Category: Academics

Dean selected to lead Center for Career, Life and Community Engagement

Michael O’Connor has been selected as the new Riaz Waraich Dean of Lawrence University’s Center for Career, Life and Community Engagement.

Currently the Director of Career Exploration at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, O’Connor will fill the newly endowed deanship. It’s supported by a $2.5 million gift from J. Thomas Hurvis ’60 that was announced in November at the launch of Lawrence’s $220 million Be the Light! Campaign.

Portrait of Michael O'Connor
Michael O’Connor

O’Connor will begin his new role May 1, overseeing a revamped and reenergized office that prepares students for life after Lawrence, develops and sustains networking connections with alumni near and far, assists in fellowship opportunities and enhances career connections in the community. He will report to Christopher Card, Vice President for Student Life.

For O’Connor, the opportunity to put into play the recommendations that came from the Task Force on Life After Lawrence – the final report was released in May 2018 – was too good to pass up. He praised President Mark Burstein’s leadership, saying the enhanced commitment to career services for all Lawrence students ties in well with other initiatives designed to make Lawrence more accessible and increasingly responsive to student needs.

“I love the strategic direction the school is going under Mark’s leadership,” O’Connor said. “I love how the college is smart for investing in its core strengths, and raising its national profile while increasing affordability/accessibility and leveraging its unique learning environment.

“I love the integration of fellowships, community engagements, and career services under CLCE, and see limitless potential for connecting our broader mission to both the broader Lawrence and Appleton communities.”

Card said O’Connor’s appointment “is the culmination of a national search for a distinguished professional to lead the center.”

O’Connor comes to the Riaz Waraich Deanship following more than five years as director of the Career Exploration program that is part of the Career Center at Williams College. He is second in command at the Career Center, and spent seven months as its interim director in 2015-16.

He previously served as director of the Office of Career Planning at Sage Colleges in New York, and worked in career services at Union College in New York and Hiram College in Ohio.

He has a bachelor’s of arts degree with a major in psychology from the University of Connecticut and a master’s of arts and social sciences degree from Binghamton University with a concentration in student affairs and diversity.

Associate Professor of History Monica Rico, who was a member of the Lawrence search committee, said she was impressed not only with O’Connor’s wide-ranging work with students but also his collaborations with faculty.

“Mike has a proven record of developing, implementing, and refining approaches to post-graduate life that connect with students at all phases of their college experience,” Rico said. “He’s emerging as a nationally known expert on career planning for liberal arts students.”

Anne Jones, who has served as the interim dean of the CLCE for the past year, will continue in that role until O’Connor arrives in May.

“I want to acknowledge the amazing work by Anne Jones, who has led that department with distinction since February of last year,” Card said.

The deanship is named after Hurvis’ business partner, Riaz Waraich, as recognition of how quality partnerships are often key to career success.

That’s a theme O’Connor is looking to build on in his new role.

“I loved the thoughtful design of the position and fabulous work by the Life After Lawrence Task Force,” he said. “I think the CLCE team is poised for big things.”

Lawrence University on list of schools producing most Fulbright recipients

With five recent graduates teaching abroad on Fulbright awards, Lawrence University landed on a prestigious list of U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright students this year.

Fulbright logoEach year the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces the top-producing institutions for the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

The 2018-19 list that features Lawrence  was published Monday in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Five students from Lawrence received Fulbright awards through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program for academic year 2018-19, tying a school record previously set in 2014-15. Lawrence has had at least one Fulbright student recipient every year since 2006-07. The school has had multiple recipients in nine of the past 11 years.

“The designation as a top-producing institution reaffirms that our students continue to excel at the highest levels and that a Lawrence education is well recognized as rigorous, competitive and influential,” Vice President for Student Life Christopher Card said. “That we have earned this distinction is cause for celebration for the whole institution, in part because it is a collective, institutional effort to prepare our students to ‘be the light’ for all to see.

“We are grateful to the scholars, their faculty supporters and fellowship staff for their hard work and dedicated energies – they have made us proud and deserve our gratitude.”

The five Lawrence Fulbright recipients this year:

Nalee Douangvilay ’18, who studied English, is spending her Fulbright year teaching in South Korea.

Augusta Finzel ’18, who studied biology and Russian studies, is teaching in Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, and studying the effects of climate change on the local population.

William Gill ’18, who studied German and government, is teaching in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

Elena Hudacek ’18, who studied Spanish and linguistics, is teaching and leading conversation circles at the National University of Colombia in Bogota.

