In Brief: BTtoP News and Notes


BTtoP’s Sessions at AAC&U’s Annual Meeting, January 24–27, 2018, in Washington, DC
BTtoP is thrilled to be presenting four sessions at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, January 24–27. For more information, visit the meeting web page.

BTtoP’s featured sessions will be:

1. “Whole Students, Whole Institutions, and Whole Learning,” moderated by L. Lee Knefelkamp, Senior Scholar, BTtoP and AAC&U, and Professor Emerita, Teacher’s College, Columbia University

2. “Educating for Global Civic Consciousness and Agency: The Whole World and the Whole Student,” moderated by Caryn McTighe Musil, Senior Scholar, BTtoP, and Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy, AAC&U

3. “Moving from Talk to Action: How Structured Dialogues Can Achieve ‘Greater Purposes,’” moderated by Ashley Finley, National Evaluator, BTtoP, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Dominican Experience, Dominican University of California

4. “Upholding Truth, Evidence, and Reason: An Imperative Democratic Obligation of Higher Education in a Divided Nation,” moderated by Don Harward, Director, BTtoP, and President Emeritus, Bates College.

We will also host our annual Thursday evening reception on January 25, where we enjoy catching up with old friends and welcoming new colleagues! Look for our invitation this fall. We hope to see you there!

BTtoP Welcomes New Team Members Mercedes Yanora and Caryn McTighe Musil
BTtoP is pleased to welcome Mercedes Yanora, project associate, and Caryn McTighe Musil, senior scholar, to the small but mighty BTtoP team! Mercedes comes to BTtoP with a Master’s in South Asia Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and was previously working as the US universities advisor at Wycombe Abbey School in England. Caryn McTighe Musil is a longtime friend and colleague of BTtoP and currently serves as senior scholar and director of civic learning and democracy at AAC&U. See the full BTtoP team.

Upcoming BTtoP-Sponsored Gathering: Building Faculty Capacity to Support New Majority and Underserved Students
BTtoP looks forward to cosponsoring two working group seminars of scholars and colleagues—the first will take place at Berea College this November, and the second at the University of Michigan in spring 2018. Scholars and colleagues will come together to explore how to better shape higher education for the flourishing of new majority students (including first-generation students, adult learners, and students of color), particularly in examining strategies to better prepare faculty through culturally responsive pedagogies, identity mindfulness, empathy enrichment, new curricula, and reward structures.

Project Manager Jennifer O’Brien Leaving BTtoP After Eleven Years
It is with mixed feelings that we share news that Jennifer O’Brien, our project manager who has been with BTtoP for just over eleven years, has made the happy decision of joining the Middle East Children’s Institute ( as their director of development. Jennifer joined BTtoP after earning her bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in psychology and women’s studies, and has evolved in her roles at BTtoP from an associate, to project coordinator, and finally to project manager. Jennifer went on to earn a certificate in nonprofit executive management from Georgetown University, and a master’s degree in philosophy and social policy from George Washington University, both while working full-time with BTtoP. We will miss Jennifer in the office, but she will stay close to BTtoP as a consultant through June 30, 2018, and maintain her formal connection to the S. Engelhard Center as its Executive Manager. We wish Jennifer the best!


BTtoP Director Don Harward Presents with AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella at AAC&U’s 2017 Global Engagement Conference
BTtoP Director Don Harward traveled to New Orleans to join AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella in presenting at AAC&U’s 2017 Network for Academic Renewal Conference: “Global Engagement and Social Responsibility: Higher Education’s Role in Addressing Global Crises.” Their session—“Are Higher Education’s Efforts to Advance Global Engagement and Global Citizenship UnAmerican?”—took place on October 13. It was designed to be a provocative, facilitated discussion examining how threads of current perspectives regarding globalization, and the needs and challenges of global engagement, may weave together to strengthen or diminish the civic purpose and responsibilities of higher education.

What We’re Reading

Student Development and Social Justice: Critical Learning, Radical Healing, and Community Engagement
By Tessa Hicks Peterson
“This book weaves together critical components of student development and community building for social justice to prepare students to engage effectively in community-campus partnerships for social change. The author combines diverse theoretical models such as critical pedagogy, asset-based community development, and healing justice with lessons from programs promoting indigenous knowledge, decolonization, and mindfulness. Most importantly, this book links theory to practice, offering service-learning classroom activities, course and community partnership criteria, learning outcomes, and assessment rubrics. It speaks to students, faculty, administrators, and community members who are interested in utilizing community engagement as a vehicle for the development of students and communities towards well-being and social justice.” 

Educating for an Ecological Civilization: Interdisciplinary, Experiential, and Relational Learning
Edited by Marcus Ford and Stephen Rowe
“The new form of civilization we so urgently need will require new ways of thinking and relating—ones that are more socially responsible, ecological, “mindful,” and coherent—and new ways of educating ourselves. The essays in this volume describe features of an emerging, relational vision of civilization and some of the educational practices it suggests.”