Category: Academics

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 Shober 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.

 

University convocation celebrates the international contributions of Lawrence cellist Janet Anthony

The third installment of Lawrence University’s 2016-17 convocation series will celebrate the musical and educational career of Professor of Music Janet Anthony in a rare evening presentation.

A Head shot of Lawrence University cello professor Janet Anthony.
Janet Anthony

Anthony presents “Adventures in Music Making: 20 Years of Cross-Cultural Exchange in Haiti” Friday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event, free and open to the public, also will be available via a live webcast.

The program will feature performances of Haitian music, including two works composed by non-degree seeking students at Lawrence, by the Lawrence University Cello Ensemble and the Lawrence Symphony Chamber Orchestra as well as remarks by 2011 Lawrence graduate Carolyn Armstrong Desrosiers, Lawrence jazz studies program director Jose Encarnacion and Haitian journalist Fritz Valescot,

Anthony, the George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music, was chosen as the co-recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for distinguished professional work. She is the eighth faculty member so honored.

A cellist who joined the Lawrence conservatory of music faculty in 1984, Anthony has been making annual trips to Haiti since 1996 to conduct, perform and teach at music schools there.

Since making her first trip, more than 50 Lawrence students and faculty colleagues have accompanied her to teach in some of the many music programs with which she has been involved. Anthony also has assisted in bringing key Haitian music teachers and students to the United States for short-term professional development.

Following the devastating 2010 earthquake that devastated parts of the country, Anthony helped organized a benefit concert in Appleton for Haiti and collected needed supplies for the survivors, including gently used instruments. She has since performed numerous memorial concerts in Haiti, including one in 2011 on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.

Anthony is the co-founder and current president of Building Leaders Using Music Education (BLUME)-Haiti, a Fox Cities-based nonprofit organization that works with Haitian and International partners to develop and support music education for youth and young adults in Haiti.

A photo of Lawrence University cello professor Janet Anthony playing her cello.Desrosiers, an Appleton native who has made multiple trips to Haiti with Anthony, co-produced and co-directed a documentary film — “Kenbe La” — which explores the transformational power of music programs in Haiti.

An active soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, Anthony has toured with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Austrian Radio Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of the Vienna Symphony. She also has performed or taught in Argentina, China, Curacao, Japan, Venezuela and Vietnam and, as a member of the Duo Kléber, she has performed in England, France, Italy and Bosnia Herzegovina.

A frequent performer on Wisconsin Public Radio, Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She also studied at Vienna’s famed Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.

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.

 

 

 

Lawrence names Catherine Gunther Kodat new provost, dean of the faculty

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein has announced the appointment of Catherine Gunther Kodat as provost and dean of the faculty.  She also will join the Lawrence English department as a tenured professor.

A photo of Lawrence University provost and dean of the faculty and english professor Catherine Gunther Kodat.
Catherine Gunther Kodat will join the Lawrence administration as provost and dean of the faculty July 1.

A scholar of 20th-century English literature and American studies, author and former newspaper reporter, Kodat is currently the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and professor of English at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Kodat will officially join the Lawrence administration on July 1, 2017.

Kodat will succeed David Burrows, who announced in March he will return to the faculty at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Burrows joined the administration in 2005 and will remain with the university, teaching in Lawrence’s psychology department and leading efforts to enhance pedagogy.

As Lawrence’s chief academic officer, Kodat will share responsibilities for long-range financial planning, enhancing the campus’ intellectual climate, recruiting, retaining and supporting faculty, strengthening instruction and research, fostering curricular innovation and promoting campus inclusivity.

In announcing her appointment, Burstein called Kodat’s academic background, accomplishments and interests “a perfect fit” for Lawrence.

“Katie’s interest in Lawrence drew early attention from the search committee and our interactions with her only increased our desire to have her join us,” said Burstein. “From the beginning, it was clearly a difficult task to find someone who had the temperament, experience and love of the liberal arts to carry forward the very successful tenure of Dave Burrrows. I think we have found such a person in Katie.”

