Tag Archive for Michael Roth

Roth Authors Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters

Wesleyan President Michael Roth is the author of a new book published in May 2014.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth is the author of a new book published in May 2014.

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth is the author of the book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters, published by Yale University Press in May 2014.

From Yale University University Press:

“Contentious debates over the benefits—or drawbacks—of a liberal education are as old as America itself. From Benjamin Franklin to the Internet pundits, critics of higher education have attacked its irrelevance and elitism—often calling for more vocational instruction. Thomas Jefferson, by contrast, believed that nurturing a student’s capacity for lifelong learning was useful for science and commerce while also being essential for democracy. In this provocative contribution to the disputes, Roth focuses on important moments and seminal thinkers in America’s long-running argument over vocational vs. liberal education.

Conflicting streams of thought flow through American intellectual history: W. E. B. DuBois’s humanistic principles of pedagogy for newly emancipated slaves developed in opposition to Booker T. Washington’s educational utilitarianism, for example. Jane Addams’s emphasis on the cultivation of empathy and John Dewey’s calls for education as civic engagement were rejected as impractical by those who aimed to train students for particular economic tasks. Roth explores these arguments (and more), considers the state of higher education today, and concludes with a stirring plea for the kind of education that has, since the founding of the nation, cultivated individual freedom, promulgated civic virtue, and instilled hope for the future.”

Read more about Beyond the University in this Wesleyan Connection article.

Roth to be Honored for His Commitment to Diversifying Higher Education

In recognition of Wesleyan’s commitment to equity and inclusion, A Better Chance Foundation will present President Michael Roth with its 2014 Benjamin E. Mays Award.

Named for the famed civil rights pioneer, the Mays award is presented annually to a leader in education who individually and with their institution demonstrate a clear commitment to diversifying higher education.

“I’m deeply honored to be recognized by A Better Chance,” Roth said. “The Wesleyan community has been enriched by the students who come to us through the foundation.”

The foundation’s mission is to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society. The oldest national organization of its kind, ABC annually recruits, refers and supports about 500 scholars in grades 6-12 at more than 300 member schools in 27 states. Many of these scholars go on to elite universities.

Every year, A Better Chance recognizes its top Scholars and honors leaders in the community who are committed to promoting education and diversity.

Every year, A Better Chance honors leaders in the community who are committed to promoting education and diversity.

Wesleyan has been one of A Better Chance’s strongest college partners, with more than 250 A Better Chance Alumni matriculated over the past 50 years, more than nearly any other American university.

“Our work continues toward greater diversity and a more inclusive and equitable residential college experience,” Roth said. “And I know that with the help of A Better Chance and other partner groups, we’ll get closer to our goal every year.”

Roth will accept the award in New York on June 20.

President Roth Discusses Higher-Ed Access at White House

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President Barack Obama addresses higher education leaders, including President Michael Roth, at the White House.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth joined  leaders from 100 universities and colleges and 40 nonprofit groups at the White House on Jan. 16, to discuss how to promote greater access to higher education.

The event is part of an Obama administration initiative to help more students afford and graduate from college. The institutions represented at the event have all made commitments to programs that would increase access to students from historically underserved communities.

“At the summit,  I learned that ninety percent of low-income people who get their BA will move out of poverty,” Roth said. “Access to education truly has an effect on inequality.”
He said that several discussions at the education summit revolved around college readiness, which he described as a critical piece of access.
“That means better K-12 systems,” Roth said. “But also, how can universities help with readiness? Universities should work closely with their local school districts.
“We do a lot (at Wesleyan), working with McDonough, with Green Street. Wesleyan has  lots and lots of people, faculty, students and staff, working with local schools, ” he said. “I’m wondering whether we couldn’t better coordinate our efforts to really have an impact on college readiness right in this area.”
 
