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Email: provost@georgetown.edu

 

Language and Culture

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The American Academy of Arts and Sciences just released a report addressing how language learning influences “economic growth, cultural diplomacy, the productivity of future generations, and the fulfillment of all Americans.” This report grew out of a larger effort to create a set of indicators on the health of the humanities in US society.

The report makes the case that the ability to communicate in “world languages,” in addition to English, will be critical to successful leadership in the 21st century. This is consistent with a view of “world-readiness.” However, it’s also true for effective leadership in any diverse country with multiple language groups.

The report notes that the US has lagged behind other countries in language skills, with 79% of those older than 4 years speaking only English. The goal, espoused by the report, is that all persons would be exposed to a second language and the cultures surrounding that language. The logic of this recommendation is that the 21st century will require facile interaction with cultures throughout the world. It follows that language learning has to be an embedded part of a modern educational philosophy.

The discussion notes that languages either become de-emphasized or become “hot” because of world events. The Cold War led to investments and interest in Russian and related languages; the events of September 11, 2001 led to a rise in popularity of Arabic language skills. Such temporal shocks cause uncertainty in the human resource needs in language skill development. A more orderly environment would provide guidance to students on what language skills would be most useful when paired with their career aspirations. In essence, this would be an embedding of language and cultural skills in all globally oriented higher education.

Finally, the report notes that language, culture, and the nature of disciplinary nomenclatures across countries are all part of a single whole. It argues that immersion in another culture, especially when one is exposed to work groups in one’s field, can be a life-long career benefit. The report reminds us that real global leadership requires the ability to communicate with other cultures in their own language, to understand their cultural contexts, and to competently navigate different traditions of various communities.

Georgetown is proud of the high percentage of students who study outside of the US. The report reminds us that those experiences may have greatest impact if they involve immersion in language, culture, and a professional sector relevant to the student’s future life’s activities. Integrating these experiences more fully into one’s curriculum may have benefits.

Georgetown has programs with credit-bearing requirements outside the US, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. We have living-learning communities that foster both culture and language. We have student-run affinity groups that reinforce inter-cultural dialogue. We have faculty whose scholarship (joint with students) is focused on different cultures and their languages. The report reminds us of how important these features of the Georgetown environment will be in the future.

Student-Centered

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Georgetown is sometimes labeled a “student-centered research university.” It’s useful to parse what that phrase actually means. “Research universities” are those that devote a set of their activities, roles, and structures to the expansion and increasing depth of knowledge in all fields. This usually involves graduate level educational programs, although successful research universities stimulate knowledge expansion by scholars not involved in graduate educational programs as well. Georgetown is a “tier-1 Carnegie” institution, which is a designation that reflects a third party assessment of its high volume of research activities. We aspire to even greater heights of research achievement.

More interesting in the phrase “student-centered research university” is “student-centered.” At Georgetown we seek to create research activities that are fully integrated into the students’ experience at the university. In essence, we feel research is another way for students to learn. It’s learning at the edge of fields, where understanding is weak, where deeper and deeper probing is required, going beyond what others have accomplished previously. Such inquiry (sometimes decades later) produces all the applications of knowledge that allow societies to achieve lives that are fuller, wealthier, even happier than was true in their pasts. We want students to understand the deep inquiry that leads to such innovation.

Student-centered universities must, perforce, be attuned to the needs, skills, interests, and energy of each successive wave of students entering the university. They can’t drift into being centered on student characteristics that no longer exist. Even though it is tempting to view each first year student as a blank tablet or empty vessel, ready to receive the knowledge and wisdom of the faculty, each one comes to us greatly impacted by their experiences over 18 or so years. They have been shaped by their parents and family experiences; they have been influenced by grade school and high school teachers; they have been socialized by all the features of modern society.

Our newest students have had a different set of life experiences than earlier cohorts. At this point, the newest students entering Georgetown have no personal memory of the events of September 11, 2001. Yet they have lived their entire lives with issues of terrorism as an ongoing topic. They have had access to the internet continuously. They, or at least, many of their friends have had smart phones for many years. Their high school experiences have utilized the informational resources of the internet, with textbooks integrated into online experiences, with research papers heavily dependent on internet searches. (As a side note, so powerful is the Internet search function utilization in education, that one can detect history assignments involving the civil war by peaks in Google trends every spring semester for “civil war.”) Many Georgetown students are frequent users of Kahn Academy and Lynda.com learning experiences. Many are experienced in drawing on social networks, internet-mediated, for assistance in all aspects of their lives, including education. They know they can access the internet with any specific question and get near-instant answers (albeit often with many conflicting alternatives).