Kodat joined the Lewis & Clark administration from the University of the Arts, a visual and performing arts institution in Philadelphia, where she served as acting provost and dean of the school of arts and sciences.

Prior to Lewis & Clark, Kodat spent 17 years at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., where she rose from assistant to full professor, chaired the English and creative writing department and served as director of the American studies program. She was recognized with Hamilton’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008. She also has taught at Boston University, Boston College and Tufts University.

“Katie brings so much to the table: a deep appreciation and love of the arts, a strong commitment to scholarship and teaching, and tremendous warmth and humor.”
     — Tim Spurgin, chair of the search committee

She is the author of the 2015 book “Don’t Act, Just Dance: The Metapolitics of Cold War Culture” and more than two dozen published scholarly articles, book chapters and reviews.

Before beginning her academic career, Kodat was a metro reporter and dance critic for the Baltimore Sun in the 1980s.

Kodat said the job description was one of the things that first attracted her to Lawrence.

“The posting said Lawrence was looking for ‘a leader with a strong vision and a humane, personal touch,’” said Kodat. “Most of these job descriptions sound a lot like one another, but that line was unique. It caught my attention and told me something about Lawrence that certainly was consistent with my view of the world.”

“The prospect of joining an intellectual community where music plays such a central role, both academically and in the everyday life of the campus, is tremendously exciting to me,” Kodat added.

She began her undergraduate career as a piano performance major at the Peabody Institute before earning a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in English at the University of Baltimore. She earned a master’s and doctorate degree in English from Boston University.

“Katie brings so much to the table: a deep appreciation and love of the arts, a strong commitment to scholarship and teaching, and tremendous warmth and humor,” said Tim Spurgin, Bonnie Glidden Buchanan Professor of English Literature and associate professor of English, who chaired the search committee. “She has held senior leadership positions at two distinguished institutions, working on everything from budgets to curricular review and reform. All of this, combined with her early experience as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, will serve as excellent preparation for her work here.”

Kodat’s husband, Alexander, is a senior product architect and software engineer at Rocket Software. They are the parents of triplets: Axel, a 2015 graduate of Swarthmore College; Dexter, a 2015 graduate of Occidental College; and Madeleine, a senior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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.

 

International scholar David Reynolds examines WWII’s “Big Three” in history presentation

A Head shot of Cambridge University professor David Reynolds.
David Reynolds

David Reynolds, one of the world’s most acclaimed diplomatic historians, presents “Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin: The Big Three in World War Two” Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 4:30 p.m. in Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center auditorium.

A public reception with Reynolds will be held at 4 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center lobby prior to his presentation. Both events are free and open to the public.

A professor at England’s Cambridge University, Reynolds will discuss the complex and fascinating relationship between the three world leaders, who were allies against Hitler, but who could not agree about the post-war world.

The presentation is based on Reynolds’ current project in which he is  collaborating with colleagues in Moscow to publish a book on the wartime correspondence of the “Big Three” that is drawn from American, British and Russian archives.

Reynolds was the recipient of the Wolfson Prize for History in 2004, which is awarded annually in the United Kingdom in recognition of excellence in the writing of history for the general public. The following year he was named a Fellow of the British Academy.

He is the author of 11 books including 2007’s “From Munich to Pearl Harbor: Roosevelt’s America and the Origins of the Second World War,”In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War” and mostly recently “The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War for the Twentieth Century.”

Reynolds also has written 13 historical documentaries for the BBC, including the trilogy “‘World War Two” about each of the Big Three leaders.

A Head shot of Winston Churchill.
Winston Churchill
A Head shot of Franklin Roosevelt.
Franklin Roosevelt
A Head shot of Joseph Stalin.
Joseph Stalin

The presentation will be filmed by Wisconsin Public Television for future rebroadcast on its “University Place” program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.