Clashes Over Citizenship Webinar #3

Clashes Over Citizenship Webinar Series

Clashes Over Citizenship: Webinar Series on Promoting Learning, Listening, and Engagement



I Want My Country Back: Immigration, Race, and Citizenship

November 3, 2016

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time

In the midst of sometimes-dramatic demographic and cultural shifts, how have the humanities served to illuminate felt experiences, historical contexts, and ethical issues as the rich mosaic of people in the United States fluctuates? What approaches, courses, and public events lead to shared ends rather than perpetual conflict or feelings of displacement?

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tigheCaryn McTighe Musil is Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), where she had served as Senior Vice President of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives for fourteen years.  A director of over twenty national projects, she also wrote A Crucible Moment: Civic Learning and Democracy’s Future (2012), which represents the collective wisdom of a broad constituency and seeks to move civic learning from niches to norms.  Her project publication,Rethinking Preparation for Work: A Civic-Enriched Liberal Education(2015), argues that enhancing students’ commitment to the common good should be a prerequisite for preparing for work.  In Civic Prompts: Making Civic Learning Routine Across the Disciplines, she suggests how departments can integrate civic inquiries, issues, pedagogies, and assignments to teach their subject matter more effectively. She currently directs a National Endowment for the Humanities Project, Citizenship Under Siege, with seven community colleges to bring the power of the humanities into the public square in the face of contentious issues.  Before national level positions, Dr. Musil was a faculty member for sixteen years. She received her B.A. from Duke University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University.

robinsonVerdis LeVar Robinson is the new interim National Manager of The Democracy Commitment (TDC) after having served as a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, New York, for ten years. In addition to serving as MCC’s TDC Campus Coordinator since the beginning of the initiative, he has served on TDC National Steering Committee and on the Advisory Council for its Economic Inequality Initiative. Professionally, Verdis is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity, and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Faculty Seminar on Rethinking Black Freedom Studies: The Jim Crow North and West.  He is also a Public Scholar of the New York Council for the Humanities.  Additionally, Verdis is the founder of the Rochester Neighborhood Oral History Project that created a walking tour of the community most impacted by the 1964 Race Riots, which has engaged over 300 members of Rochester community in walking, discussing, and learning about the legacy of Jim Crow Rochester.  He holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from Boston University, a B.S. and an M.A. in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an M.A. in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo.

Presenters (in order of appearance):


kalivas-from-web-modifiedDavid M. Kalivas is Professor of History and Director of the Commonwealth Honors Program at Middlesex Community College. Dr. Kalivas has been a member of the faculty since 1981 and has been an active leader on many issues from global and multicultural education to developing the honors experience at the college. In addition to programmatic duties, he continues to teach and do research on world history. David has lectured on a variety of topics including: “Immigration in Lowell,” “How to teach World History,” and “Intersections of Culture on the Silk Road.” Venues for his lectures have included Harvard University, the University of Maryland’s Humanities Series, Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum, the Stockholm School of Economics Riga Campus as well as other local institutions. He is an editor of H-World and is active in the World History Association and serves as President of the New England Regional World History Association. He has a Ph.D., Northeastern University, M.A., University of Connecticut, and B.A., Suffolk University.



nasserHelen-Margaret Nasser is the Associate Director of the Honors Program at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y. Nasser holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill University (Canada) in political science and international development studies and a master’s degree in political science from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where she concentrated on Middle East identity and civil society politics. She has been the administrator for the NEH funded Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation grant at Kingsborough and has supported faculty in their course redesign, innovations and event planning around themes of democracy, diversity, and community. She is heavily involved in civic engagement efforts, has organized the college’s annual Immigration Day events, and offers extensive support to students.  Nasser also serves as the Advisor for the Honors Club and the Phi Theta Kappa Chapter on campus. Nasser is the President Elect and 2017 Conference Chair of the Northeast Regional Honors Council and also the co-author of the edited text Constitutional Law (University Readers).


Dona Cady is Dean of Global Education at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts, previously serving as Interim Dean of Humanities.  Her work in global education has provided a unique perspective from which to successfully advocate that International education is essential for student success in today’s increasingly interdependent environment.  Project Director for numerous grants, including a 2015-16 Fulbright-Hays grant to Cambodia, her work at MCC promotes student and faculty exploration of the diversity of other cultures, customs, and values.  She is a member of the ACE/AIEA Internationalization Collaborative Advisory Council, President of the Alumni Association of the Asian Studies Development Program at the East-West Center, and President of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of New England.  Cady holds a D.E.A. in European Archaeology from Somerville College, Oxford University; a M.A. in Literature from the University of Notre Dame; and a B.A. in English and History from the University of the Pacific.

olson-headshot-modifiedMatthew Olson is the Dean of Humanities and Social Science at Middlesex Community College. Previously, Matthew served at the Director of the MCC online learning program. He holds a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Educational Leadership and has twenty-five years of experience in community college education. Matthew done extensive work leading faculty professional development in new teaching and learning strategies and spearheading curricular revisions. From 2012 to 2014 he served as the MCC Project Director for an NEH “Bridging Cultures” grant project through AAC&U that developed humanities curricula to prepare students to be active and engaged participants in the democratic process.

hdshtDavid Price has taught History and Political Science at Santa Fe College (Florida) since 2000.  Price has served as the faculty co-chair of Santa Fe’s Democracy Commitment Initiative since 2012.  As part of his responsibilities in this position, Price has served as project director for Santa Fe’s Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation and Citizenship Under Siege projects.  In addition to his work with The Democracy Commitment, Price has also been very active at Santa Fe College serving as President of the College Senate from 2010-2014 and since 2015, as Interim Director of Student Life 2013-14, as advisor to the Model UN and Brain Bowl teams, and was the College’s sole representative on the statewide task force to design a common general education core for Florida’s publicly funded colleges and universities.  Additionally, Price has led study abroad trips to Europe and Asia and has also made several presentations on using technology and civic engagement to enhance the student experience.  Price has a Ph.D. in History from Miami University (OH) and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Georgia.