Distinguished Speaker Series to present national expert in liberal arts education

NEW PALTZ –The State University of New Paltz will welcome Dr. Debra Humphreys, vice president for communications and public affairs at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, as a speaker in the College’s Distinguished Speaker’s Series on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 100.

Humphreys’ lecture is part of New Paltz’s week of festivities and events in honor of the inauguration of the College’s eighth President, Dr. Donald P. Christian, on April 13, 2012.

Dr. Debra Humphreys

Humphreys will address the importance and versatility of a quality liberal arts education. She will discuss employer research documenting that the outcomes of a liberal education are essential to prepare colleges graduates for success in the 21st century. Now more than ever, a liberal education provides graduates with flexibility, insight and a wide array of skills to become future teachers, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists and citizens of the world, according to Humphreys.

With the United States in the educational doldrums on many educational achievement scores, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, the need for a highly educated citizenship is even more urgent.

Humphreys has collaborated very closely on the AAC&U’s LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) campaign at the University of Wisconsin of Eau Claire where New Paltz’s President, Dr. Donald P. Christian, was Dean of College of Arts and Sciences.

From its founding in 1915, AAC&U has focused on advancing and strengthening liberal education for all college students, regardless of their intended careers.

As well as being a torchbearer for liberal arts education, Humphreys’ energy and skills are also devoted to such broader issues as quality education, access and women’s rights and promoting diversity in college education. In addition to lecturing, formulating policy and influencing educators, administrators and policy makers, she publishes in both trade and professional venues.

Her recent publications have included “What’s Wrong with the Completion Agenda—and What We Can Do About It.” forthcoming in Liberal Education (Winter, 2012); “Liberal Education and the Policy Landscape,” co-authored with Carol Geary Schneider in Transforming Undergraduate Education, edited by Donald W. Harward and published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2011; and “College Outcomes for Work, Life, and Citizenship: Can We Really Do It All?” in Liberal Education (Winter, 2009).

Humphreys received her B.A. from Williams College and her PhD. in English language and literature from Rutgers University.

Humphreys’ talk will be followed by a showcase, highlighting the research and creative activity of New Paltz students and their faculty mentors, and will be followed by response and commentary from a panel of New Paltz faculty.

For further information, please visit www.newpaltz.edu/speakerseries, e-mail: development@newpaltz.edu or call 845-257-3972.

For further information on Presidential Inauguration, please visit www.newpaltz.edu/inauguration.