By Kellye Coleman
Glenda Crawford, education professor and director of the Elon teaching fellows program, was selected to be a 2011 Wye Fellow with the Aspen Institute and traveled to Maryland for the Institute’s annual faculty seminar, July 16-22.
Crawford was one of 40 higher education faculty members chosen to attend the program, which provides educators with the opportunity to read and discuss texts from a variety of disciplines related to the theme, “Citizenship in the American and Global Polity.”
Crawford was nominated to attend by university administrators “in recognition of her many years of excellence in teaching, as well as her distinguished record as a scholar in education,” David Cooper, dean of the school of education, said. Upon nomination, Crawford completed an application that was accepted by the Institute.
During the week, she participated in discussions that focused on the works of Plato, Aristotle, Martin Luther King Jr. and Edward O. Wilson, to name a few, as well as issues related to human rights and participation in a global society.
“Participation intellectually and socially with a group of university faculty from a variety of disciplines and perspectives has given me broader understanding and greater appreciation for national and global diversity,” Crawford said of her time.
In addition to seminar discussions, attendees had the opportunity to participate in recreational activities and visit local sites and museum. For Crawford, the week’s highlight was a participant-led production of Socrates’ Antigone, which provided “a greater appreciation for timeless themes,” she said.
“The seminar is a rare and precious opportunity for professors to explore the intellectual basis for the kind of liberal arts education that Elon so highly values,” Cooper said, adding that it’s an opportunity that will be beneficial for the teaching fellows program, of which Crawford is the director. “I believe her participation in the seminar will enhance her effectiveness in this role as she continues to build a program that will attract highly capable students from all across the country and the world.”
For Crawford, the seminar provided opportunities to connect with a variety of faculty scholars and has given her a greater understanding of how her students feel when in classes that involve engaged discussion and reflection, she said.
“Although I left with more questions than when I arrived, I have a deepened knowledge of critical issues that impact me as a global citizen,” she said. “This knowledge will certainly benefit me in my teaching and work at Elon.”
This is the second year in a row that an Elon faculty member has been selected to attend the seminar. Prudence Layne, assistant professor of English and coordinator of African/African-American Studies at Elon, represented the university at the 2010 session.