To support the initiative,  Wesleyan has:
  • Committed to increasing the number of QuestBridge scholars on campus. QuestBridge recruits low-income and first-generation college students, who receive full scholarships.
  • Committed to expand efforts to retain students from under-represented groups in STEM fields. These efforts include a new summer bridge program that would increase students’ success in STEM fields.
  • *Partnered with the Posse Foundation to admit 10 military veterans each year. On Jan. 14, President Roth celebrated with the first “posse” admitted; they’ll join the Class of 2018 in September.

Read the White House document on the event, which includes sections on each participating institution, here

 

12 Students Elected Early Decision into Wesleyan’s Honor Society

Twelve students, accompanied with Wesleyan President Michael Roth, attended the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony Dec. 4.

Twelve students, accompanied by Wesleyan President Michael Roth, attended the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony Dec. 4.

Phi Beta Kappa, Wesleyan’s honor society, welcomed 12 new members during an initiation ceremony Dec. 4 in the Office of Admission. These students have been elected to early decision PBK membership, and hold a GPA of 94.89 and above.

“These new members’ accomplishments during their years at Wesleyan should be a source of pride to themselves and to their families,” said Anna Shusterman, vice president of the Connecticut Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and assistant professor of psychology.

At left, Dean Louise Brown, secretary and marshal for Phi Beta Kappa, and Wesleyan President Michael Roth, congratulated the Phi Beta Kappa inductees.

At left, Dean Louise Brown, secretary and marshal for Phi Beta Kappa, and Wesleyan President Michael Roth, congratulated the Phi Beta Kappa inductees.

To be elected, a student must first have been nominated by the department of his or her major. He or she also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations, and must have achieved a grade-point average of 93 and above.

“For students elected in the fall, it is an especially exacting selection process because admittance is based on a student’s performance at Wesleyan only through their junior year,” Shusterman said.

Also for this election, students must have completed all of their undergraduate work at Wesleyan.

The students, all from the Class of 2014, are: Amy Blum, Benjamin Jacobs, Sinéad Keogh, Carolyn Lipp , Ayala Mansky, Rebecca McClellan, Elliot Meyerson, Setareh O’Brien, Rachel Olfson, Patrick  Sarver, Ema Tanovic and Ga Eun Yoo.

Class of 2017 Dean Louise Brown, secretary and marshal for Phi Beta Kappa, and Professor of Philosophy Steven Horst, Phi Beta Kappa treasurer, presented and welcomed the new initiates. Wesleyan President Michael Roth also congratulated the new members.

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest surviving Greek letter society in America, founded in December 1776 by five students who attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The emblem contains the three Greek letters “Phi-Beta-Kappa,” which are the initials of the Greek motto, Philosophia Bio Kubernetes. This essentially means “the love of wisdom is the guide of life.”

Photos of the ceremony are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Setareh O’Brien is double majoring in psychology and neuroscience and behavior double-major. Currently, she is organizing an intervention program for students struggling with binge eating. O’Brien balances her coursework with dance, assistant teaching, and involvement in several mental health-related student groups.

New Phi Beta Kappa member Setareh O’Brien is double majoring in psychology and neuroscience and behavior. Currently, she is organizing an intervention program for students struggling with binge eating. O’Brien balances her coursework with dance, assistant teaching, and involvement in several mental health-related student groups.

Follow President Roth on Twitter

Wesleyan President Michael Roth welcomes the Wesleyan community to follow him on Twitter @mroth78.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth welcomes the Wesleyan community to follow him on Twitter @mroth78.

On any given day, President Michael Roth writes in paragraphs. Clear, complex blocks of prose that build one upon another into blog posts, essays or even, books, such this one, he’ll publish in May.

Also, on any given day, President Michael Roth tweets.

A cultural historian whose last two books numbered 336 pages and 224 pages respectively, Roth is now also expressing himself in 140 characters (or fewer) nearly every day, and has attracted a following of about 490 in the month since @mroth78 joined the Twitterverse.

“I am really enjoying Twitter, perhaps more than I thought I would,” Roth said. “I like being able to reach out on a variety of topics and give a shout-out to events on campus and some of our amazing alumni.”

