Four from Fisher to Participate in Diversity and Civility Institute

March 25, 2019

Four members of the St. John Fisher College community will participate in the Council of Independent College’s 2019 Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute. Fisher joins a list of 25 colleges and universities from across the country in participating in the Institute.

the Council of Independent College’s 2019 Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute logo

Dr. Matha Thornton, vice president for student affairs; Dr. Ann Marie Fallon, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences; Dr. David Bell, assistant professor of anthropology; and Dr. Barbara Lowe, associate professor of philosophy, will travel to Atlanta, Georgia in June for the four-day Institute.

According to its website, CIC’s Institute addresses “major issues that drive unrest on today’s campus, including protests directed at public policy, social inequity, bias, and identity” … and “offers a very different approach: deepening students’ cognitive understanding of the issues by engaging with the best work of scholars in the humanities and social sciences.”

“Aligned with our mission, vision, and strategic plan, the goal of the College’s participation in the Institute is to bring lessons learned back to campus and integrate them into curricular and co­curricular practices across campus,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of the College. “We hope the Institute will offer insight into deepening our students’ understanding of issues in the world around us and how to engage in meaningful conversation about those issues.”

Distinguished scholars will present at the Institute, exploring trends that are reshaping campuses today; scholarship that frame discussions around controversial topics; and assist participants in the development of plans that can strengthen diversity and civility at their home institutions. CIC presenters will offer guidance in refining those plans to be actionable and measurable.

Following the Institute, Thornton, Fallon, Bell, and Lowe plan to share their learnings through a Summer Learning Circle, trainings, lectures, and other opportunities.

“I’m pleased to have this opportunity with my colleagues to learn from some of the nation’s leading scholars of history, literature, social change, and political philosophy about how their work relates to diversity and civility,” said Thornton, who will take the lead on implementing the preliminary plan while working with Fallon to bridge classroom and co-curricular activities on campus. “This Institute will be invaluable, and a close partnership between academic and student affairs is critical when doing this important work.”