The Three Pillars

Posted by Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. on 02.11.11 in Education, Global Citizenship

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.

About the Author: Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.

Please visit

View all posts by Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.

7 Responses to The Three Pillars

  1. Jay Lacke says:

    Dear Robert,

    There is a documentary film called “Blood in the Mobile,”about the use of “conflict minerals” from places like The Congo which are critical to cell phones and many of our other electronic products. On Wednesday, 20 April, on the BBC Newshour program, the head of corporate social responsibility at Nokia (which comes off pretty badly in the film) was interviewed, and the abysmal condition facing workers in the Congo was highlighted. Social responsibility requires both awareness and action; I believe that we can, and should, do more to highlight the global issues of corporate social responsibility, in part by using and critiquing case examples like Nokia Supply Chain Sustainability program.



  2. Jim Johnson says:

    We need to offer classes more then once a year!

  3. Alex says:

    Hello Mr. President Johnson,
    my names Alex and I like reading your articles. You do a great job and i wish you all the best for the future.

    Best regards from germany


  4. Ben Kissam says:

    That’s cool that a professor here has a top selling book in another country.

  5. Chris Arzola says:

    Dr. Johnson,

    I do believe that it is important to maintain focus on creating global citizens in a college setting such as ours at Becker College. And while you describe what the pillars of global citizenship consist of, it would be wonderful if you provided us with what you feel your idea of a global citizen is; what is your vision for the global citizen that has been cultured at Becker College?

    I am aware that you stated that you will be revisiting this topic, these were just some thoughts I had and I hope they will be useful to the entire community at Becker.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Part of my vision of a global citizen is someone who lives the values of social responsibility and creative expression, someone who values education and is a lifelong learner, someone who thinks in terms of possibilities, not limitations. It used to sound trite, but one person can change the world. In a constantly connected world, that happens every day, in small ways, and in tremendous ways—the way Wael Ghonim used technology to open the door for new freedoms in Egypt. It is easier than ever before to speak with, chat with and work with people across the globe, without leaving home. That contact affects how we interact and allows us to grow in new ways. And I say that this is part of my vision because, just as society is evolving at an ever quickening pace, the values that make a global citizen will also continue to evolve.

  6. Brian Lynch says:

    President Johnson I think your doing a great job and this blogs are very interesting. Keep up the good work and I’m glad to have you here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Comment policy: Your comments are welcome; respect and civility are expected.


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>