With these cohorts of students, having been socialized to acquire information in very different ways than earlier cohorts, aspiring to be a “student-centered” university must also be different from what it was. It’s more difficult to be a “student-centered” research university than it is just a research university. The challenge to such a goal, as is a focus of Designing the Future(s) of Georgetown is to discover which of the traditional learning practices of the past century remain central to forming the leaders of the next century and which do not. More importantly, what is essential in the old and what can take advantage of the new information channels that are so ubiquitously available to our current students? Only the universities that achieve such adaptability over the coming years will deserve the moniker of “student-centered.”

Spring Break 2017

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It’s spring break week on the Hilltop, and the campus is quiet. The weather has been fickle, with some hints of spring followed by a harsh cold reminder that winter has not yet given up its control.

The provost’s office is filled with the kinds of meetings that are difficult to arrange during classes. These are mixes of planning for the rest of the term and assessing progress on various initiatives that are underway. With no students around there seems to be more cognitive space to take a principled, longer-term perspective on our work.

There’s a pretty full plate of work on various initiatives. The Working Group on Racial Justice was updated on progress in faculty searches for the new Department of African American Studies in the College. Things are going well. The Working Group is now digesting input from faculty discussions throughout the university that offered guidance about a new Institute on Racial Justice that Georgetown hopes to build. We’re aiming for a final report at the end of the month.

There are many other faculty searches ongoing in all the schools, with most reaching fruition. We are very excited about the quality of new talent that we are attracting to join the Georgetown community.

The search committee for the College dean completed its work, leading to the announcement that Dr. Christopher Celenza will succeed Dean Gillis when he completes his term in June. Dr. Celenza will come to us from Johns Hopkins University, where he now serves as a vice-provost for faculty affairs, a professor of classics and German and Romance Languages.

We have searches ongoing for the dean of the McDonough School of Business and the Georgetown in Qatar campus. These are progressing well, with very engaged search committees evaluating the candidates.

At the same time the undergraduate admissions office and all the graduate programs are in the final stages of evaluating candidates for their respective programs. This is a step taken with great care and deliberation. Multiple faculty members as well as staff are engaged in identifying the very best students to join the community. We need to be mindful this year, especially for graduate programs, at the possible uncertainties among international students about choosing to come to the US for their higher education. Admissions committees have reached out to assure strong candidates that, when we accept them to come to Georgetown, we will do all in our power to facilitate their coming. As a global university, we need a global mix of students to accomplish our educational goals.

As one can quickly judge, although we are nearing the end of the spring semester and another academic year, much of our work is focused on preparing for next year. The cycle of completion and renewal is constantly in play on the Hilltop, the rhythm of a university is always one of ending and beginning. It’s nice that way.

Foundational Knowledge and Applied Knowledge

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One disjuncture between universities and the rest of the world is their organization of knowledge and expertise. The world is filled with what the academy would label as “applications.” The private sector provides goods and services to consumers. The social and the government sector provides services to solve or avoid various societal problems. The knowledge and skills required to produce those products and services are often diverse. In contrast, the school and departmental organization of the academy propels ever-deeper exploration into knowledge in a homogeneous domain (e.g., history, physics, sociology). Of course, when one is inside one of these departments, it’s easy to point out the diversity of intellectual pursuits within them. So in reality, homogeneity is a matter of degree, not some sort of “off-on” status.

Outside the academy human endeavors often simultaneously use knowledge from multiple disciplines. When one combinatory pattern of disciplinary knowledge is found useful over and over again, professions emerge around the combination, which tend to be more multidisciplinary (e.g., law, business, policy studies).

The validity of the academic organization into departments has been proven itself repeatedly, even from an applied perspective. Basic knowledge discoveries or developments often have their applications decades after their birth, and many of the tools and skills we utilize tomorrow depend on the continuous extension of basic knowledge. The departments do basic knowledge well. Hence, universities continue to invest in the core disciplines.

Linking these observations to the future of higher education is important. We want to give students experiences in deep learning within a domain. That experience of pushing deeper and deeper into more and more sophisticated understanding of a field is an important step in forming their intellectual character. Easy answers rarely have staying power. Sophisticated understanding requires concerted effort.

