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At Fall Conference on Friday--several welcomes, celebrations, and some news

August 25, 2013 at 8:47 pm

The annual Fall Conference is a time each fall to welcome new faculty (photo), celebrate the successes of the last academic year, and prepare for the fall and spring semesters ahead. This year was no exception as faculty assembled in a newly refurbished Richardson Auditorium for three-and-a-half hours focused on “Experimentation: Time, Technology, and Collaboration.”

Highlights from the meeting:

It was announced that Whistling Vivaldi author Claude Steele, who is also dean of the graduate school of education at Stanford University, will be on campus to meet with faculty, students, and staff. A national expert on stereotype threat, Steele will deliver a public lecture on the topic on Monday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Eaton Chapel (click here to put it on your calendar).

Provost and Dean of the College Ann Davies also announced Friday that Charles Westerberg has been named Brannon-Ballard Professor and Chair of Sociology.

In his remarks, President Scott Bierman introduced Laurie Stickelmeier, the new vice president for finance and planning at the college; announced that the development office had raised a record $3 million for Beloiters through the Beloiter Fund (annual fund) last year; and talked about Beloit College’s “DNA,” which included a close examination of “The Beloit Plan.” The Plan was an innovative, flexible and - delete year-round program introduced in the early 1960s. It lives on, Bierman said, in the Liberal Arts in Practice (and our faculty) today. In a slide he returned to several times, he mapped this DNA thusly:

Beloit is:

  • mission-focused
  • student-centered
  • entrepreneurial
  • bold
  • experimental
  • intelligent
  • humble


Olga Ogurtsova announced that 60 Porter Scholars would be enrolling for the fall. Porter Scholars are top local high school seniors admitted to take one free class each semester.

But the meat of the day’s presentations were reserved for case studies in experimentation. Pablo Toral, George Lisensky, and Sonja Darlington and Cecil Youngblood presented on “Collaborative Partnerships”; Shawn Gillen and Gina T’ai discussed ways in which they’ve used and discussed technology and technological change in their courses and projects; and Joy Beckman, Lisl Walsh, Matt Tedesco, Chris Johnson, and John Kaufmann talked about  experimentation in the category of “Time.” (Kaufmann even used the occasion to encourage texting during his presentation.)


In her presentation, Beckman also announced the opening of the exhibit, Soul’s Compass,” the culminating exhibition prepared by students last week in the intensive, one-week MUST 290 course. It will be on display in the Wright Museum through Nov. 10.


Dean Davies closed the session by repeating her 12-13 goals and renewing them for the year ahead. Those goals included focusing time and energy on “bringing the curriculum alive,” as well as on “social identity and intercultural engagement.”