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Bingham-Young Professorships awarded to Freyman, Upchurch

Political science professor Jeff Freyman has been awarded the Bingham-Young Professorship for 2007-08 and psychology professor Meg Upchurch has the professorship for 2008-10.

Jeff FreymanFreyman’s professorship focuses on establishing the Center for Liberal Education at Transylvania, the primary emphasis of which is the running of the summer liberal arts seminars, “Twenty-first Century Liberal Education: A Contested Concept.”

The purpose of the seminars is to contribute to a national conversation on the idea of liberal arts education. The first was held on Transylvania’s campus in August 2006, and a second took place in July 2007. Seminar participants were chosen from a pool of applicants from prominent liberal arts colleges throughout the country.

Freyman will continue to run summer seminars for Transy faculty as well, and develop symposia for faculty and administrative staff during the academic year.

“We’ll read something in common and discuss,” he said. “These will be informal gatherings—a chance to talk about Transy in light of these articles.”

During his professorship, Freyman also plans to bring speakers to campus who have a reputation in the field of higher education. Eva Brann, former dean of St. John’s College, will visit in January 2008 to deliver the speech “Dangers to Liberal Education.”

Carol Geary Schneider, president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, will visit in March 2008.

Freyman hopes by the end of his Bingham-Young Professorship to have established a faculty and staff advisory committee and envisions that in the future, the Center will take on an institutional life of its own.

Meg UpchurchUpchurch’s professorship, Drugged America, will explore the influence of drugs on American culture ranging from the pharmaceutical industry and its influence on the medical profession, to international relations related to both illicit and licit drug use, and alcohol use on campus.

David E. Cartwright, author of Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World, will visit campus to discuss the history of drugs and colonization, and how drugs came to be so important in international relationships. Upchurch plans to bring other speakers to Transy as well.

It is her desire to involve the entire campus community in this project. She hopes to include presentations by faculty members from a wide range of divisions and plans to develop a May term roundtable for students to discuss drug related issues.

“I really want students to be an active part of this,” she said. “I’m hoping that it will get students to think about drug use more deeply than they do. I’d like to get the whole community thinking about how chemical we are as a society.”

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