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March 20, 2014

April 10 event celebrates intersection of liberal arts and STEM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — National business and education leaders will come together at Purdue University on April 10 for a discussion of how liberal arts and science fields are enriched and have greater capacity for meaningful change when the disciplines intersect.

"At the Intersection of Liberal Arts and STEM," which is free and open to the public, will conclude with an evening panel on that topic at 7:30 p.m. in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse. There will be two related faculty panels earlier in the afternoon.

"There are few more compelling or commented upon questions in higher education now than the relationship between the liberal arts and the STEM disciplines," said Irwin Weiser, the Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "Too often, those conversations suggest that our only option is to choose one or the other. We believe that Purdue, uniquely positioned at the intersection of liberal arts and STEM, should lead a national conversation about how these disciplines, in partnership, create more well-rounded graduates who will be our next generation of leaders."

The evening panel will be moderated by Moira Gunn, a Purdue alumna and host of National Public Radio's "Tech Nation" and director of Business of Biotechnology Programs at the University of San Francisco. The panelists are Bracken Darrell, president and chief executive officer of Logitech; Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering; Charles Jones, a Purdue alumnus and chief design & research & development officer, Newell Rubbermaid; and Jacqueline Jones Royster, Ivan Allen Jr. Dean in Liberal Arts and Technology at Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Institute of Technology.

The panel will discuss opportunities for better interaction and collaboration between the liberal arts and STEM and will consider the benefits for students from an understanding of both perspectives, Weiser said.

The other April 10 events include:

* 1:30-2:20 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 306. "Best College Major." This is a discussion of the timeless, essential and relevant value of study in liberal arts. Moderated by Patrick Kain, an associate professor of philosophy, this segment features Rayvon Fouché, director of American Studies and associate professor of history; William Gray, associate professor of history; Wei Hong, professor of Chinese from the School of Languages and Cultures; Robyn Malo, assistant professor of English, and Dan Olson, associate professor of sociology.

* 2:30-3:20 p.m. Stewart Center, Room 302. "Purdue @ The Intersection." This panel will discuss interdisciplinary teaching and research in the liberal arts. Moderated by James A. McCann, professor of political science, this discussion features Daniel Aldrich, associate professor of political science; H. Kory Cooper, assistant professor of anthropology and materials engineering; Felicia Roberts, director of linguistics and associate professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication; Tina Rulli, assistant professor of philosophy; and Rick Thomas, professor in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Additional information on all the panelists is available at http://www.cla.purdue.edu/intersection/ 

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources: Lori Sparger, director of advancement, 765-494-9314, lsparger@purdue.edu

Chris Sharp, director of alumni relations and special events, 765-494-7884, ctsharp@purdue.edu

Irwin Weiser, 765-494-3661, iweiser@purdue.edu