As college students, we are all trying to figure out the big question of what we want to do with the rest of our lives.
Kedron Bardwell, professor of political science, took his passion for his part-time college job as a three-time destination leader at Augustana College and turned it into a career as a professor and now the Director of the Simpson Colloquium Program.
“Being a destination leader led me down the path to becoming a teacher, and was ultimately part of the reason I applied to be the new Director of the Simpson Colloquium Program,” Bardwell said.
Bardwell will begin his three-year term as Director of the Simpson Colloquium Program and Co-Director of the First Year Experience Program on June 1, 2012, replacing Professor of History Nick Proctor.
“I look forward to working with Professor Bardwell,” said Steve Griffith, senior vice president and academic dean. “His experience working with faculty on our advising program will serve him well as he takes on this new assignment.”
As director, Bardwell will be training faculty in the spring as they prepare to teach a Simpson Colloquium course in the fall.
“I work mainly on the course side, helping faculty go from a proposed idea to an actual course,” Bardwell said.
He will also be working with faculty to insure the classes meet the embedded skills requirements of written communications and critical thinking.
From December through March when the faculty is being trained, this position requires as many as 12 hours a week.
Proctor is stepping down from his position as director because he has sabbatical in spring 2013 and most of the time associated with this position takes place during the spring.
While serving as director, Proctor was behind the transition from Liberal Arts Seminar (LAS) to Simpson Colloquium.
All freshmen are required to take a Simpson Colloquium course, the goal being to integrate new students into the Engaged Citizenship Curriculum (ECC) and to provide students with a solid foundation for future academic work.
“LAS had become overburdened with a variety of mismatched objectives,” Proctor said. “LAS instructors had to fulfill the needs of the first year program while also meeting the needs of a catalog course. The two were often difficult to web. Simpson Colloquium is much cleaner.”
Proctor also believes the change was a positive one because it “gave faculty an opportunity to teach things they would not have ordinarily”, and with the new ECC, Simpson Colloquium is a good instrument to deliver required skills to freshman.
Bardwell taught a Simpson Colloquium class called ‘Fear and Happiness’ this past fall.
“I enjoyed teaching in the Simpson Colloquium format because it brings together students from many different disciplines,” Bardwell said. “Each student brings a unique perspective to the class. This is what a liberal arts college is all about.”
Along with the Embedded Skills students learn through a Simpson Colloquium class, Bardwell pointed out these courses also “ease the transition” and “are a wakeup call to what college classes are really like.”
“My Simpson Colloquium class really taught me how to balance many different tasks at once,” freshman Jessica Routier said. “It was very fast-paced and always kept me busy.”