CLAS prepares for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Two hundred thirty new College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) students will converge on the Brattle Campus in late August to engage in a fast-paced two-hour long orientation. Chairs of academic programs, professional advisors, and a bevy of academic support enthusiasts will join us there. Among the Class of 2018 are New Englanders; West Coast, Midwestern and southern natives; international students from the Middle East, Asia, Latin and South America and Africa; aspiring teachers, environmentalists, art therapists, counselors, writers, historians, mathematicians, social and behavioral scientists, businessmen and women, statesmen, diplomats, doctors, and lawyers. Among the 230 students are some undecided majors who are eager to explore more fully the cross-college CLAS and College of Arts and Design curriculum before declaring a major or majors. Along with welcoming new and continuing students, I extend a special welcome back to faculty who will return this fall from year-or semester-long sabbaticals: Liv Cummins (featured in this edition), Mary Dockray-Miller, Marjorie Jones, and Frank Trocco. The scholarship they produced during their sabbaticals will be widely shared with students and faculty in CLAS Works-in-Progress Brown-Bag Symposium. During the spring of 2014, we inaugurated the Paul Fideler Lecture Series. Robert Putman is a political scientist and is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. He will serve as the inaugural Fideler lecturer in April 2015.
Throughout this edition of News form 29 Mellen you will see new faculty faces and profiles. We are fortunate to have Kimberly Ruegger, Jason Pramas, Roser Gine, Kimberly Lowe, Julie Shoemaker, Israel Rolon-Barada and Geoffrey Barnes join a first-rate CLAS faculty. You will also read about the work that has gone on this summer throughout CLAS. Program chairs have had a challenging summer. They have still found time to relax, visit family and friends, take long swims, go camping, visit galleries, explore rainforests, and breathe some Midwestern and hot and humid southern air. Toward the end of a very hectic CLAS spring, new courses were approved, a Bachelor of Science degree program in Biology was advanced; the Spanish Languages and Culture major was fully vetted; and newly improved Human Services and Business Management majors were created. In the CLAS Program Updates found in this newsletter, you will learn more about academic program strengths and the thoughtful faculty leadership that produced them. Throughout all of last year, CLAS conducted four academic program reviews. Such reviews enable continuous improvement, program elimination, consolidation and fresh new perspectives for both students and faculty. Five program reviews are underway for 2014-15. The curriculum work---past and present---will ensure a strong liberal arts and sciences education, and even stronger pre-professional and professional programs.
We have worked diligently to fortify the CLAS Conversations Series. Our first speaker is Bill McKibben on September 8, 2014. In Marran at 6:40pm, McKibben will discuss his book, Eaarth (please see the Cover Story). Many of our students will have read the work prior to the lecture; the CLAS Honors students will interrogate the work throughout the semester and will be joined by political scientist Michael Illuzzi and writing faculty, Robert Wauhkonen, along with Lesley University environmental scientists/activists, Dave Morimoto, Amy Mertl, and Julie Shoemaker. Laurie Schoen’s and Victoria Whalen’s continuous generosity to Lesley University will enable CLAS to sponsor the fourth annual Child Homelessness Initiative (CHI) Conference and bestow the Massachusetts Children’s Champion Award to Governor Deval Patrick. A pre- conference CHI reception will feature international artist and Lesley University alumna Deborah McDuff, in an exhibition, Invisible Children. Throughout the year intellectually challenging courses, engaged student and faculty conversations, research-based internships, teacher education preparation, diverse speakers, artistic renderings, and the opening of the Lunder Arts Center will animate the campus and give meaning and beauty to our collective labor. Lesley University welcomes the Class of 2018.
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Associate Professor of Biology, Director of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Natural Science and Mathematics program
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