Bringing It #84: Introducing a New Team Member & Paradigm Project Updates
In our most recent letter, we wrote to you about extending our relationship with Elon University as we continue working on The Paradigm project (an exciting new initiative from BT2P). This week, we are thrilled to introduce you to the newest member of our team and we ask you to contribute your thoughts & ideas regarding the future of higher education.
Join Us in Welcoming Our New Team Member, Paul!
As readers of Bringing It know, BT2P has just launched an important new initiative, the Paradigm Project, aimed at advancing systemic change in undergraduate education on behalf of holistic, engaged, inclusive learning. We will be bringing on several additional staff colleagues in support of the project, and we are excited to introduce you to the first one. On April 1, Paul Schadewald joined BT2P as Senior Project Manager for the Paradigm Project.
Some of you may already know Paul as a national figure in civic engagement and liberal education circles. He has been a campus leader on civic and community engagement at Macalester College for over twenty years. He represented Macalester in Project Pericles, serves as a National Field Leader for the Bonner Network, and is a member of the Advisory Board of Imagining America. Paul has also been a Principal Investigator or project leader on multi-institutional projects involving community partnerships, curriculum development, and the integration of student vocational exploration with civic engagement among students. He has a wonderfully broad range of organizational capacity, leavened by thoughtfulness, kindness, and a collaborative spirit. These gifts couldn’t be more important as we seek to advance the work of visioning, movement-building, and systemic change in the Paradigm Project.
We are delighted to welcome Paul Schadewald to Bringing Theory to Practice and grateful to have him in this next chapter of our work.
A Greeting from our Newest Team Member
I am thrilled to join Bringing Theory to Practice as the Senior Project Manager for the Paradigm Project because I believe in the transformative possibilities of higher education. My own undergraduate experiences challenged me to make connections between academic studies and social issues. Over two decades in higher education has reinforced my belief that democratic practice and commitments to equity, community wellness, and institutional citizenship must be at the center of our practices.
Even though my own work has been rooted in the field of civic engagement, my most significant experiences have often taken place at the intersection of civic engagement with other areas of education, such as vocational discernment, interreligious initiatives, and student leadership. I have found these places of intersection to be creative places where fields separated by structures and practices generated new questions about the meaning of education and how to create supportive and more equitable communities.
Bringing Theory to Practice speaks to my own vocation because BT2P asks difficult but necessary questions about the larger purposes of higher education. The Paradigm Project recognizes the significant challenges that higher education faces. It also seeks to recognize and lift up the creative and transformative initiatives that are already taking place, and to imagine more holistic and integrative educational communities.
I am excited about building relationships among leaders within and outside of higher education to create more equitable environments and amplify the voices of faculty, staff, and students. I look forward to discovering the places of intersection with your work as we discover new ways to support education that transforms lives.
We’d Love to Hear from You About Priorities & Values for the Paradigm Project
Finally, we need your help in thinking about the values and priorities that the Paradigm Project should advance. One essential strand of the project is an effort to shift the larger public conversation about the purposes and future of higher education. Right now that conversation is often focused narrowly on degree completion and job preparation for students. We agree that degrees and jobs are essential for students—but we believe that they need to be connected to other outcomes and purposes.
Over the next few months, the Paradigm Project will be developing a Statement of Values, a concise set of assertions about the values, practices, and experiences that should inform all students’ education. We want to hear from you—here and now—what kinds of statements that Statement of Values should include. Please use this Google Form to submit your ideas. Below you can see some of the ideas and interests that came up earlier this month at the Campus Conversation at Elon. We’re eager to know what you want the Paradigm Project to include.
Thank you for staying in touch, contributing to our work, and for all that you do,
David, Gianna, Kelly, & Todd