In Brief: BTtoP News and Notes


BTtoP Director Don Harward Presents Panel at 2017 NASPA Annual Conference in San Antonio

From March 13 to 14, Don Harward, director of the Bringing Theory to Practice project (BTtoP) and president emeritus of Bates Colleges, traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to moderate a panel, “Well-Being and Its Relevance for Underserved Students,” at the 2017 NASPA Annual Conference. With Corey Keyes of Emory University, a longtime BTtoP colleague, and Charlotte Marshall of Widener University, a co-principal investigator of Widener’s BTtoP Well-Being Research Grant, Harward facilitated a dialogue exploring the theoretical justification and institutional evidence for attention to the well-being of underserved student populations as a way of promoting their sense of belonging and dimensions of their self-realization, flourishing, and identity formation.

BTtoP Director Don Harward Delivers Lecture at Bates College in Maine

BTtoP Director Don Harward traveled to Lewiston, Maine, on March 24 to give a lecture at Bates College, where he previously served as president from 1989 to 2002. Titled “Well-Being and Higher Education: ‘And the Pursuit of Happiness,’” the talk explored, within the context of the college campus, the two major notions of well-being: the hedonic and the eudaemonic. Harward argued that while attention to hedonic well-being has become ubiquitous within modern culture—as evidenced by an increased attention to happiness or the concept of “hygge,” a Danish term for “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”—more attention must be given to understanding eudaemonic well-being. Eudaemonic well-being, which is understood as self-realization or “a life well-lived,” must be achieved by exposing students to difference, risk, and opportunities for engagement and growth if universities are to truly fulfill their greater purposes.

BTtoP National Evaluator Ashley Finley Presents in Hong Kong on Well-Being and Higher Education

Ashley Finley, BTtoP’s national evaluator and associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Dominican Experience at Dominican University, will give a public talk on “Well-Being as an Essential Outcome of Higher Education” at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on June 27 as part of the university’s Institute on General Education. The talk will focus on how well-being and personal development are inextricably linked with learning and therefore are at the center of any university mission. Particular emphasis will be given to BTtoP’s fifteen Well-Being Research Grantees who are currently examining and assessing the practices that contribute to positive well-being and personal development among underserved students. Following the presentation, Finley will also lead a workshop at the conference on the role of civic engagement in students’ intellectual and personal development and the intersection of these practices with students’ well-being.



Heidi Elmendorf Selected as Finalist for Baylor’s $250,000 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching

BTtoP colleague Heidi Elmendorf (associate professor of biology, Georgetown University) has been chosen as a finalist for Baylor University’s $250,000 2018 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. From the award’s website: “Three preeminent scholar/teachers from US universities have been selected as finalists for Baylor University’s 2018 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, the only national teaching award—with the single largest monetary reward of $250,000—presented by a college or university to an individual for exceptional teaching. The winning professor will be announced by Baylor in spring 2018.” The other finalists are Neil K. Garg, professor of chemistry, University of California–Los Angeles, and Clinton O. Longenecker, distinguished university professor of leadership, The University of Toledo. Read more here:


What We’re Reading

Teaching the Whole Student: Engaged Learning with Heart, Mind, and Spirit
Edited by David Schoem, Christine Modey, and Edward P. St. John
Foreword by Beverly Daniel Tatum
“Teaching the Whole Student is a compendium of engaged teaching approaches by faculty across disciplines. These inspiring authors offer models for instructors who care deeply about their students, respect and recognize students’ social identities and lived experiences, and are interested in creating community and environments of openness and trust to foster deep-learning, academic success, and meaning-making.”

Practice for Life: Making Decisions in College
By Lee Cuba, Nancy Jennings, Suzanne Lovett, and Joseph Swingle
“From the day they arrive on campus, college students spend four years—or sometimes more—making decisions that shape every aspect of their academic and social lives. Whether choosing a major or a roommate, some students embrace decision-making as an opportunity for growth, while others seek to minimize challenges and avoid risk. Practice for Life builds a compelling case that a liberal arts education offers students a complex, valuable process of self-creation, one that begins in college but continues far beyond graduation.”

Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice and Liberation
By Laura I. Rendón
Foreword by Mark Nepo
“The motivation for the quest that Laura Rendón shares in this book was the realization that she, along with many educators, had lost sight of the deeper, relationship-centered essence of education, and lost touch with the fine balance between educating for academics and educating for life. Her purpose is to reconnect readers with the original impulse that led them to become educators; and to help them rediscover, with her, their passion for teaching and learning in the service of others and for the well-being of our society.”

Understanding Intercultural Communication
By Stella Ting-Toomey and Leeva C. Chung
“Written in a conversational style, this book introduces students to the foundations of intercultural communication, a vibrant discipline within the field. Authors Stella Ting-Toomey and Leeva Chung take a multicontextual, inclusive approach that balances international and intercultural communication issues against US domestic diversity issues. In addition to emphasizing a value-oriented perspective on intercultural encounters, the text contains a robust ethical chapter, complete with specific guidelines that will help students become ethical intercultural communicators.”

Intersectionality in Action: A Guide for Faculty and Campus Leaders for Creating Inclusive Classrooms and Institutions
Edited by Brooke Barnett and Peter Felten
Foreword by Eboo Patel
“This book offers models for institutions to move intentionally toward intersections—of study abroad and multiculturalism, of race and gender and religion, and of other essential aspects of our educational programs and our students’ identities—to open doors to new possibilities that better prepare our students for life in a diverse world, and that allow our institutions to become more efficient and effective as we strive to not simply do things better in our own separate spheres, but to do better things by working together across difference.”