But we’d also like to give students the growth experience that comes when one works on a problem that doesn’t nicely fit into a given domain. Such experiences can blend together students whose deep disciplinary learning comes from different domains. The students face the uncomfortable (but all too real) necessity of understanding the language, concepts, methods, and perspectives of other domains. The peer-based learning comes from shared focus on a given problem.

Through these dual experiences, a student can have both a major field of study and a problem area of application (or multiple areas of application). Some of this is happening across the university, led by faculty seeking to enhance experiential learning, sometimes in a joint teaching format with multiple fields represented. The challenge for our future is building evermore opportunities for these experiences.

Thinking “Out of the Box”

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Provosts have the pleasure of learning a lot about the methods of innovation within different sectors of society. They get to work with faculty on the cutting edges of their disciplines, inventing new ways to exploring their fields. They meet alumni active in start-ups and venture capitalism. They encounter leaders in the nonprofit sector inventing new ways of serving the common good.

To me, there are overlaps in the norms that the various groups seem to follow. Most all are looking at the current state of affairs with great skepticism. They see with unusual clarity the inadequacies of the status quo of their field. They become careful students of the traditional approach. However, they question each feature of that approach, seeking to invent a new way of proceeding. In their study, when they’re effective, they completely separate the “how” of what is done from the outcome being sought.

The result in the private sector is “disruptive” of the old way of doing things, and often results in fundamental system-level changes. Witness, for example, Uber, AirBnB, Amazon – all built on rethinking the current way of doing things. Indeed, some have equated entrepreneurism itself with disruption, asserting that disruption as a goal is a necessary prerequisite.

Disruption as a scholar, whether a humanist or a scientist, has many similar traits. While much science and much of art and humanities are incremental in their advances over the status quo, not infrequently are there large leaps that occur in ways quite similar to those in the private sector. Sometimes they are radical new interpretations of existing material, allowing us to see a moment in history or a school of thought in completely new ways. Sometimes there are mathematical proofs of conjectures that require themselves the development of new approaches. Sometimes there are discoveries of relationships of attributes that were never imagined previously.

In all sectors, it seems that the new approach is always initially viewed with skepticism. Witness the number of failed “pitches” of entrepreneurs attempting to obtain venture capital. Witness the stories about a manuscript with innovative style rejected by scores of publishers. Witness an article revealing experimental results conflicting with the current paradigm subjected to unusually harsh critique. Witness a new social welfare organization providing services in novel fashion met with opposition from traditional providers.

So scholars pursuing an innovative path, entrepreneurs starting a novel business, and scientists challenging the existing theories all need other attributes to be successful – perseverance and resilience to failure. The business entrepreneurs have fully and loudly embraced this, with their touting of the value of repeatedly experiencing failure. The scholar entrepreneurs are less vocal in espousing this trait, but will admit that their rate of success when they are seeking real breakthroughs is very, very low. Artists and scientists often have hundreds of failures for every success. They persevere because they are passionate about their search for truth, whether it be the truest way to organize words for a thought, to place paint strokes on a canvas, or to observe interactions of molecules.

For all of these groups, the hunt, the challenge is paramount. Once one hunt is completed, in failure or success, the next begins with equal fervor.

Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professors for 2017

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The life of an academic usually does not offer as many visible steps of successful career navigation as other professions. We wanted to repair such a weakness in a small way by recognizing Associate Professors who were performing at such a high level that their colleagues wanted to single them out for more visible praise. This led to the naming of Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professors.

Each year we start the process of naming Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professors by having departments and similar units nominate deserving colleagues. A team of University and Endowed Chaired Professors, designations recognizing their own academic accomplishments, judge the various nominations. They forward selections to the Provost. These titles are term-limited with a duration of five years, maximum. (When a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor is promoted to full professor status, the term would also be completed.)

This post announces the Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professors for 2017. As you can see below, their work exemplifies what makes Georgetown strong – a faculty who themselves are pushing the envelope of knowledge in their field and transmitting their passion for such work to their students.

