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Spring 2017 | Ventures

President's Perspective

Elliot Hirshman Named Stevenson’s Sixth President

In March, after a nationwide search that began last June with more than 200 potential candidates, Stevenson named Elliot Hirshman, Ph.D., as the University’s sixth president. Hirshman succeeds Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D., Stevenson’s fourth president, who served from 2000-2016, and Claire E. Moore, who has served as Stevenson’s Interim President since December 2016.

Hirshman comes to Stevenson from San Diego State University (SDSU), where he has been president since 2011. Under his leadership, SDSU implemented an integrated budget and financial strategy; raised more than $755 million in private philanthropy for scholarships and new initiatives and programs; and established and endowed its Honors College. SDSU is recognized nationally for increasing student retention and graduation rates—rates that are equal across ethnic and racial groups. Hirshman is currently a member of the NCAA Board of Directors and former chairman of the Mountain West Conference Board.

After a unanimous recommendation from the search committee, the Board of Trustees believes that Hirshman is the right leader to continue the transformation and growth of Stevenson and to take the institution to the next level. “He is committed to ensuring that students from all backgrounds achieve excellence and go on to personal and professional success,” notes James B. Stradtner, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Hirshman says that he is honored to join Stevenson University’s dynamic community. “Stevenson’s unique integration of career preparation and the traditional liberal arts reflects the best traditions of American higher education while envisioning a future that serves our students and our communities,” he adds. “The University’s core values of community, learning, integrity, and excellence were evident in every aspect of the recruitment process. I am excited to work collaboratively with our diverse community to support these values.”

Prior to Hirshman’s appointment at SDSU, he served as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

“Elliot is one of the nation’s most impressive thought leaders in education,” said Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President of UMBC. “He has broad experience in all types of institutions, and he commands the respect of leaders throughout the United States. Most important, he cares deeply about students and understands the role that institutions play in developing their skills and preparing them for productive careers. When he was at UMBC, he showed us just how talented he is. If I had to use one word to describe him, it would be ‘amazing.’ Baltimore is fortunate to have him returning to us, and we are very happy for Stevenson.”

Hirshman is happy to be returning to the Baltimore area. “I spent a decade in Baltimore and my wife and I are excited to be coming back. It’s a great place so I really can’t wait to move back.” Hirshman has been married to his wife, Jeri, for nearly 28 years. A registered nurse, Jeri says that she enjoys participating in local and national film festivals. Their daughter, Wendy, graduated from Muhlenberg College and is now married and living in Northern Virginia. Their son, Nathan, is a student at the Duke University School of Medicine.

Previously, Hirshman was the chief research officer at George Washington University and chaired the Department of Psychology there and at the University of Colorado at Denver. He began his academic career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hirshman earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in economics and mathematics from Yale and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from UCLA.

Moore says, “We are delighted and honored to welcome Dr. Elliot Hirshman and his family to our Stevenson community. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in academic leadership, fundraising, and student life initiatives. Having worked previously at UMBC and having lived in the area, he is returning to a town he obviously loves. Dr. Hirshman has dedicated his career to promoting higher education and is committed to the success of all students, and we look forward to working with him and sharing his energy.”

Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Stevenson University remains a place whose core values are centered on respecting and welcoming every human being no matter their ethnicity, culture, race, gender, nationality, religion, or personal differences. To support these values, the University opened the new Center for Diversity and Inclusion on Feb. 7. Located in the Caves Sports and Wellness Center in what was formerly the Academic Link, the center will be used for student, faculty, and staff programming as it relates to topics of diversity and inclusion as well as club and organization meetings. In addition, the space will include a prayer and meditation room. Natalie Gillard, who joined Stevenson as the Assistant Vice President of Multicultural Experience in 2016, oversees the center.

“I want the Center for Diversity and Inclusion to serve as a platform for reflection, discussion, and insight into the lives and experiences of individuals belonging to—as articulated in our diversity statement—all backgrounds, defined by, but not limited to, ethnicity, culture, race, gender, class, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical ability, learning styles, and political perspectives,” says Gillard. “This space is for those who know they are diverse as well as those who believe they are not as it fosters what is most important: the intentional inclusion of all members of this community. This space is for the generation of new ideas and the dismantling of misconceptions.”

Charm City Classic Invitational Tournament

Mock trial teams from Stevenson University, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, North Carolina State, American University, Patrick Henry College, Haverford College, Princeton University, Seton Hall, and Washington and Lee University competed in the Charm City Classic Invitational Tournament Jan. 28-29. Co-hosted by the Stevenson’s Legal Studies department and UMBC, the two-day tournament was held in Stevenson’s Brown School of Business and Leadership, which includes the University’s state-of-the-art Francis X. Pugh Courtroom. Washington and Lee emerged as the winning squad. On Stevenson's team, Ruth George and Lindsay Somuah won outstanding witness awards, and Dorothy Hinson won an outstanding attorney award.

Officially sanctioned by the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), the tournament served as a fitting warmup for the group of teams, which will compete in a regional AMTA tournament at the University of Maryland School of Law next month. “This tournament, which brings together talented teams from across the northeast region, provides students with a wonderful opportunity to learn the importance of team camaraderie while improving their critical thinking and public speaking skills,” said Melanie Snyder, J.D., Professor of Law and Coach of the Stevenson team.

The Charm City Classic Invitational Tournament is made possible by the financial support of the Murthy Law Firm. Board of Trustees member Sheela Murthy handed out awards at the end of ceremonies.

Love's Not Time's Fool

Jim Condron
Love’s not time’s fool
2015, Oil on linen, Painting
74" x 80"
Gift of the Artist

Jim Condron, M.F.A., Adjunct Professor in Visual Communication Design, has been recognized in The Baltimore Sun and Art Daily for receiving a $30,000 grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. The foundation is named after the famous abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock and his wife, Lee Krasner, who was also a painter. Formed in 1985, the foundation was created to provide financial assistance to established artists.

“I’m extremely grateful to the foundation and legacy of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner,” says Condron, who has taught at Stevenson since 2008. “The grant provides me with needed time and space to expand on my work in every direction.”

Condron is one of many artists whose works are being featured in “SU20: Selections from the Stevenson University Permanent Art Collection,” a celebration of 20 years of art exhibitions on view through June 2 in the St. Paul Companies Pavilion. Learn more about the arts at Stevenson at facebook.com/StevensonGalleries.

Quintessential Wilde

Adjunct Professor in English Ariana Mashilker, Ph.D., wrote a chapter titled “Reclaiming the Fisherman: Soul Searching and the Subversive in Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales” in the recently published Quintessential Wilde: His Worldly Place, His Penetrating Philosophy, and His Influential Aestheticism. An Anglo-Irish literature and drama scholar, Mashilker was invited by the editor to collaborate on the commemorative text, which marked the 160th anniversary of Wilde’s birth.

“After many years writing and lecturing as a Joycean scholar, it was a new experience to publish on Oscar Wilde,” says Mashilker. “The uniqueness of this particular publication, in relation to my general research, might suggest [to students] the benefits and rewards of stepping beyond your comfort zone and trying your hand at something new and familiar. I always try to instill in my students a belief they can accomplish anything to which they set their mind—after all, the only thing holding us back is our own hesitation.”

Mashilker adds that she is honored to have her work shared among such a distinguished collection of Wildean scholars. She has been teaching at Stevenson University since 2014.

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