posted October 1, 2013

William Pannapacker to Direct GLCA Digital Liberal Arts Initiative

Dr. William Pannapacker, professor of English and director of the Mellon Scholars Program at Hope College, has been named faculty director of a major new collaborative project of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA).

In conjunction with his work at Hope, Pannapacker will serve as faculty director of the GLCA Digital Liberal Arts Initiative, a component of the GLCA Expanding Collaboration Initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  He will work with the GLCA to encourage and support participation in digital liberal arts projects involving faculty members and key professional staff from across GLCA’s 13 member colleges.

The Digital Liberal Arts Initiative is a collaborative project designed to help GLCA faculty in non-quantitative fields to understand and make use of digital resources in teaching and research.  A broader purpose is to encourage faculty members in these academic disciplines to explore new possibilities for engaging their students in faculty-student research.

“Bill Pannapacker has emerged as a national presence in advancing the use of digital tools to enhance scholarly work in the humanities and social sciences,” said Gregory Wegner, director of program development at GLCA.  “His conference presentations and writings in such national venues as ‘The Chronicle of Higher Education’ and ‘The New York Times’ are among the most thoughtful statements anywhere of the possibilities for using digital technologies to enhance liberal arts education in the non-quantitative fields.  We will all benefit from his knowledge and skill in helping to advance this consortial program.”

A member of the Hope faculty since 2000, Pannapacker is the founding director of the college’s Mellon Scholars Program, established in 2010.  The program is a Mellon-funded initiative that provides opportunities for promising Hope students to pursue individual research with faculty mentorship, while also allowing faculty and students to explore the capacities of technology to enhance research and learning.  The GLCA Digital Liberal Arts Initiative will allow him to work with an expanded range of faculty members among GLCA’s member institutions, and to foster communities of shared interest and practice across the liberal arts colleges.

“This program will provide Bill Pannapacker with opportunities to advance both the acceptance and the practice of employing digital technologies in liberal arts teaching and research across our GLCA member colleges,” said Richard Detweiler, president of GLCA.  “We believe his work will help this consortial initiative become a national exemplar of a project that links faculty members and students together in ways that expand the horizons for liberal arts learning.  We are very excited to be working with Bill in this important project.”

Founded in 1962, the GLCA is a non-profit organization governed by 13 selective liberal arts colleges in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Its purpose is to strengthen and extend education in the tradition of the liberal arts and sciences.  GLCA often works conjointly with similar associations of liberal arts colleges to enhance the strength and vitality of member institutions.  In addition to Hope, the members of GLCA are Albion, Allegheny, Antioch, DePauw, Denison, Earlham, Kalamazoo, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Wabash and Wooster.