Emanuela Del Gado is an associate professor in the Physics department and an active researcher in the Georgetown Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology. Dr. Del Gado came to Georgetown from ETH in Zurich, one of Europe’s top scientific research institutions, in the spring of 2014. In the short time since she arrived, she has published 15 peer reviewed articles, with one more in press and several currently under review. Dr. Del Gado is an active collaborator in multiple areas of research, many of them with interdisciplinary impact, and some involving teams across the globe. Her work on so-called “green concrete” has widespread practical implications for reducing energy consumption in the production of concrete. Dr. Del Gado’s research excellence extends to her mentorship of students, postdocs, and visitors. She has attracted a stellar team that has really invigorated the soft matter community here. This summer, Emanuela was invited to join the NSF ADVANCE program at Georgetown supported by an NSF grant shared with five other institutions. This program seeks to support and enhance the trajectory of newly tenured STEM women associate professors by providing a multi-layered mentoring network with the goal of helping these scholars to best take advantage of career development opportunities.

Christine Fair is an associate professor in the School of Foreign Service, with a focus on security studies. A leading expert on the Pakistani military, Fair wrote Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War, published by Oxford University Press in 2014. An extraordinarily prolific and impactful scholar, she has published 45 articles in refereed journals in the field. Professor Fair’s research combines her knowledge of language and linguistics and her regional expertise. She is by no means a conventional political scientist. In the classroom, Professor Fair has an extremely engaging style, challenging her students to excel. Indeed, it is instructive to note that her most recent scholarly book, Pakistan’s Enduring Challenges (University of Pennsylvania Press), is co-edited with former student and research assistant, Sarah Watson. She is able to translate her academic studies for a more general audience and is a frequent commentator on National Public Radio and other television and print outlets. She has testified before Congress 13 times and consults with US government agencies. Dr. Fair is part of the Georgetown NSF ADVANCE program cohort.

Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science and studies algorithms for distributed computing. This part of his work involves the development of new theories, but has important applications in the modern world of powerful but inexpensive smartphones and self-driving cars filled with multiple processors. These devices are often geographically distributed and have indirect or unreliable means for communicating with other devices. Indeed, many of Professor Newport’s contributions involve analysis of and algorithms for communication in unpredictable networks, in which communication among mobile devices is unreliable. Equally impressive as his contributions to computer science are his books on personal achievement, now five in number. His latest, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, was a Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller. Two of his other books are the meat of lessons he has passed on to Georgetown undergraduates in lectures to incoming students (How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less, and How To Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country’s Top Students).

Rebecca Ryan is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology of Georgetown College, with a focus on applied developmental psychology and social policy. Her work addresses the processes that underlie associations between the demographic circumstances of children’s lives and their well being. Her research reflects the systematic, cumulative nature of her efforts to dig down into the proximal processes – psychological, sociological, and economic – that underlie links from family structure to child and adolescent well-being. Dr. Ryan displays a level of methodological nimbleness that is unparalleled among her peers. She has broadened her repertoire from observational methods to highly sophisticated secondary data analysis to genetic modeling. Dr. Ryan is highly sought after as a mentor by both graduate and undergraduate students. Undergraduate students in Dr. Ryan’s laboratory get intensive training in sophisticated statistical and methodological approaches in developmental science, especially longitudinal analysis using large datasets. They are full participants in all phases of her ongoing studies as evidenced by their inclusion on numerous conference posters as well as co-authorship on papers. Dr. Ryan is also part of the Georgetown NSF ADVANCE program.

Daniel Shore is an associate professor in the English department. Professor Shore was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. His first book, Milton and the Art of Rhetoric, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012, and his second, Cyberformalism: The Histories of Linguistic Forms in the Digital Archive, will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017. Garnering external funding support for scholarly work in the humanities is difficult. However, between 2013 and 2016, Professor Shore has quite successfully secured external support for his research from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Foundation, the Folger Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Some of this research funding built on early research funded by Google. Much of this work is team-based research with faculty at other universities and other fields of study. One digital humanities project is developing novel network analyses to study persons connected to Francis Bacon and his work. In doing some of the digital humanities research, he is building a data resource that students and other scholars can use far in the future, thus contributing to the common good of future generations.

We congratulate them all for their accomplishments thus far and want them to know how much the Georgetown community treasures them as colleagues.

The Global University in an Age of Uncertainty

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Much work at Georgetown (and most other US universities) over the past few days has been focused on ties between the university and the larger world outside the US.

