New Mount Holyoke President Lynn Pasquerella is taking to the radio waves in collaboration with WAMC/Northeast Public Radio to promote the intellectual work taking place on college campuses across the nation through a daily feature called The Academic Minute.
Featuring professors from top institutions across the country, The Academic Minute will delve into topics both serious and lighthearted to keep listeners abreast of what's new and thought-provoking in the academy--from updates on groundbreaking scientific research, to how the board game Monopoly can help explain the economic recession.
The Academic Minute will kick off Wednesday, June 30 with a 9:45 am appearance by President Pasquerella on WAMC's morning show. Starting July 6, the segment will air weekdays at 7:37 am EST and 3:56 pm. WAMC anticipates other stations across the country will also pick up the segment.
"For Mount Holyoke, The Academic Minute represents a superb way to highlight the power of higher education by focusing on the excitement of ideas," Pasquerella said. "It's a succinct, cost-effective, and powerful model for demonstrating the value of education at a time when our nation needs more than ever to recognize the contributions of the academy in meeting current challenges."
"Some of the most productive people in the United States are college professors. Their work is interesting, often informative, and often groundbreaking," said WAMC president and CEO Alan Chartock, himself professor emeritus at the University at Albany. "The problem is that very few people know it, and only a few people read the refereed academic journals that publish their work. We thought it would be a great idea to make this information available to the larger public in an interesting way. We think The Academic Minute is that."
Mount Holyoke is working with WAMC to solicit the brief commentaries from academics across the nation. To date, the response to initial outreach has been impressive and has drawn pieces from institutions near and far, including Amherst, Williams, Columbia, Notre Dame, Vassar, and Duke. Five Mount Holyoke faculty members have contributes pieces to date: Gary Gillis, David Sanford, Becky Packard, Darby Dyar, and Chris Benfey.
The series will air regionally in the WAMC seven-state listening area blanketing eastern New York and western New England and including portions of New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. With 20 facilities and more on the way, WAMC ranks among the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation, with more than 400,000 monthly listeners.
The Academic Minute will also be distributed nationally and made available to the commercial and noncommercial stations currently carrying WAMC's other national productions. WAMC will actively promote the series through online and print advertising, telemarketing, and social networking sites.
Lynn Pasquerella, an accomplished scholar, medical ethicist, and global advocate for women's education and empowerment, was named the 18th president of Mount Holyoke College this past October. A 1980 alumna of the College, she will officially assume the presidency on July 1, 2010.
Founded in 1837, and the first of the Seven Sisters--the female equivalent of the once predominantly male Ivy League--Mount Holyoke was the model upon which many other women's colleges were patterned. Throughout its long history, the College has been known for brilliant teaching and academic excellence, and it has a longstanding record as one of the most successful producers of women in the sciences in all of U.S. higher education. In recent years, the school has radically expanded its international reach, and now features the most internationally diverse student body of any American college of its kind.