Emilio Salvia ’17, who studied biology and German, is teaching at a gesamtschule, a comprehensive school in Harsewinkel, Germany.

Kia Thao, Coordinator of Pre-Professional Advising and Major Fellowships at Lawrence, said the Fulbright honor highlights the numerous opportunities students have to pursue fellowships and scholarships.

“Getting recognized as one of the top-producing institutions is an acknowledgement of the great things Lawrence students can achieve,” she said. “I would like to encourage Lawrence students to dream big dreams and to apply to as many fellowships and scholarships as they are eligible. In addition to receiving the grant, the benefits of applying to scholarships and fellowships are also valuable.  The process of applying to any scholarship will help students develop a clear sense of their career goals, enhance their writing and interviewing skills, and personal growth.”

Being on the list of top-producing schools is notable and speaks to Lawrence’s world view, officials with the Fulbright program said.

“We thank the colleges and universities across the United States that we are recognizing as Fulbright top-producing institutions for their role in increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries,” said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Fulbright competition is administered at Lawrence through the Center for Career, Life and Community Engagement.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 390,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns, according to a statement released by the Fulbright program. More than 1,900 U.S. students, artists and young professionals in more than 100 different fields of study are offered Fulbright Program grants to study, teach English, and conduct research abroad each year. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program operates in more than 140 countries.

Lawrence has had 57 student recipients since 1976.

The annual application process requires a commitment from the students, faculty and staff, Thao said.

“I would like to acknowledge the faculty who were part of the interviewing committee in this application cycle, Ruth Lunt, Alison Guenther-Pal and Matt Stoneking. I would especially like to thank Bob Williams and Pa Lee Moua for their continued support with the 2018-2019 application cycle.”

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, funded by an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education.

The Fulbright Program also awards grants to U.S. scholars, teachers and faculty to conduct research and teach overseas.

Eleven Lawrence faculty members have earned Fulbright awards since 1995.

In addition, some 4,000 foreign Fulbright students and scholars come to the United States annually to study, lecture, conduct research and teach foreign languages.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit eca.state.gov/fulbright.

New Diversity Center director provides guidance on academic, social transition

Dr. Brittany Bell believes strongly in the need for universities to provide support to help first-year students in the often anxiety-filled transition to college life.

Portrait of Brittany Bell
Brittany Bell

The reward is seeing them come back for a second year.

For students from underrepresented backgrounds, that transition to college can be fraught with even more potential bumps in the road.

In her new role as assistant dean of students and director of the Diversity and Intercultural Center at Lawrence University, Bell is putting new focus on smoothing the edges for students making that transition.

Bell began her new duties in mid-January, coming to Lawrence after six and half years on the staff at St. Norbert College, where she served as assistant director of multicultural student services and then student success librarian.

At St. Norbert, she was involved in improving first- and second-year student persistence rates, developing programs that help with the college adjustment and increase the likelihood of a student returning for their sophomore year.

“I’ve done a lot of research in first- and second-year persistence and in student success, so being able to … put something like that into practice was something I knew I could do here,” Bell said.

Lawrence launched its Leadership and Mentoring Program (LAMP) several years ago to provide that added assist to students from underrepresented backgrounds. Much of that has focused on the social end of college life, Bell said. She’s looking to expand the program with new emphasis on the academic side, improving interaction with faculty and staff and nurturing leadership skills.

Bell said having a background that has included both academic programming and student life administration gives her insight into navigating both sides of the student experience. If one side of the equation is out of sync, the student will struggle.

“I can see how they connect to their academics but I also can see how they need to connect to student services,” she said.

Bell has been impressed with what she’s seen so far of the students utilizing the Diversity and Intercultural Center, located on the first floor of Memorial Hall.

“There are definitely leaders here,” she said. “There are a lot of leaders. They are already doing programs, and a lot of these things they are doing on their own. … Usually (faculty and staff) are the drivers. But the students here are the drivers.”

The Rev. Linda Morgan-Clement, Lawrence’s Julie Esch Hurvis Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life, led the search to fill the assistant dean position. She said Bell’s work involving a variety of student experiences was impressive.

“The faculty, staff and students who served on the search committee were impressed with Brittany’s genuine interest in Lawrence and the strong background she brings to the position,” Morgan-Clement said. “Her research and practical background situate her well to vision and lead the move toward (growing) a Diversity and Intercultural Center that will serve our increasingly diverse campus.”

