Building Connections: Meet Vanderbilt’s New Associate Provost
I am deeply honored to have been named Associate Provost for strategic initiatives and partnerships, with Vanderbilt University. Over the course of my three-year term, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Office of the Provost, the deans and faculty in all schools and colleges, and other campus academic leaders, while focusing on building connections across the humanities, social sciences, and physical and life sciences in support of our strategic initiatives – and to enhance the university’s efforts and outcomes.
As some of my readers may be aware, I joined Vanderbilt in 2006, and have been the Associate Professor of English, Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning, and the Director of American Studies for the past few years. I believe that my years of service to the university, teaching experience, and my research, which centers on intercultural and intergenerational relations, will make me a great person to help lead these efforts. I have a long history with Vanderbilt – and I’m looking forward to being even more involved in the community.
This new position means I will focus on developing strategies to engage all corners of campus in strategic initiatives ranging from the launch of the Innovation Center to the creation of Trans-Institutional Programs and University Courses. I will facilitate academic partnerships that support the university’s strategic mission. I will work with the deans to assess Vanderbilt’s current partnerships with local colleges and universities and recommend new or enhanced partnerships with these and potentially other national universities. I will also serve as an Office of the Provost representative on the Land Use Planning Committee and the Graduate/Professional Student Housing Planning Committee. In addition, for the 2016-17 academic year, I will be a Chancellor’s Higher Education Fellow.
My passion for education and building community is evident though my research, history, and background. One of my projects uses community-engaged research methodologies alongside literary critical ones to analyze and advance intercultural and intergenerational relations. Another project uncovers new aspects of communities’ histories through the use of semi-structured interviews, autobiography and art production, along with archival research, and then draws on those new sources to develop and run workshops and other programs for K-12 teachers, older adults, and youth. In addition, I have an initiative focused on revealing and recognizing older adults’ life- and soul- sustaining wisdoms and productively incorporating them into K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.