I had a conversation recently, about the “three pillars” of global citizenship. This is a topic I will return to often as I move into the next six months of my presidency. We joked about what the physical pillars should look like-Ionic or Doric? Given Becker´s continued success in videogame design-digital technology-maybe holographic pillars would be more fitting.
The pillars are academic excellence, social responsibility and creative expression. They are essential elements in a rewarding college experience. Such endeavors are responsibilities of the college and of the students, a symbiosis in which both entities are transformed.
I have seen an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as academic, in faculty members at Becker. A prime example is Dr. Vladimir Pistalo. He is somewhat of a celebrity in his native country of Serbia. The author of 10 books and numerous stories, Dr. Pistalo´s latest novel, “Tesla, Portrait Among the Masks,” has been a bestselling book in Serbia for two years and the book most read in Serbian libraries. He received the NIN Literary Award for best novel, considered one of the highest honors for Serbian contemporary authors. Dr. Pistalo was a visiting professor at the University of Belgrade last year and contracted the translation of his book into other languages-including English. He also took a short trip to Japan in the fall to lecture and give readings at a literary conference.
While the primary focus of Becker faculty is on the student, a number of faculty and instructors have published and presented at conferences in their fields, including Dr. Janardan Kumar, professor of chemistry and microbiology; Dr. Kerri Augusto, professor of psychology; Dr. Susan Whitehead, assistant professor of science; Dr. Margaret Delano, associate professor of veterinary science; Dr. Linda Denault; professor of education; Dr. Sheila McAvey, professor of English; Dr. James Belpedio, professor of history and government; Dr. Caroline Crocker, assistant professor of psychology; Dr. Adriano Marzullo, assistant professor of mathematics; and Dr. Calin Galeriu, adjunct instructor of physics.
I intend to spend much of the spring semester telling more Becker stories-students, alumni and faculty; more stories of academic excellence, social responsibility and creative expression.