Bell, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a master’s from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a doctorate from Edgewood College, previously worked in student life positions at Kearney and then Carroll University before joining St. Norbert in 2012.

She had her eye on Lawrence long before January.

“I had been connecting with Lawrence quite often through my other role with multicultural students at St. Norbert,” she said. “I knew a lot about Lawrence University and I knew all about the programs here and I knew that if I ever was going to continue on in student services that a position like this would be something that would be appealing.

“So, when the opening came, I was like, yep, this is where I want to be.”

Business and volunteer spirit

Off campus, Bell is on a mission to serve.

She and her partner, Chris, and their two children, own and operate an apparel line called God’s Purpose Apparel, creating and selling clothing featuring inspirational messages such as “I dream big,” Love thy neighbor” and “Blessed.” Much of their apparel is sold through their web site, godspurposeapparel.com, but they also set up shop occasionally at vendor fairs and other nearby events.

They spin that apparel venture into regular volunteer gigs at Green Bay area homeless shelters, donating time, some of the proceeds from sales and even some of the apparel. They run a weekly Alpha Group at St. John’s Homeless Shelter in Green Bay, providing a meal and engaging visitors to the shelter with discussions of faith and life.

Lessons learned during nights at the shelter provide interesting insights to her work on campus, Bell said.

“Sometimes our students are going through similar struggles and we don’t see the signs,” she said. “My work there has helped me identify different things that I can see within our students.”

Marcia Bjornerud’s Book “Timefulness” Nominated for Prestigious Literary Award

Timefulness book coverTimefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World, the latest book from Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Sciences and Professor of Geology Marcia Bjornerud, has been long-listed for the PEN America Awards, one of the nation’s most prestigious literary awards. Bjornerud is nominated for the PEN/E.O Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing, which honors “a book that exemplifies literary excellence on the subject of the physical or biological sciences and communicates complex scientific concepts to a lay audience.”

Bjornerud does just that in Timefulness, which reveals how knowing the rhythms of Earth’s deep past and conceiving of time as a geologist does can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future. As Bjornerud observes, “our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and our habits will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations.” Timefulness presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales.

In her elegant and engaging prose, Bjornerud peppers Timefulness with insights and anecdotes, sharing the deep knowledge and passion for geology she brings to her classrooms with her readers. Timefulness is also an example of the bonds students and faculty forge at Lawrence: Haley Hagerman ’14 provided the illustrations that appear throughout the book.

Timefulness is a delightful and interesting read.”

In addition to the recognition from PEN, Timefulness has also garnered rave reviews. Leading science journal Nature described it as “a trenchant study” and Science writes that “Timefulness is a delightful and interesting read. The author’s cadence and the illustrator’s … figures made me feel as though I was having a glass of wine with a friend who was explaining geologic history while sketching on a napkin.”

Stay tuned! The finalists for the PEN Awards will be announced in January 2019.

Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World

Read a Q&A with Marcia Bjornerud about Timefulness.

An A+ for D Term: Students Offered a Rich Array of Experiences During Winter Break

From Appleton to London to Hong Kong, Lawrence faculty and students used D-Term 2018 to explore ideas, art, research skills and the wider world. D-Term, or December Term, is a two-week mini-term that offers brief, intensive enrichment courses. This year, students had the opportunity to engage with questions of sustainability and historical resilience to disasters, bring a liberal arts perspective to wellness and sharpen practical skills in design and data analysis.

Read more about this year’s D-Term classrooms, whether it’s a room in Main Hall, an urban garden in Hong Kong or the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, through insights from faculty members.

Hong Kong: Sustainability, Livability, and Urban Design

Group of Lawrence students with Hong Kong skyline in background
Students taking part in the D-Term trip to Hong Kong stand on Victoria Peak, overlooking the Hong Kong skyline.

This combined discussion-and-travel course examined sustainable, livable urban design through the lens of contemporary Hong Kong. The class, taught by Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs and Associate Professor of Government Jason Brozek and Associate Professor of Government Ameya Balsekar, spent one week on campus reading and preparing, followed by several days in Hong Kong for on-the-ground study, including meetings with local NGOs, government officials and business leaders. Below are excerpts from Jason Brozek’s daily reports on the opportunities for students during the on-the-ground study portion of the class:

Day 1: The first day of the on-the-ground portion of our class on livability, sustainability and urban design in Hong Kong focused on the city’s history, British & Chinese influences and its emergence as a global trading and financial hub. We visited Chunking Mansions to engage with “low-end globalization” (a concept and case study from one of the books we discussed during our week of prep on campus), did a mapping activity with a scan of a vintage 1930 map of Kowloon, visited the Hong Kong Museum of History and hiked at Victoria Peak. We ended the day by having dinner at the Happy Valley Jockey Club with KK Tse (’81) and Wendy Lai.

