Dear Arts and Science community,
I recently returned from a trip to London to visit some A&S alumni. This was my first overseas trip as dean. It was a busy but rewarding trip, and was further evidence for me that our graduates are making a global impact.
Notably, I attended the 50th anniversary celebration of the Wattles Fellowship, established by alumnus Walter Wattles (BA’36) for Vanderbilt women to work at Lloyd’s of London for a year after graduation. The program was groundbreaking when it was launched in 1969, empowering women with a career opportunity they would not have had otherwise. It continues to offer Vanderbilt alumnae valuable global experience, perspective, and exposure to international business. Over the years, 129 women have participated in the fellowship—and nearly half of them showed up for the reunion, traveling from far and wide to attend the celebration. This fellowship clearly had a huge impact on their lives. The success of this program underscores the importance of inclusion, and why the Vanderbilt experience is so unique and valuable.
I also connected with a number of A&S alumni who have made a home in London. Each of these meetings was a great learning experience for me, and a lot of fun. I met alumni who were pursuing a range of careers—from finance to law to opening a chain of wine bars (definitely check out Vagabond Wine if you’re in London!). It was proof of what I already know and believe: a strong liberal arts education at Vanderbilt prepares graduates to succeed in a wide range of careers, anywhere in the world.
As Vanderbilt’s visibility and rankings continue to rise, our faculty, students, and alumni have an opportunity to expand our impact across the world. The university is committed to advancing our international footprint. To do so, we must continue offering opportunities for students to study abroad. As Immersion Vanderbilt takes root, we will provide additional overseas experiences for our students, regardless of their financial circumstances. Our faculty must also continue to advance our international presence through their exceptional research, teaching, and service. We are on a path to strengthen our global impact, and must continue it.
I cannot thank enough those who proudly represent Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science around the world. I will continue to look for ways to enhance our international reach and look forward to working with you all to make that happen.
John G. Geer
Dean of the College of Arts and Science
Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science
Even if animals have ulterior motives for teaming up, they teach humans a lot about love, says associate professor of biological sciences Patrick Abbot.
Antonis Rokas, the Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Biological Sciences, was honored by being elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
Alumnus and author Eric Etheridge (BA '79), along with Freedom Rider Rip Patton, Jr., visited campus to discuss lessons from the 1961 Freedom Rides and their relevance to today’s racial justice protests.
Earth and Environmental Sciences major Andrew Grant is uniquely blending his passions for the environment, humankind, and theater through camping in a remote part of Antarctica for a month doing field research, and directing and performing in a musical revue about the environment.
In the News
The Christian Post: Challenged by racism in white churches, black churches endure but with competition (Dennis Dickerson, Reverend James M. Lawson Professor of History, quoted)
The Christian Science Monitor: Can old-fashioned journalism combat fake news? (Lisa Fazio, assistant professor of psychology, quoted)
Forbes: Who supports the PSUV in Venezuela? Just about no one. (Noam Lupu, associate professor of political science and associate director of the Latin American Public Opinion Project, quoted)
The Washington Post: How the record number of female lawmakers will—and won’t—change Congress (Alan Wiseman, professor of political science, co-authored)
The Tennessean (opinion): Bill Lee follows in Republican footsteps for criminal justice reform in Tennessee (Carrie Archie Russell, senior lecturer in political science, quoted)
Nashville Scene: Looking at the women’s march two years in (Katherine Crawford, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of History, quoted)
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