The work has, of course, first been centered on international students from the seven named countries facing new restrictions on entry to the US. Ongoing meetings have taught us that each of the affected students has a unique story and set of issues going forward. They need guidance and updated facts about implementation of new policies. We agreed that ongoing meetings would be needed to stay current with the rapidly changing regulatory environment.

Several things became clear in this meeting:

  • Many of the students face prospects of not being able to return to the US if they left during vacation time, summers, or other breaks.
  • Many of the students were enrolled in programs that had credit-bearing features that take students outside the US for learning experiences.

It became clear we have work to do.

We recently were able to establish an agreement with a local law firm to provide pro bono legal counsel to these students. The guidance was clear to the students that, under current interpretations, current students with statuses supporting their educational activities had the ability to complete their programs when remaining in the US.

Later we had a meeting with admissions’ leaders for Georgetown programs. We are in the heat of reviewing applications right now; we have large numbers of applicants from outside the US. Most seek a start to their programs in fall, 2017. These students can add to the richness of differences so important to the global orientation of Georgetown. In the meeting, we taught each other about the timing of different review processes and the need to interact with international students expeditiously to facilitate visa acquisition. We decided to do all we could to hasten our evaluation and communication processes this year, in order to get our chosen students into the visa application process as soon as possible.

We also have asked all programs to invent accommodations for international students in programs requiring experiences outside the US, so that they can complete the requirements of the program.

Finally, we decided to send a note to all of our current international applicants for next year, noting that Georgetown values them as an integral part of our academic community, and to convey that, once accepted, we will welcome them to Georgetown and do all we can possibly do to ensure their successful completion of their program.

For over 200 years, Georgetown has embraced students from around the world. They have enriched our intellectual and social community; we have learned much from them; they have pursued careers that have contributed to the common good. We will not alter this part of our mission.

Listening and Learning How to Talk to the Other

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Some time ago I wrote (here and here) about the evolving effects of media isolation, exacerbated by residential, educational, and occupational segregation. The cumulative impact of this is that all of us are surrounded by people and information that are rather homogeneous. Our most frequent interactions and our news sources tend to reinforce our prior beliefs. We’re not observing the real differences that exist in the world.

One way forward is to expose ourselves to conversations with those different from us. This can be challenging, especially when large cultural differences might be present. Indeed, it can even be scary. How do we avoid unintentionally offending the other person? How can we really learn about them without appearing to be prying into their private lives?

This challenge faces faculty, students, and staff members at Georgetown. The Provost’s Committee for Diversity wanted to tackle this problem early in the year, and their work is coming to fruition in the next few days.

Instead of merely noting that we all need to be better at inter-group communication, they’ve decided to do something about it. They’ve planned a set of dialogues across the various cultural, racial, and other groups that together form the Georgetown community.

The talented staff at the Center for New Designs and Learning (CNDLS) have completed some of the training for student volunteer facilitators. The students will coordinate discussions among their fellow students on issues of interaction across groups.

On February 16th, there will be 50 to 60 students engaged in “diversity dialogues,” seeking on their own to become more competent in interacting with different cultures.

One feature of the initiative is its embedding in the larger What’s a Hoya? program of the university. By forming small diverse groups, the dialogues will seek to actively engage students to promote understanding and increase empathy across differences, especially racial differences.

If this first effort proves useful, we’re hopeful that it could be rolled out to larger numbers of students over time.

Talking to others as a way of understanding is a never-ending obligation of a member of a diverse society. We’re hopeful, however, that the interpersonal skills necessary to be an effective listener and collocutor can be learned by all of us. If our students assemble those skills while they’re at Georgetown, perhaps they can avoid the fragmentation and balkanization of groups so evident today in the larger society. The Provost’s Committee for Diversity should be congratulated for taking the lead in helping us see the way forward.

Faculty Groups Getting Together

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In my visits around campus, a common refrain I hear is that Georgetown faculty find it difficult to get together to share common research/scholarship interests.

Of particular relevance are faculty who reside in different units (schools, departments, centers) who share interests but don’t have structured ways to interact.

We want to encourage such organic creation of scholarly interest groups. This is part of the larger effort to build an environment that supports original inquiry by our faculty.

We’ve decided to try a new program to facilitate such intellectual exchanges. The provost’s office will support new gatherings of faculty to discuss shared research interests, which might blossom into collaborative work or other ways to advance their scholarship.

