1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Transylvania University announces its inaugural August term for first-year students

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania will launch an ambitious three-week academic and co-curricular program designed to introduce first-year students to what a liberal education means when it debuts August term as part of the 2012–13 school year. During August term, students will take one course, an intensive seminar titled First Engagements, which will focus on a theme selected by a faculty committee each year. This year’s theme is “Making Sense,” a nod to the new students’ efforts to make sense of their transition from high school to college. Emphasis will be on learning how to be a critical reader and thinker, core skills needed to successfully pursue a liberal education. Each section of the course, numbering about 16 students, will study common texts, which may be supplemented by material chosen by the individual professors. This year’s selections are “Come and Go Molly Snow” by Kentucky author Mary Ann Taylor-Hall and “The Professor and the Madman” by Simon Winchester. Nearly two dozen faculty members from a variety of academic areas worked over the last year to develop the course. “The First Engagements seminar is meant to be a microcosm of a liberal education,” said Kathleen Jagger, interim vice president and dean of the college. “In these three weeks, first-year students will begin to appreciate the challenge of a college level seminar, strengthen their academic skills and fortify their self-confidence in ways that leave them better prepared to begin the fall term.” According to John

Transylvania University hosts national liberal arts seminar

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Faculty representatives from 15 liberal arts colleges across the country are on campus through Sunday, July 29, for Transylvania’s “Twenty-first Century Liberal Education: A Contested Concept” seminar. The participants were selected after completing a formal application including a statement of their views of liberal education and how they would benefit from the seminar. Candidates have to be nominated by their school’s president or chief academic officer to be considered. The program, funded by Transylvania University’s Bingham Program for Excellence in Teaching, allows recipients to attend for free. Accommodations and a stipend for travel are also provided. This year’s participants include faculty from Bates, Carleton, Hampden-Sydney, Kenyon, Middlebury and Reed colleges. Transylvania political science professor Jeffrey B. Freyman is the seminar coordinator. For the first time, a Transylvania graduate is among the participants. Bridget Trogden, associate professor of chemistry and director of the First-year Integrative Foundational Program at Mercer University, is happy to be back on campus. “This is like coming home—I get to sit around a small seminar with a group of people and discuss important ideas very passionately,” said Trogden. “I want to be able to take this back to my university. We talk about liberal arts at Mercer, but I don’t get to talk to people at other institutions about what it means to them, both in a theoretical sense and a practical sense in the classroom. We’ll get to discuss different reform movements in education and

Grammy-winning saxophonist performing Aug. 4 at Transylvania

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum will perform at Transylvania University Saturday, Aug. 4 as part of the Lexus Smooth Jazz Fest. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the acclaimed event, which is presented by the African American Forum and will be held at Transylvania for the first time. The festival will be held outdoors on Old Morrison front lawn on Third Street between Broadway and Mill and will celebrate contemporary American jazz, with live music, food, and examples of Kentucky culture. Whalum won a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Song in 2011 for “Hello Fear” and is a successful solo player and collaborator, featured on hit songs including “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. His most recent album, Romance Language, debuted at number one on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. The African American Forum is a non-profit organization based in Lexington that develops programs to support the artistic, cultural and educational achievements of African Americans in order to embrace diversity and create a greater, united culture. Net proceeds from the Lexus Smooth Jazz Fest will benefit the African American Forum Endowment Fund. Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now at AAFinc.com or by calling (859) 255-2653. Group rates are available.

Newest class of Governor’s School for Arts graduates July 7; final day features public performances, graduation ceremony

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Governor’s School for the Arts 2012 summer session comes to a close Saturday, June 7 at Transylvania University, highlighted by final student performances around campus and a graduation ceremony at 5:15 p.m. in Haggin Auditorium in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center. Final performances, including those in instrumental and vocal music, musical theater, visual arts, drama, new media and architecture, will begin at various campus locations at noon. All final day events are open to GSA parents, friends and relatives as well as the public and media. Previous final day performances have attracted over 1,200 people to the campus. Refreshments will be available at various locations near Old Morrison, Transylvania’s administration building on Third Street. Final performances will be held at the Mitchell Fine Arts Center, the Little Theater, the Shearer Art Building, the Haupt Humanities Building, Old Morrison and the Cowgill Center. See a campus map here. A total of 225 high school students from 43 Kentucky counties have been on campus since June 17, immersed in a rigorous schedule of daily seminars, master classes, lectures, hands-on workshops and field trips to local arts attractions. Over 1,500 students attended auditions for the 225 positions, which are valued at $2,800 per student. GSA is free to all students selected for the program. GSA pays the entire cost per student through the General Assembly under the leadership of the governor, along with donations from individuals, corporations and private foundations. Nearly

Michelle Rawlings promoted to registrar

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Michelle Rawlings, who has served as assistant registrar at Transylvania since 2009, became registrar effective July 1, filling the vacancy left after Jim Mills’s retirement. Mills came to Transylvania in 1984 from Western Kentucky University, where he was assistant registrar. Rawlings will be a familiar face to students returning in the fall, as she’s worked closely with hundreds of students for the past three years. “Just about every student that comes in, I know their face or their name,” she said. “I like knowing that the students know they can come in anytime.” “Michelle will do great,” Mills said. “She’s very good, especially with the new online registration. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know how we would have gotten by the last few years.” Rawlings previously was registrar at Sullivan University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky and a master’s in business from Sullivan.