Day 2: We focused on the preservation of things like urban green space and historic buildings—the  kind of things some cities have lost as they tried to build and grow quickly. We did a slow-looking activity in Kowloon Park (inspired by Freshman Studies), then compared it to wilder green space by hiking across the Wan Chai Gap trail to the reservoir on the south side of Hong Kong Island. Connected to a different class discussion, we also visited some preserved historic sites. They included a former army barracks in Kowloon Park, the 1912 Wan Chai Post Office (now the Environmental Resource Centre) and the international award-winning Blue House.

Day 3: We kicked off with Rooftop Republic, a nonprofit that helps corporations and schools build rooftop farms. At this site, they grow on top of a shopping mall and donate the produce to local food banks.

Then we met with Rick Kroos ’66, who was the engineer for the HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong’s financial district (as well as many other projects). Rick connected us with a wide range of other speakers, including Billy Wong, deputy head of research at the HK Trade Development Council; Anneliese Smilie from Redress, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing waste in Hong Kong’s garment industry; and Bernard Chang, an architect with the firm KPF.

Day 4: We spent the morning with the staff of Department of City Planning to learn about the HK2030+ strategic vision. Overall, Hong Kong is focused on livability, sustainability and integration with the broader Pearl River Delta (Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Macau and other nearby cities in China). The students asked terrific (hard!) questions about how this plan intersects with climate change, affordable housing, green space, waste management, historic preservation and land reclamation. In the afternoon, we visited the new Kowloon terminal for the high-speed rail connection with mainland China, which is controversial in Hong Kong. Many people here see it as encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy, which is guaranteed under the Basic Law and One Country, Two Systems principle.

You can view the full gallery of photos from Hong Kong here.

Bebop Language and Innovations

Director of Jazz Studies Jose Encarnacion writing musical notations on whiteboard.
Director of Jazz Studies José Encarnación and students make musical notations.

All instruments were welcome in this course exploring how to improvise using bebop language. Among the activities, students studied solo transcriptions of musicians like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown, and applied improvisational concepts. 

 

 

With an ever and constant changing world, I make my best efforts to keep our students current with contemporary musical forms and genres.

Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies José Encarnación shares that, “the music, it is always about the music and the musicians of that time period. Their wisdom, understanding, imagination, creativity, commitment and contributions to the music inspires me to introduce it to students. With an ever and constant changing world, I make my best efforts to keep our students current with contemporary musical forms and genres,” continues Encarnación. “I like for my students to listen and understand the tradition of this important American art form called ‘jazz’ and the many transformations it took on along its history. In my teachings, I encourage my students to listen, learn and develop respect for the past so they may add their contribution, knowledge and new light embodying the richness of the past and freshness of the new.”

Introduction to R and Excel for Data Analysis

Careful data analysis has become central to decision-making in areas from politics to sports to medicine. This D-Term course introduced students to collecting, cleaning and manipulating messy, real-world data with powerful programs R and Excel.

Professor Arnold Shober stands in front of a graph in a classroom.
Arnold Shober explains how to manage and analyze data to students in his D-Term class.

For any of the natural and social sciences, quantitative data analysis is a core skill,” explains Associate Professor of Government Arnold Shober.  “It is like reading a book–but for most of us it is more like reading a book in a language we’re just learning.  And just like learning a new language, we make lots of mistakes.  The D-Term course lets my students make those mistakes in a low-stakes, focused environment.  Then, when it really counts, on their own projects, they can focus on their analyses and not the mechanics.  They can write paragraphs–not spell words.”

Happiness: Meditation and Science

Constance Kassor and students meditating at a table.
Professor Constance Kassor and students participate in a guided meditation exercise.

This course took a liberal arts approach to meditation, tackling the question “What is happiness and how is it achieved?” by engaging with ideas of Buddhist philosophy of mind and investigating the ways in which they are being studied and employed by psychologists, neuroscientists and cognitive scientists. This D-Term offering is also an extension of Lawrence’s commitment to student wellness and the whole student.

My hope is that students will come away from this course with tools to help them better deal with stress at Lawrence and beyond.