We want to make the process simple:

                  1. The provost’s office will support the cost of group lunches or other meals, handle                   the logistics of room reservations, and meeting announcements.

                  2. The faculty involved will have the job of organizing the discussion and probing the                   desirability of continuing collaborative activities.

                  3. A multi-sentence (about 100 words) proposal can be sent in an email to Vice-Provost Janet                   Mann, describing the idea and what payoffs might result from the interchanges and listing the                   faculty.

                  4. The Provost’s Faculty Advisory Committee will act on the proposal within a three-day                   window.

To make sure the support is wisely distributed, the following attributes will be part of the process:

                  1. Groups of faculty not yet working together are eligible for the support; long standing                   collaborative groups or seminar series should be supported through other mechanisms.

                  2. Groups should consist of at least 5 faculty members; the faculty attending should represent                   more than one school, department or unit.

                  3. The lunch conversation sessions should be advertised for other faculty members (not part                   of the original proposal) to attend if their interests coincide with those of the group.

                  4. The provost’s office will support three group lunches/meals over time under the original                   proposal. Extension is possible if there are unusual reasons, but we expect that other support                   systems would be invented after the three lunch sequence.

                  5. After the supported sessions have been completed, the faculty involved will send a short                   summary of the outcome and future plans to Janet Mann, by way of reporting of the value of                   the support.

The program begins immediately. We hope this might, in a small way, help the environment for faculty scholarship.

Formation in the 21st Century

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A couple of years ago I wrote a post that reflected on many conversations with alumni, as well as parents and potential employers of Georgetown students. The gist of the message was their call for Georgetown to continue to produce values-centered, broadly-educated, creative, articulate graduates, but also expose them to skills that equip them well for 21st century leadership.

Since that time, through the work of many faculty and students, especially those taking advantage of the Designing the Future(s) initiative at the Red House incubator, we’ve made progress. Focus groups and design studios were held around the country with young alumni, who provided ideas about what experiences would have been helpful to them while studying at Georgetown. They assessed their courses at Georgetown with different eyes, enriched by their work-life events post-graduation. They expressed their own desires for a continuation of their Georgetown education. In a sense, they were thirsting to revisit aspects of the core liberal education curriculum, perhaps a little wiser about its value to them.

We also analyzed the lifecycle of undergraduates at Georgetown. We discovered that many were accumulating credits over their years that permitted them to graduate at the normal end of their eighth semester, but take a smaller than full course load in their last semester. In focus group discussions with them, some expressed the desire for learning that would be a useful bridge from the courses in their major and associated electives, on one hand, and their career/professional aspirations, on the other. More food for thought.

Conversations with faculty members and curricular designers followed. Gradually the idea of attempting to serve both seniors and young alumni emerged – the “Bridge Courses” were conceptualized.

The first editions of Bridge Courses are being offered this semester. They are all 1-credit courses. They are a mix of offerings – some permit the acquisition of skills valued in the 21st Century workplace; others are structured reflection on key choices that unlock lasting meaning in one’s life.

To get a sense of the latter set—known as Revisiting the Core courses—there is a course that examines how one can discern one’s authentic self, in the context of social norms that influence other outcomes. There is a course addressing how to maintain one’s identity and values in a world of rapidly changing features, where social relations are constantly impinging on traditional ways of doing things.

Regarding more concrete work-related skills, there are courses on techniques of negotiation, data visualization, story-telling, and one for those seniors trying to identify an ideal career in synthesis with their full curricular experiences at Georgetown.

An email announcement was distributed to all seniors about the courses. In a matter of hours most of the courses were filled. Several have waiting lists. So the planners may have hit upon a real need. 

In some sense this is a launch phase, but it could not have taken place without some administrative changes to permit courses spanning all schools and a lot of work by faculty and staff. This semester, most of the attention has been placed on graduating seniors. Our next step is to build out the young alumni piece, piloting a whole range of new ways to sustain Georgetown’s ongoing formational relationship with alumni five years or fewer out. We also hope that the Bridge Course platform will provide a novel new context to help 8th-semester seniors network with recent graduates. 

This semester marks very visible progress on the goal of a fuller preparation of our graduates for effective and fulfilling lives in the modern world. Kudos to all those who worked so diligently to achieve this step!

Office of the ProvostBox 571014 650 ICC37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057Phone: (202) 687.6400Fax: (202) 687.5103provost@georgetown.edu

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