About Carillon Communities

Carillon Communities offers students a year-long guided experience in a supportive living and learning environment. Students explore opportunities and learn how to maximize their college education. As the only living and learning program specifically for Letters and Sciences students, Carillon equips students to consider their own interests and knowledge, and become more active agents in their education.

There are three Carillon Communities, each with a unique theme: iGIVE, Novel Humans, and Once and Future Planet. Each community is led by a Carillon Professor.

These communities are designed for students to:

  • Cultivate meaningful friendships with their classmates.

  • Develop supportive relationships with UMD faculty and staff.

  • Foster their intellectual curiosity inside and outside of the classroom.

  • Plan a meaningful and purposeful University experience.

  • Engage as a member of the University's diverse community.

Group of Carillon students

I enjoyed meeting the people in Carillon, working with real-time issues, and making a real impact

Carillon Student, Fall 2015

Learning in Community

Carillon Themed Course

Each Carillon Community has a theme that is anchored by an active learning course during the fall semester. These unique Carillon Community courses address important issues that spark the imagination and infuse students with the excitement of learning while fulfilling General Education requirements. This video explains how Carillon courses can fulfill General Education requirements. These courses are taught by the Carillon Professors who are experts in the course discipline and enthusiastic about student learning.

By participating in a Carillon Community students engage their curiosity and interest in a community theme, while fulfilling University General Education requirements. Communities enroll students interested in a variety of majors, exposing all students to diverse perspectives and vibrant discussion.

Students can choose to participate in one of the three communities:

Carillon Seminar Course

All Carillon students participate in the one credit Carillon Seminar Course. The course empowers students to customize their University experience while collaborating and building relationships with faculty and peers. Students learn the Design Thinking process, that provides a framework and tools to innovatively address coursework and academic and career decisions. The course supports students in crafting a satisfying and intentional college experience, aligned with their interests and goals.The Carillon Seminar Course is a Fearless Ideas Course from the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Academic advisors engage with Carillon Communities' students through the seminar course and individual appointments, guiding them in course selection and preparation for declaring a major. The Carillon Advisors are from Letters and Sciences, the students' academic home until major declaration.

Carillon students in the field for Geology
I love the living learning aspect of Carillon Communities. It was really nice to transition into college knowing that I would see the people I live with in class as well. It provided a sense of familiarity.

Carillon Student, Spring 2016

Living in Community

The cornerstone of Carillon Communities is the opportunity to live among a group of peers that share academic goals and interests.

Living in a community eases the transition to college and facilitates exposure to the wide array of resources and opportunities at UMD. The activities and facilities provide a supportive environment for learning. Students reside together during their freshman year in Easton Hall, in the Denton Community on North Campus. They have exclusive access to a study space within their resident hall. Various events throughout the year allow students to connect naturally with classmates that share their interests inside and outside the classroom.

Students are also offered a range of activities through the Syn*Quest Collaborative including: Guided Study Sessions, Math Success coaching, career or major exploration classes, internship preparation workshops, Common Ground Dialogues, and career exploration fieldtrips.

Carillon students take their work outside the classroom
The best part of Carillon is the sense of community and opportunity to be around other students, that while they have different intentions for their majors, still share similar interests.

Carillon Student, Fall, 2015

The Carillon Communities

Novel Humans

Inside cover illustration from 1831 edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Frontispiece from 1831 edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Looking into a camera obscura.
Looking into a wooden camera obscura, an optical device that led to the development of the camera.

What are the dark, uncertain borders between the human and the nonhuman, between the natural and the unnatural, between life and death?

In Novel Humans you will explore great works of literature to examine their perspectives on how technology shapes and redefines us. You will discover subtle insights involving gender, race, labor and other issues that inventors, engineers, and scientists might have overlooked or underestimated.

Through literary analysis and hands-on experimentation you will learn to put the current preoccupation with new media into a broader historical perspective and to appreciate how literature can offer fundamental and fresh understandings of the ways that technology helps us grasp what it means to be human.

The Novel Humans community students live together for one year. The community theme comes from the I-Series course that all students complete in the fall semester.

ENGL150: Uncanny Technologies: Monsters, Droids, and Vampires is a three credit course that meets the General Education requirements for I-Series and Humanities.

This course aims to address how we initially understand new technologies and how these modern instrumentalities in turn represent us. You will delve into a series of nineteenth-century American, French, German, and British novels and stories from Frankenstein (1818) to Dracula (1897), featuring a variety of media and inventions such as photographs, phonographs, automata, and motion pictures that are concerned with recording and reproducing human consciousness and the human body.

Professor Jonathan Auerbach, Department of English and a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, leads the Novel Humans community.

Fall 2015 syllabus (subject to change for Fall 2016)



Once and Future Planet

Students pictured at the Great Falls on the Potomac.
Students engage in fieldwork exploring the Potomac River at Great Falls.
Professor Kaufman in the lab
Professor Kaufman in the Geology lab.

What were the environmental conditions on the early Earth that allowed for the evolution and diversification of life?

Step outside the traditional classroom to explore the natural world through on-campus field exercises and an off-campus field trip. Discover how the Earth has evolved through time. Become aware of the natural world and of the environmental problems that affect ecosystems and our lives.

The Once and Future Planet program engages you in scientific research through close examination of the geological past on Earth and Mars, involves you in team work, and prepares you for tomorrow's decisions about global environmental change. You will use state-of-the-art instrumentation in the Geology Department and gain a working knowledge of the scientific method through a community research project.

The Once and Future Planet community students live together for one year. The community theme comes from the I-Series course that all students complete in the fall semester.