“This course stemmed from my research and teaching interests in Buddhist thought and meditation,” explains Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Constance Kassor. “Not only did we read about suffering and happiness from both Buddhist and scientific perspectives, but we also spent time engaging in the different meditative practices that we studied. Students were also required to commit to 10-30 minutes of meditation outside of class every day and report on their experiences. My hope is that students will come away from this course with tools to help them better deal with stress at Lawrence and beyond.”

Plague, War, and Fire: Disasters and the Making of London

Three students pose on top of St. Paul's Cathedra with the London skyline in the background.
Students participating in the D-Term London study course stand atop St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Between 1642 and 1666 London experienced war, plague and fire. This December, Lawrentians traveled to London to examine these catastrophes and explore how the city’s responses shaped the future of not merely London, but other cities across the globe. Students visited museums and historical sites and considered how London responded to crisis, commemorated it and confronted it again when German bombs fell during the twentieth century.

“London is such an incredibly rich landscape on which to study history,” notes Frederick, whose D-Term class grew out of an earlier course he taught at Lawrence’s London Centre in 2016. “During these two weeks we were in constant contact with the deep history of this fascinating city, from walking past walls erected by the Romans, to having a lecture from an archeologist about the 14th-century plague skeleton he had laid before us, to exploring the rooms from which Churchill defended the defense of England during the Blitz. I can teach students a great deal about history in the classroom, but there is something to being in the place where it happened that just can’t be replaced.”

(Frederick also adds a dispatch about the updated London Centre: “We got a tour of the new London Center. It’s awesome!”)

Adobe Creative Suite

Associate Professor of Art Benjamin Rinehart developed a workshop setting to introduce students to the Adobe Creative Suite programs, which include Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. “Students, staff and faculty are eager to become proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite programs,” observes Rinehart. “This course is valuable for any field of study and has many applications beyond being an artist or designer.”

Student at computer editing image in Photoshop.
A student explores Photoshop during D-Term.

From creating art to presenting data, knowledge of design principles and programs gives Lawrentians another tool to enhance their own work and offer a broad array of talents to prospective employers. The class is project-centered, allowing each student to explore the multifaceted and contemporary nature of each program. In just a couple of short weeks, students are exposed to methods in image construction, graphic design, typography and more. Students also visited the Lawrence University Office of Communications to speak with designers and see how these programs are used to advance an organization’s materials and mission.

Pulitzer Prize Winner James Forman Jr. to Explore Causes of Mass Incarceration at Lawrence Talk

James Forman Jr., author of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction for Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, will deliver a talk that explores the rise of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. The talk will be followed by a signing of his book, which is hailed as “superb and shattering” by The New York Times.

James Forman Jr. headshot
Pulitzer Prize Winner James Forman, Jr. to speak at Lawrence University.

Forman explores how the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers and seeks to understand why. His exploration began when Forman served as a public defender in Washington, D.C. After he failed to keep a 15-year-old out of a juvenile detention center, he wondered how the mayor, the judge, the prosecuting attorney, the arresting officer, even the bailiff—all of whom were black—could send so many of their own to a grim, incarcerated future.  

Forman, now a professor at Yale Law School, will explore the answers during a talk and signing at Lawrence University on Thursday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Wriston Hall Auditorium.  He will show how good intentions and pressing dangers of the last 40 years have shaped the get-tough approach in the culture at large and in black neighborhoods.

Forman’s visit is sponsored by the Erickson Fund for Public Policy, Center for Institutions and Innovation at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and Lawrence University’s Government Department and Office for Diversity and Inclusion. He is hosted by Lawrence University Associate Professor of Government Arnold Shober. “Wisconsin has some of the highest incarceration rates of African-Americans in the country, yet race, crime, and prison are one of the most complex—and heart-rending—policy issues in modern America,” Shober says.  “Forman’s talk will help us think carefully and compassionately about our way forward.”

This event is free and open to the public and no registration is required.

Lecture and Signing with Pulitzer-Winner James Forman, Jr.
Thursday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center Auditorium
Appleton, WI
Free and Open to the Public

Exceptional student research showcased in annual Harrison Symposium

Nearly 50 students will make research presentations on topics in the humanities and social sciences Saturday, May 19 during Lawrence University’s 21th annual Richard A. Harrison Symposium.