Roth joins a large cadre of university and college presidents on Twitter, including Little Three colleague Biddy Martin of Amherst. While some executives and university presidents have assistants to handle their social media presence, Roth Tweets his own.

A sampling of the Roth Twitter oeuvre:

*Teaching the Searchers, thinking about longing, violence, racism and carrying around memory that tortures and inspires. #philosophy and film

*@wesleyan_u Bravo!! Great faculty-student collaboration on The Seagull. Amazing acting and staging

*After all these years, why do my thoughts turn to memories of summer camp on the first cold day of the season.

Follow President Roth on Twitter: @mroth78.

 

President Roth Speaks with Members of the Class of 2017 at Dinner

On Oct. 1, the Office of Student Affairs hosted a “First-Year Dinner with President Roth.” The event gave first-year students living in Clark Hall and Bennet Hall an opportunity to visit with President Roth, staff and their fellow residents. Students dined in the Daniel Family Commons. President Roth met with students living in the Butterfield Residences, Foss Hill, 200 Church and 156 High earlier this year.

Students also met with Dean Mike Whaley, vice president for student affairs; Dean of Students Rick Culliton, and Dean of the Class of 2017 Louise Brown.

(Photos by Hannah Norman ’16)

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Watch Live Stream of Social Good Summit Sept. 22-24

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

President Michael S. Roth will join 54 other speakers, including former Vice President Al Gore, at the Social Good Summit Sept. 22-24 at the 92nd St. Y in New York.

The speakers will address diverse topics on the theme of “How to Change the World,” seeking innovative solutions to global problems. To view and listen to a live stream of the event, go to: new.livestream.com/mashable. You may need to select the “join” link.

The summit live stream will also be available in the Usdan University Center video lounge.

The summit will form the basis of a new MOOC (massive open online course) to be offered by Wesleyan on the Coursera platform launching Jan. 20.

Each class will begin with a video segment from the summit and will be facilitated by Roth, using input from a variety of others, including Wesleyan professors. The classes will explore solutions to pressing issues ranging from global warming to urban poverty. Registration for the course is now open on the Coursera website.

Read more about the Social Good Summit in this past Wesleyan Connection article.

Wesleyan to Develop MOOC Based on Social Good Summit

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak at the Social Good Summit on Sept. 22-24.

In September, Wesleyan President Michael Roth will be a speaker at the Social Good Summit, to be held at the 92 Street Y in New York, Sept. 22-24. Fifty-five of today’s global leaders in new media, technology, nonprofits, international affairs and numerous other areas will explore “the power of innovative thinking and technology to solve our greatest challenges.” The summit will be live streamed at new.livestream.com/mashable. It will also be shown in the Usdan University Center video lounge, for those on campus.

At the conference, Roth will formally introduce a new massive open online course (MOOC) on the Coursera platform to develop and share many of the ideas raised at the Summit. The MOOC, a collaboration between Wesleyan and 92Y, will be called, “How to Change the World.” The course is expected to launch in Jan. 2014, and registration is now open on the Coursera website.

Each class will begin with a video segment from the Social Good Summit and will be facilitated by Roth, using input from a variety of others including Wesleyan professors. Classes will explore solutions to pressing issues ranging from global warming to urban poverty. More details will be announced in the future.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the 92nd Street Y in this innovative way,” Roth said. “Setting the Social Good Summit in an academic context and making discussion about provocative ideas available worldwide through Coursera is an exciting prospect!”

The Social Good Summit is sponsored by 92Y, Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ericsson. Speakers include former Vice President Al Gore; Global Health Corps. CEO and Co-Founder Barbara Bush; United Nations Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin; NASA Astronaut Ron Garan; The New York Times Editor Sarah Kramer; UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake; Mashable Chief Marketing Officer Stacy Martinet; American Renewable Energy Institute President Sally Renney; Tumblr Director of Outreach Liba Rubenstein; DJ and Artist DJ Spooky; Nobel Women’s Initiative Chair Jody Williams; and many more. A full list of speakers is available on the Social Good Summit website.

