economic development and engage civil society.
Sharma is a two-time Fulbright Senior Scholar, who attended the University of Mumbai before earning his Ph.D. in mass communications from Syracuse University.
He joined Salisbury University in 1999 and regularly leads a winter term course called (‘Bollywood and Beyond’) to India, which explores Indian culture through film and mass media.