Distinguished Speaker Series to host national expert in liberal arts education as part of Inauguration festivities at SUNY New Paltz

The State University of New Paltz will welcome Dr. Debra Humphreys, an expert on liberal arts education, to the College’s Distinguished Speaker Series on Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 100. Humphreys, the vice president for communications and public affairs at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), will deliver a presentation entitled “Liberal Education and the 21st Century Global Economy.” Admission is free.

Humphreys’ lecture is one of the events that celebrates the inauguration of Dr. Donald P. Christian, the College’s eighth president, on April 13.

Presenting recent research about what employers are seeking in college graduates, Humphreys will discuss an emerging model of 21st century liberal education that is engaged, integrative, globally connected, relevant, and rigorous. She will also document what types of curricula and teaching practices work best in preparing students to be creative problem solvers in the workplace and civil society. A faculty panel discussion follows the event. A showcase highlighting the research and creative activity of New Paltz students and their faculty mentors precedes the event.

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’ new president was Dean of the 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 this mission, 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.

Founded in 2008, New Paltz’ Distinguished Speaker Series aims to connect community members, alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students and their families with accomplished authors, policy makers and leaders, scientists, media experts, business people and other luminaries. The Series hosts speakers twice every academic year.

The Series is supported by the generosity of the following sponsors: Campus Auxiliary Services; Liberty Mutual; Architect +; Central Hudson; Chronogram; Empire State Bank; Key Bank; Mohonk Mountain House; WAMC; and Wells Fargo.

For further information, please visit www.newpaltz.edu/speakerseries/ or call 845-257-3972.

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