Next Round of Wesleyan Coursera Classes Starting

The course "Social Psychology," taught by Professor Scott Plous, will be offered free of charge on the Coursera platform.

The course “Social Psychology,” taught by Professor Scott Plous, will be offered free of charge on the Coursera platform.

Miss the start of MOOC-mania earlier this year? Good news—it’s not too late to check it out! Wesleyan’s next round of massive open online courses (MOOCS) is starting on Coursera in the coming weeks.

A brand new MOOC, “Social Psychology,” will be offered by Professor of Psychology Scott Plous starting Aug. 12. The course has generated enormous interest, with more than 170,000 students currently enrolled.

“The goal of the course is to explore some entertaining and intriguing psychology findings that students can use to improve their lives, relationships, and work. More than 40 organizations have contributed free readings, video clips and other items to the course, and I’m excited to share these materials with students who might not otherwise have access to them,” said Plous, adding that he has “tucked some fun surprises into the course.”

In addition, many of Wesleyan’s original MOOCs will run for a second time on Coursera this summer and fall. These include  “The Modern and the Postmodern,” (begins July 29) taught by President Michael Roth; “The Ancient Greeks,” (Sept. 2) taught by Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies; and “The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound and Color,” (Sept. 16) taught by Scott Higgins, associate professor of film studies.

"Analysis of a Complex Kind" will be taught by Professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor.

“Analysis of a Complex Kind” will be taught by Professor Petra Bonfert-Taylor, starting on Oct. 21.

Later in the fall, another new MOOC, “Analysis of a Complex Kind,” will be taught by Petra Bonfert-Taylor, professor of mathematics. This class starts on Oct. 21.

The first round of Wesleyan MOOCs saw enrollment by more than 140,000 students from 171 countries and every continent, save Antarctica, according to Sheryl Culotta, director of continuing studies and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program. The typical student was an international, college-educated woman in her 20s and 30s.

The feedback from these students has been very positive. “Many have said that they felt their Wesleyan Coursera course was equivalent to college-level classes they have taken,” Culotta said.

Wesleyan’s initial Coursera pilot project will continue throughout the coming academic year, with a few new courses launching in the fall and spring. After these courses launch, Wesleyan will make a decision regarding future courses, said Culotta, and will develop an official course proposal process similar to the process for other programs.

 

 

President Roth Makes Remarks at Commencement Ceremony

Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks during the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony May 26.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks during the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony May 26.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78 made the following remarks during the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony:

“Members of the board of trustees, members of the faculty and staff, distinguished guests, new recipients of graduate degrees and the mighty class of 2013, I am honored to present some brief remarks on the occasion of this commencement.

During your four years here, Wesleyan has been largely isolated from many of the troubles of this world. While you have been students, the United States has been engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on this Memorial Day Weekend, I begin by asking us all to take a moment to remember that these wars have cost the lives of thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians in those countries.

Economic times have been difficult as well. When you first arrived, in the fall of 2009, the global economy was reeling from the most massive disruption since the Great Depression. Unemployment in this country quickly skyrocketed and is now only slowly receding, while the distance between the very wealthy and the average American has increased enormously. 2009-2013 has been a good time to be in a bubble—even a pretty leaky bubble like our own here on campus. You have spent four years taking advantage of an education devoted to boldness, rigor, and practical idealism, and now as I speak to you for your last time as students, I’d like to underscore three ideals that I hope you will take with you and make practical in your lives going forward: non-violence; diversity; and equality.

President Roth Interviews Judith Butler in Video Feature

In this video, Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks with Judith Butler, the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, at the Center for Humanities on Feb. 13.  Their conversation ranges from Butler’s earliest philosophical influences to her pioneering book, Gender Trouble, and her current work on desire and recognition. Butler taught at Wesleyan in the 1980s.

#THISISWHY

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