Scholars at Work
CARS, the Center for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship, held its 18th annual, two-day program showcasing and celebrating faculty and librarian research, creative endeavors and other modes of scholarship.
“Scholars without Borders” was the theme of the 2014 program, and more than 100 faculty, along with librarians and administrators, participated as lecturers, panel members or moderators for the 50-plus sessions, which were held in the Moakley Center and Hart Hall.
"At Bridgewater we are truly most fortunate to have had this level of support which has positioned us at the forefront of faculty development among our sister institutions,” said Dr. Pamela Russell, CARS coordinator and professor in the Department of Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies, in her welcoming remarks. “We have senior administrators at Bridgewater who not only value professional development but actively support it.”
Through the CARS program, she noted, over the past three years the university has funded 40 faculty and librarian research grants, nearly 50 summer grants, 30 small grants, and more than 400 travel grants.
President Dana Mohler-Faria, who was introduced by Dr. Russell as the “leader to whom we owe so much of the success of CARS,” referred in his remarks to the origins of CARS 23 years ago.
“Creating the optimum environment for teaching and learning is the main focus of CARS,” he said. “As I reflect back to my first year at Bridgewater, in 1991, I remember sitting around the cabinet table with then-President Adrian Tinsley and listening as John Bardo, then the vice president for academic affairs, made a passionate argument about the need to foster faculty development.”
From that meeting sprang the idea for what was originally called the Center for the Advancement of Research and Teaching.
The president also noted the coming retirement of Dr. Howard London, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
“This is a man who has stood up so often for faculty, for students, and has been absolutely unwavering in his support of excellence throughout his 34-year career at Bridgewater,” Dr. Mohler-Faria said.
Dr. London also addressed the opening session and spoke of his pride in being affiliated with program.
"This will be my last opportunity to address so many of you, my colleagues, and as I look back across the decades, I’m grateful for so many special and precious moments with you,” he said.
In his remarks Dr. London traced his family’s history, starting with the pogroms in 19th century Eastern Europe, and his own development as a result of that heritage. He spoke of his early interest in the field of sociology as a means of understanding human development.
"It’s no accident that most of my published work is on the journey of determined, non-traditional students whose class identity is in transition, nor is it an accident that my scholarly work also focuses on those distinctive two-and-four-year institutions that enable a great surge of human striving by people of many different races and backgrounds and ages. And it’s certainly no accident that I came to work at a university such as this one,” he said.
Dr. London concluded his remarks by saying, “I hope that on occasion I have spoken to your hearts as well as your minds. On manifold occasions, you have so spoken to me, and to your colleagues, and your students, and I thank you for that. As dean and provost, most of my time has been spent with you. Most of my joy, my angst, my hopes, my deepest satisfactions had to do with you, our faculty, our staff and my fellow administrators. This place is nothing without your abiding dedication and it is everything with it, so whatever path it’s been that brought to you to Bridgewater, it’s been the honor of a lifetime to work with you.” (Story and photos by David K. Wilson, ’71, University News)