Lemieux desires to work towards student success
Tamonda Griffiths – Editor-in-Chief
On Tuesday, Jan. 29, Connecticut native Anthony “Tony” Lemieux visited the university as a candidate in the search for a potential new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
“It’s great to be back,” said Lemieux. “It’s great to be home.”
Lemieux currently works as the director of the Global Studies Institute and is a professor of Global Studies and Communication at Georgia State University, Atlanta.
Global studies, Lemieux said is a department that incorporates faculty from various areas of studies, similar to the Interdisciplinary Studies major offered at Southern.
“This was really a structure that we built up to really give [interdisciplinarity] some momentum and energy,” said Lemieux.
Before his tenure at Georgia State, Lemieux was a professor of psychology at Purchase College in Harrison, N.Y. There, Lemieux said he worked with a diverse student population consisting primarily of first-generation college students.
Lemieux said it was important to him to do work that not only crosses disciplinary boundaries to look at opportunities and challenges facing the world today in a new and different way, but also with a constant emphasis on student success.
Political science graduate student, Sean Reilly said he would “love to see strengthening” of interdisciplinary studies. “We have an interdisciplinary studies bachelor’s degree, but you go to other places or you talk about it and it’s like, ‘Well what is that,’” said Reilly. “However – and I believe this – things in the future are becoming very interdisciplinary in nature.”
Reilly said when he saw the interdisciplinary nature of Lemieux’s work at Georgia State, he hoped Lemieux planned to help better focus the major as well as encourage collaboration between other universities in the area, such as Yale University.
“There’s a lot of non-traditional students that come here, I myself am one of them,” said Reilly. “And what happens is we all just get categorized into these IDS majors and it’s a very broad degree, but it shouldn’t be worthless nonetheless.”
Student Government Association representative-at-large, Mia Forgione said she was curious to know of Lemieux’s experience with the creation of hybrid classes.
“There’s been a lot of talk at Southern to kind of change the modality of some classes,” said Forgione, “like having more hybrid classes or more online classes.”
Forgione said the creation of these types of classes helps address issues of equity and access concerning non-traditional students seeking a college education. Lemieux said the creation of the Global Studies Center at Georgia State – for which he is the co-founder – was not an individual effort and required a team effort.
“Interdisciplinary studies is a great mechanism,” said Lemieux. “And it’s a great mechanism in the sense that if you can put together arrays of classes or sequences in a program where you can really tackle something, then you get – not only a depth of exposure and pieces but a breadth where you can kind of put those points together.”
Interdisciplinary studies, Lemieux said should never be seen as a “catch-all bin.”