We in the International and Transcultural Studies Department are proud to welcome our 2020 cohort. The incoming class includes 9 Anthropology majors and 86 International and Comparative Education majors, 7 PhD students, 3 EdD students, 80 MA students, and 5 EdM students.
Our 58 international students hail from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Haiti, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
It is an American cliche that things keep changing and that we must all be ready to adapt to the new conditions we face. This is especially true in 2020.
For the past months, all of us have had to face conditions we had never experienced. We have been uncertain about what to do next. And we will have to do this again for many months to come, particularly in our academic lives, as all of us – faculty as well as new and continuing students – improvise forms of teaching and learning that we have never experienced.
You will soon find out that responses and strategies that used to work in your earlier academic experiences may not work now. We, the faculty, are in the same boat. Our usual responses and strategies will have to be modified as we are forced to rethink practices, in how we advise and are advised, in how we teach and are taught, in how we conduct research. This condition presents an opportunity to remake aspects of our world that may not be worth restoring when our challenging present fades into our history.
All of us, I know, will rise to the challenge and make this a memorable year. We will speak of this year for many more years to come. We will learn, we will transform ourselves. In a word, we will educate ourselves and each other in exciting ways – even if these are not the ways we imagined in the first weeks of 2020 when we planned for our future this Fall.
As we say at such times:
Hervé Varenne, Ph.D.
Professor of Education
Department Chair, International & Transcultural Studies
Director, Programs in Anthropology