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The New American Colleges and Universities is a national consortium of selective, small to mid-size independent colleges and universities dedicated to the purposeful integration of liberal education, professional studies, and civic engagement.
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New! Ohio Northern’s Multiracial Gospel Ensemble Sings from the Heart

Recent photo of groupCan a gospel ensemble create authentic gospel music if it has more white singers than black singers? That is the primary question that Adriane Thompson-Bradshaw, vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Ohio Northern University (ONU), investigated in her doctoral dissertation on American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University. For Dr. Thompson-Bradshaw, the project was personal. She started the ONU Gospel Ensemble (GE) in 1987 and, as its advisor, has watched it evolve into a biracial group over the last 27 years.

Photo of AdrianeWhen Dr. Thompson-Bradshaw first came to ONU in 1987 to work in student affairs, the campus and the town were not racially diverse. She was the only African-American woman living off-campus in Ada, Ohio, where ONU is located. There were only two other African Americans working on campus, both men over age 60 who commuted from another town. There were two campus organizations – the black student union and the black law student union – to address the unique needs of the small African American student population. Most, if not all, of these students did not join other campus groups, so when Dr. Thompson-Bradshaw formed the ONU GE, it was in part to serve as a support system for these students. Because many of the students grew up going to African American churches with gospel music, it gave them a home away from home in addition to providing a way to worship through song. Read more

New! NAC&U Selects Dr. Ira Harkavy as 2015 Ernest Boyer Award Recipient

Photo of Ira Harkavy
Ira Harkavy
2015 Award Recipient

NAC&U is pleased to present its 5th annual Ernest L. Boyer Award to Dr. Ira Harkavy, associate vice president and founding director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania. The official awards presentation will take place at the annual AAC&U Meeting, January 21-24, 2015, in Washington, DC.

To honor the legacy of Ernest Boyer, NAC&U recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to higher education and whose ideas will be celebrated for generations to come. Dr. Harkavy was selected because of his dedication to university-driven community engagement.

“I am extraordinarily honored and touched to be the recipient of this award,” said Dr. Harkavy. “Ernest Boyer was someone I knew, someone who inspired me--and he played a most important role in shaping our thinking and the work that we do at the Netter Center.” Read more

New! NAC&U to Present Posthumous Award to Bobby Fong

Photo of Bobby FongIn September 2014 the higher education community mourned the loss of Bobby Fong, then president of Ursinus College. Members of The New American Colleges & Universities were especially saddened to learn the news about Dr. Fong who was an important contributor to the consortium when he served as president of Butler University. NAC&U leaders knew Dr. Fong as an extraordinary colleague who had a steadfast commitment to liberal education, believing that higher education was more than earning a degree and rather served to prepare students to lead lives of service. To honor Dr. Fong’s legacy to NAC&U and higher education, we will offer a special posthumous award to him. His wife, Suzanne Fong, will accept the award at the AAC&U Annual Meeting on January 23 in Washington DC. Dr. James Gentile, dean of Natural and Applied Science at Hope College, will offer a tribute to Dr. Fong and his many accomplishments in higher education.

Photo of GP New! North Central College Names Abiodun Goke-Pariola Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty

North Central College has named Dr. Abiodun “GP” Goke-Pariola its next vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. Dr. Goke-Pariola will begin his new role at North Central College on July 1 after serving most recently as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He previously served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Read more

New! Drury Appoints Dr. Steven Combs as VP for Academic Affairs

Photo of StevenDrury University has appointed Dr. Steven C. Combs as its next Vice President for Academic Affairs. He begins January 26. Combs comes to Drury from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, a public comprehensive university, where he has spent the past year as founding dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. “Drury University has a tradition of excellence that I have been aware of since I was a graduate student at the University of Kansas,” Combs said. “From its exceptional faculty and staff to its committed alumni, administration and Board of Trustees, Drury has strong organizational DNA. I am delighted to stand shoulder to shoulder with this community, working together for something they love.” Read more

New! Carnegie Names Samford Fournier Alabama Professor of the Year

Photo of EricSamford University geography professor Eric J. Fournier has been named the 2014 Alabama Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Fournier was recognized for his superb teaching skills at the U.S. Professors of the Year awards ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country—those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. The program is sponsored by Carnegie and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

A Samford faculty member since 1997, Fournier served as chair of the geography department for 12 years. He was recently named director of Samford’s Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship (CTLS), a position that will allow him to continue in his teaching role. Read more

New! Nine NAC&U Members Recognized for Study Abroad Participation

Photo from Arcadia Study Abroad programThe Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Report ranked nine NAC&U members among top 40 masters institutions nationwide for study abroad participation. Arcadia University (#3), Hamline University (#6) and Belmont University (#29) were ranked among top masters institutions in Total Number of Students Participating in Study Abroad. Several more members were ranked among the top masters institutions for Undergraduate Participation in Study Abroad, including Arcadia University (#1), Stetson University (#3), Pacific Lutheran University (#14), University of Redlands (#15), University of Evansville (#16), Samford University (#22), John Carroll University (#38), and Belmont University (#40). For more information: Arcadia: For Fifth Consecutive Year, Arcadia University Ranked First in U.S. in Study Abroad | Hamline: Study Abroad Leader | Stetson: International Student Enrollment Up 65 Percent

Debugging the Gender Inequity in Computer Science

Photo of Helen HuSurveying her students, Westminster College computer science professor Dr. Helen Hu is often reminded of the gender inequity in her field. It’s not unusual for Hu to be the only woman in the room in upper level computer science courses, and she can even recall a second semester course that consisted of only male students. Yet Hu is working on several strategies to correct the gender imbalance in computer science.

For the past ten years, Hu has taught a programming course to eighth grade girls at Westminster’s AWE+SUM camp. Although the popular, three-day sleep-away camp usually draws between 60 and 80 girls each summer, Hu knows that it’s too short of a time to have a long-term effect. As a college professor with limited time, she felt that making an impact on high school teachers might be the best way to encourage more girls to pursue computer science. Read more

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List of our members:
Arcadia University
Belmont University
Drury University
Hamline University
Hampton University
John Carroll University
Manhattan College
Nazareth College
North Central College
Ohio Northern University
Pacific Lutheran University
St. Edward's University
Samford University
Stetson University
The Sage Colleges
The University of Scranton
University of Evansville
University of La Verne
University of Redlands
Valparaiso University
Wagner College
Westminster College
Widener University