GEOL 124: Evolution of Life and Environment on Planet Earth, a three credit course that meets General Education requirements for I-Series and Natural Sciences

In this course you will explore how life and environment evolved through Earth's long history. Using deep-time geological perspectives, the class follows the Mars Science Laboratory in its ongoing search for life on the red planet. As part of a team, you will investigate aspects of Martian exploration and present your findings at four 'Curiosity' panels.

Professor Alan Jay Kaufman, Department of Geology and a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, leads the Once and Future Planet community.

Fall 2015 syllabus (subject to change for Fall 2016)




iGIVE explores the issues and engages in the activities of doing good and social changen
iGIVE explores the issues and engages in the activities of doing good and social change.
2014 iGIVE students with holding symbolic check .
iGive students develop strategies for investment and donate to a cause of their choosing.


**iGIVE has a two-semester academic program. Unlike Novel Humans and Once and Future Planet, this program engages you in courses during the fall and spring semesters.

What makes real and lasting community change?

Begin your Maryland experience first by learning about philanthropy, innovation and social change and then by doing it! Give money - work as a group to invest $10,000 to fund social change. Give your talents, experience and passion to a cause you are passionate about. Through our year together, you will learn and practice the leadership and entrepreneurial skills of innovators who are changing the world ... for good.

The iGIVE community students live together for one year. The community theme comes from the academic program that includes a course in the fall and in the spring.

PUAF 214 - Leading and Investing in Social Change: Redefining and Experimenting with Philanthropy (Fall Semester) is a three credit course that meets General Education requirements for I-Series and Scholarship in Practice.

Hunger, homelessness, educational inequity ... these are examples of problems facing our world today. How are change makers tackling these big world problems today? What has been done in the past? This course introduces you to theories of philanthropy and asks you to consider:

  • Why do some of us turn away when people on the street ask us for money?

  • Why do some of us give?

  • Why is making a difference hard to do?

  • Is there such a thing as "bad charity?"

  • What issues are the responsibility of the state and which should be taken up by private effort?

In addition, you will learn about the effective approaches, entrepreneurial skills, and leadership required to achieve social impact. Ultimately you and your peers will be given the opportunity and responsibility to create your own philanthropic investment fund and award a $10,000 grant to an organization working in an issue area chosen by the class.

Fall 2015 syllabus (Subject to change for Fall 2016)

PUAF 215 - Innovation and Social Change - Do Good Now (Spring Semester) is a three credit course that meets requirements for Scholarship in Practice.

Now that you have been a funder, it is time to become a social entrepreneur! This course is team-based, highly interactive, and provides an opportunity for you to work on an issue you are passionate about. You will first learn more about your issue, interview stakeholders, and then develop a mission statement and project plan. You will gain research, teamwork, management, and presentation skills. You will not only leave with a deep understanding of the channels in which to create change, but will have also tested your projects against those of your peers in the 8-week, student run, Do Good Challenge .

Spring 2016 syllabus (Subject to change for Spring 2017)

Professor Susannah Washburn, School of Public Policy, leads the iGIVE community.


By participating in Carillon I came in with a group of students who were going through the same challenges I had as a college freshman. We went through the process together.

Carillon Student, Spring 2016

Carillon Faculty

Jonathan AuerbachJonathan Auerbach

Professor, Department of English
Leads the Novel Humans Community

Jonathan Auerbach, a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on a range of subjects, from silent cinema to the nineteenth-century European novel to Cold War culture. Professor Auerbach has been a Fulbright scholar in Hungary, Portugal, Cyprus and Tunisia.

In addition to publishing a variety of articles on nineteenth and twentieth American literature and film and editing a number of volumes, Professor Auerbach is the author of five books: Weapons of Democracy: Propaganda, Progressivism, and American Public Opinion (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015); Dark Borders: Film Noir and American Citizenship (Duke UP, 2011); Body Shots: Early Cinema's Incarnations (California, 2007); Male Call: Becoming Jack London (Duke UP, 1996); and The Romance of Failure: First-Person Fictions of Poe, Hawthorne, and James (Oxford UP, 1989).

Professor Kaufman outdoorsAlan Jay Kaufman

Professor, Department of Geology
Leads the Once and Future Planet Community

Professor Kaufman, a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, has been at the University since 1997 and has taught a wide variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He was awarded the 2000 Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching for the College of Computer, Math and Physical Sciences and was a Mercator Professor while in Muenster, Germany on sabbatical in 2007-2008. Professor Kaufman is an Affiliate Faculty in the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center.

His field-based studies of the evolution of life, environment, and climate focus on events in deep time, which require travel to the far corners of the Earth. Professor Kaufman's current studies are centered in arctic and southern Siberia, Namibia and South Africa, Western Australia, and Brazil.

His research focuses on the determination of changes in the isotopic composition of the oceans through time. Through his work Professor Kaufman aims to document the co-evolution of life and the surface environment across critical transitions, including Earth's earliest ice ages and mass extinctions.

Susannah WashburnSusannah Washburn

School of Public Policy
Leads the iGIVE Community

Professor Washburn teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in philanthropy, leadership and social change. She is affiliated with the School of Public Policy's Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. Washburn is passionate about helping young people turn their idealism into action and actively works with students to develop their analytic, communication and management skills.

Prior to teaching at the University of Maryland, Professor Washburn served in political appointments under both the Bush and Obama Administrations at the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps, where she held various positions, including Program Officer, Senior Advisor, and Acting Chief of Staff. She was appointed Executive Director of the White House Council for Community Solutions in 2012.


Begin your application and complete the Interest Inventory Form, specifying your community of interest.