Showcasing exceptional student research, the symposium presentations begin at 9:15 a.m. in various locations throughout Main Hall. A complete schedule of all presentations can be found here. All sessions are free and open to the public.2018 Harrison Symposium Logo

The symposium features 20-minute presentations arranged by topic or field. Each series is moderated by a Lawrence faculty member and includes a 10-minute question-and-answer session following the presentations. Symposium participants present their work in the format used for professional meetings of humanities and social sciences scholars.

Among the 48 scheduled presentations are: “Julius Caesar, Last Republican Man or First Emperor?”; “Creativity and Mental Illness in Vincente Minnelli’s ‘Lust for Life’; “Jackie Kennedy: A Reflection of the 1960’s Changes in Women’s Societal Roles through Fashion”; “Do Minority Women Elicit Benevolent Sexism Differently Than White Women?”; “Understanding Zika Virus in Rural Costa Rica”; and “The Sects Talk: How Religious Differences Shape Political Conflict Between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

First conducted in 1996, the symposium honors former Lawrence Dean of the Faculty Richard Harrison, who died unexpectedly the following year. The symposium was renamed in his honor to recognize his vision of highlighting excellent student scholarship.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Public policy scholar examines tension between Trump administration, implementation of regulatory policy

A public policy expert examines the growing political tensions between the Trump administration and administrative agency expertise and special-interest group influence in the development and implementation of U.S. regulatory policy in an address at Lawrence University.

Susan Webb Yackee
Susan Yackee

Susan Yackee, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science at UW-Madison, presents “Rulemaking and Presidential Control in the Trump Era” Monday, Feb. 26 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Yackee’s scholarship focuses on U.S. public policy-making process, public management, regulation, administrative law and interest group politics. With the support of a $500,000 Regulatory Science Award, she is conducting a study on regulatory policymaking at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Widely published in public administration, public policy and political science, Yackee was recognized with a national award in 2017 for her article, “Clerks or Kings? Partisan Alignment and Delegation to the U.S. Bureaucracy.” She is an elected member of the National Academy of Public Administration.

A former legislative research assistant to U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Yackee began her academic career at the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy and joined the faculty at UW-Madison in 2007. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Education scholar discusses role of information in school choice decisions in Lawrence presentation

TMI, a popular expression for more information than one might want to know, might apply to issues related to school choice options according to recent research.

Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj
Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj

Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Services at Seton Hall University, shares the results of her study she co-authored involving New York City students who were making decisions on which high school to attend and how the results of those decisions could help guide other school districts with school choice programs around the country in a Lawrence University presentation.

Sattin-Bajaj presents “Reducing Overload to Improve School Choices: How Targeted Information Shapes Students’ High School Choice in New York City” Thursday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in Thomas Steitz Hall of Science 101. The event is free and open to the public.

The study was designed to help low-income middle-school students in New York City navigate their choice to attend one of the city’s 400-plus high schools. Some students from the 165 schools involved in the study received customized, user-friendly information as opposed to the exhaustive amounts provided by the city’s Department of Education.

It found that the students who received simplified information were more likely to choose schools with higher graduation rates and schools where they were more likely to get in, raising a cautionary tale of the importance of avoiding information overload.

Sattin-Bajaj’s research focuses on Latino immigrant-origin families’ experiences negotiating education systems with an emphasis on school choice and points of educational transition. She is the author of the 2013 book on high school choice in New York City “Unaccompanied Minors: Immigrant Youth, School Choice and the Pursuit of Equity.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

What really works? “The Why Axis” author shares insights on solutions to social, business, economic issues

How effective can incentives be in motivating people to change their behavior?

John List in a classroomJohn List, one of the country’s leading e experts on experimental economics and a pioneer in the use of field experiments, examines the things that really work in addressing major social, business and economic issues in a Lawrence University address.

Based on his book of the same name, List presents “The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life,” Tuesday, April 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Based on research conducted in factories, offices, schools and communities across the country and abroad, where real people live, work, and play, List observed people in their natural environments without their knowledge they were being observed. In his quest for better understanding of what motivates people and why, among the findings he discovered were ways to close the gap between rich and poor students, stop inner city school violence, correctly price products and services and the real reasons why people discriminate.

Book cover of "The Why Axis"Originally from Wisconsin, List is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics 
and chair of the economics department at the University of Chicago. He is a former senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and was twice named a top 50 innovator (2016, 2015) by Non-Profit Times Power & Influence.

List earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from UW-Stevens Point and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wyoming. He’s been recognized by both institutions with Distinguished Alumnus awards.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.