Name: Ashley Biser
Title: Assistant Professor of Politics and Government
Experience: Course Connection: Modern Life and Its Discontents. (As part of the course, a group visited the Columbus Museum of Art exhibit, “Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade.”)
“We took 10 students to a gallery talk at the museum organized by Janalee Emmer in the Art Department. The curator led us through the exhibit, and then we went out to dinner to discuss our experience.
“My favorite part of our Course Connection discussions are the interactions between faculty and students. Usually students only interact with a single faculty member at any given point in time, and they discuss a subject in which the faculty has some expertise.
“The difference with our Course Connection is that there are multiple faculty interacting with each other and with students – sometimes dealing with questions that are far outside of our expertise, like modern art, in my case. This set-up enables different kinds of interactions and intellectual debate.
“I think there is something freeing for students in seeing their professors disagree and argue from their own disciplinary perspectives. It is certainly fun for me, because it creates a much more lively intellectual atmosphere and encourages me to step outside of my own intellectual comfort zone.
“At the Rothko exhibit, we got to talk about why art matters and what we each count as art. I am continually amazed by the questions that students and faculty from other disciplines ask–questions that would never occur to me – and I never fail to learn something new from a Course Connection event.”