Chowan University explores the Benefits of Diversity
MURFREESBORO, NC – Monday, February 17, 2017, Chowan University hosted the 13th Annual Faculty Interdisciplinary Symposium themed “A Diverse World.”
The symposium unites faculty members across a unifying theme, to present related, original, and recent research to the student body. The symposium was developed in a response to a call for greater interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration among Chowan University faculty and the importance of demonstrating to Chowan students the connections among various disciplines in their education curriculum. The symposium is based on the premise that if students have an opportunity to see that their course work is inherently linked and that what they learn in one class can be transferred to another, then their education might seem purposeful. Dr. Danny Moore, Provost, shared, “Reinforcing the integration of disciplines and building on the ties that bind all disciplines of study is what makes an education valuable.”
Simultaneous presentations occurred every hour throughout the day. Each session was moderated by an Honors College student. Two professors each presented on a topic in their field related to the theme. Upon completion, 40 presentations were given, across 18 disciplines, all pertaining to the theme of diversity thus enabling students to build connects across academic fields.
At 11:00am in Vaughan Auditorium, Dr. Jessica Namakkal, Assistant Professor of the Practice, International Comparative Studies Program at Duke University delivered the Keynote Address. Dr. Namakkal earned her Bachelor of Art in history from the University of Southern California, and a Ph.D. in history from University of Minnesota. Her research interests include decolonization in the twentieth century, with a focus on the colonial, decolonial, and post-colonial relationships between England, France, and India. Her Keynote Address was titled, “Unity in Diversity? Making the Multicultural State in India and the United States.”
This type of cross disciplinary collaboration is a unique experience Chowan is able to offer its students due to its smaller size. Although Chowan University is the fastest growing university in North Carolina, and now boast nearly 1,600 students, the University has held true to its roots and its mission by providing supportive teaching and learning environments that would be hard to find at larger institutions.
The day following the Faculty Symposium, students presented their own research to peers and faculty/staff at the University during the 19th Annual Student Research Conference. While Chowan University may be small, it offers substantial academic experience, in and out of classroom learning, and opportunities that are hard to find in a larger academic environment.