Vocation, Vocationalism, and the Liberal Arts

The Fourth Annual Conversation on the Liberal Arts

February 6-7, 2004




Conversation Speakers and Panelists



William Sullivan is Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and has been Professor of Philosophy at La Salle University, where he is now Associate Faculty. He holds the Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University. Sullivan co-directs the Foundation’s project on the Preparation for the Professions. This is a multi-year study comparing professional education for the law, engineering, and the clergy. One of the special concerns of the program is the relationship between professional education and the liberal arts. Sullivan has been an active researcher in the areas of political and social theory, the philosophy of the social sciences, ethics, the study of American society and values, the professions, and education. He is co-author of Habits of the Heart and The Good Society. He is author of Reconstructing Public Philosophy and, most recently, Work and Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America.



Sabine O'Hara is President of Roanoke College in Salem, VA. Her work has been in ecological economics, social economics, economics and ethics, and sustainable development both in the United States and abroad. She has been active in developing innovative models for teaching including applications of information technology in the classroom, multi-disciplinary approaches to course development and teaching, and linking theory with practical application. Before coming to Roanoke College, Dr. O’Hara served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and Provost of Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT and was a member of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Economics Department where she was director of graduate studies from 1996 to 1999. She has lectured widely in the U.S. and abroad and has conducted workshops and training seminars for businesses, governmental and not-for profit organizations. She is a native of West Germany and holds a M.S. in Agricultural Economics and a Ph.D. in Environmental Economics from the University of Göttingen, Germany.



Nicholas Wolterstorff is Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, and Fellow of Berkeley College, at Yale University. He is a graduate of Calvin College, and received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard in 1956. After teaching for thirty years at Calvin, he joined the Divinity School at Yale, where he was also adjunct professor in the Philosophy Department and the Religious Studies Department. He has been President of the American Philosophical Association (Central Division) and of the Society of Christian Philosophers. He has given the Wilde Lectures at Oxford University, the Gifford Lectures at St Andrews University, and the Stone Lectures at Princeton Seminary. In addition to Calvin and Yale, he has taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Texas, The University of Notre Dame, Princeton University, and the Free University of Amsterdam. His most recent publications are Divine Discourse, John Locke and the Ethics of Belief , Thomas Reid and the Story of Epistemology, and Educating for Life. Educating for Shalom: Essays on Christian Higher Education, is forthcoming this spring from Eerdmans.



Susan Currier is the associate dean at the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University. Her primary fields of study include modern British literature and women’s literature. She received her A.B., magna cum laude in English at Mount Holyoke College, and both her M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of Massachusetts.








George Ayoub is a professor of Biology at Westmont College. His research interests include cellular physiology of the visual system. Dr. Ayoub has won research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Health Assistance Foundation for his cutting-edge glaucoma research.








Kenyon Chan is vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Occidental College. Prior to his appointment at Occidental in 2003, Chan was dean of LMU’s Bellarmine College, and founding chair of the Asian American Studies Department and director of the Liberal Studies Program at Cal State Northridge. A professor of psychology, he is a nationally recognized authority on the effects of race on the emotional development of children who has served as a consultant to organizations ranging from the National Science Foundation to “Sesame Street.” Chan is a member of the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities and has served as a board member of the American Conference of Academic Deans, president of the Association for Asian American Studies, as a member of the Fox Children’s Network Board of Advisors, and as a consultant to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Chan received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from UCLA (in sociology, special education, and educational psychology, respectively) and was a post-doctoral fellow in clinical psychology at Children’s Hospital-USC.



Richard T. Hughes serves as Distinguished Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for Faith and Learning at Pepperdine University where he has taught for 20 years. He has a B.A. in Bible from Harding University, an M.A. in History of Christianity from Abilene Christian University, and a Ph.D. in History of Christianity since 1500 from the University of Iowa. His scholarship focuses on the relation between religion and culture in America, church history, and the intersection of faith and learning in church-related higher education.