Forbes interviews 'American Utopia' choreographer Annie-B Parson '80
The program, a collaboration between faculty, the Academic Resource Center, the Hale Center for Career Development, and the Office of Alumni Engagement, is a prime example of how Connections distinctly integrates career preparation into the academic experience. With Career Informed Learning, students can take the content they are learning in the classroom, apply it to the problem posed by the career expert and immediately see that what they are learning in the classroom is highly applicable to what they are going to be doing once they graduate.
“The students benefit from a sustained interaction with a career expert, who is someone at the top of her/his field,” said Noel Garrett, dean of academic support and director of the College’s Academic Resource Center. “This behind-the-scenes examination of how a business works, or how professionals solve real-world challenges, is unique to Connecticut College.”
After a successful pilot last spring, Career Informed Learning was expanded in the fall semester to 15 courses across many disciplines, including anthropology, government, biology, East Asian studies, mathematics, statistics, art history, music, economics, psychology and education.
In Biology Professor Anne Bernhard’s marine ecology class, students worked with Mark Kirk P’18, a professor of biological sciences who has served as a National Science Foundation program director, to write their own National Science Foundation grant proposals. In Professor of Sociology Ron Flores’s “Race and Ethnicity in U.S. Baseball” course, students visited the Baseball Hall of Fame and met with Hall President Jeff Idelson ’86 to explore how a player’s race and place of birth affects the value of memorabilia.
And in Professor Judelysse Gomez’s clinical/community psychology seminar, Maria Gallagher ’95, a practicing bilingual licensed clinical social worker and adjunct professor of social work and child advocacy at Montclair State University, helped students find ways to provide culturally sensitive psychological care in their internships throughout the region.
日本一本道a不卡免费“Ms. Gallagher brought a perspective to the class that made us consider different aspects of the material we were learning about,” Laura Henderson ’18 said. “I found it fascinating to learn about different techniques in class, like active listening or awareness of nonverbal and verbal cues, and then have the chance to use that knowledge to inform how I interacted at my [practicum] placement.”
At the heart of this initiative is a unique collaboration that combines the Academic Resource Center’s focus on developing powerful learning skills with the applied learning opportunities offered by alumni identified through the College’s Hale Center for Career Development. The office, which was recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the top 20 programs in North America, coordinates the logistics of putting students in touch with alumni and parents who are industry leaders.
“Career Informed Learning enables all students at the College to have the opportunity to work within teams to strengthen their career-related skills and see the impact of their work, which makes them more competitive in the marketplace for internships and full-time jobs,” said Persephone L. Hall, the Hale Family Director of the Hale Center for Career Development.
On a recent Thursday afternoon, sophomores in Professor MaryAnne Borrelli’s “U.S. Government and Politics” course hosted guests from one of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies: Trustee Emerita Sally Susman ’84, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Pfizer, and her colleagues, Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Operations for Corporate Affairs Anneka Norgren, and Director of Pfizer Political Action Committee Matt Meehan. The students interviewed Susman, Norgren and Meehan before breaking into small groups for less-formal conversations about lobbying, corporate ethics, political action committees, corporate organization, and gender in business and politics.
Dexter Willett ’20, who is interested in the ethics of corporate interactions with the government, said he was able to ask specific questions relevant to his research.
“I gained insight into how Pfizer’s PAC operates, how they make decisions with their money, and how the company feels about and is working to solve the opioid crisis,” he said. “You simply can’t get that kind of personal insight from reading articles and reports.”
Ashley Camacho ’20 said she relished the opportunity to talk one-on-one with someone so well established in her field.
“Ms. Susman’s interview enhanced my understanding of how the corporate world works, and what steps need to be taken in order for actual change to occur in communities that corporations work with closely.”
Susman said the discussion with students was energizing and gratifying.
日本一本道a不卡免费“It’s a real treat for us to get out of our offices and be able to come here and meet students. I graduated in 1984, and we never had a class like this,” she said. “Weaving practical application into theoretical courses is an excellent way for students to gain an understanding of a subject. I think it’s fantastic.”
Cheryl Banker, senior associate director of the Hale Center for Career Development, said Susman’s enthusiasm has been echoed by other alumni serving as career experts for Career Informed Learning courses.
日本一本道a不卡免费“The feedback has been wonderful. Alumni love the interaction with the students. They love to give back, and this program allows them to do so in a special way.”
日本一本道a不卡免费Jefferson Singer, dean of the college and Faulk Foundation Professor of Psychology, said faculty are offering 10 Career Informed Learning courses this semester. The program has already received support with a gift from a member of the Class of 1980, and he anticipates seeing the program continue to grow.
日本一本道a不卡免费“Career Informed Learning teaches students to innovate and to come up with solutions to real problems. They are learning to be flexible problem-solvers, as well as to present and communicate more effectively,” Singer said.
The Career Informed Learning experience is important because it better prepares students for the workplace, and gives students the skills employers are looking for, he added.
“It’s helping students develop a quality of mind that is needed for today’s society. Students have to be more nimble than ever before. This is what employers are asking of employees in the workplace, and it’s what our contemporary liberal arts experience delivers.”