March 2019 Newsletter

Hello from the Goldfarb Center!

The snow magically disappeared as we welcomed newly admitted students to Mayflower Hill this week. In counterpoint to these students looking forward to Colby, I reflect on the alums who returned to Colby this semester to share the amazing work they are doing in this world. One of the graces of the life of a professor is the honor to help launch great work transforming our society. I am humbled to witness the impacts on education, health, and security of our alumni speakers and grateful to other alumni and parents who facilitated non-Colby speaker visits. Springtime also brings senior anxiety for jobs and I am so appreciative of alumni friends who partner as mentors for our talented new grads. As I try to navigate the chaos of our contemporary global environment, one thing is for sure: Colby’s relationships are a rich reference point to where we stand and the most promising path to the future.

Patrice Franko, Director; Grossman Professor of Economics and Global Studies

 

Spring 2019 Goldfarb Center Events

 

The Effects of Education and Poverty: The High Cost of Attaining Equity
Roger Schulman ’92
CEO and President, The Fund for Educational Excellence

March 4

Why, despite good intentions to improve education, have outcomes, disappointed supporters? Roger Schulman ’92, fund president and CEO of the Fund for Educational Excellence, described the tough choices facing the public school system in Baltimore in allocating funding, closing the achievement gap, and focusing on equity versus equality. He disputed the notion that public schools waste money; instead, the needs overwhelm the resources. With old facilities, daunting repairs to maintain minimal standards or address special needs to consume resources. Education is the most visible part of an ecosystem of poverty; a school closure means some kids don’t have their only meal. Keeping a child whose family has become homeless in the same school involves cross-city Uber receipts not available for needed repairs. Despite the challenges, Schulman expressed hope that with innovative funding plans and community-based approaches, the education system can become more equitable.

 

Leveraging Social Marketing for Reproductive Health
Jennifer Pope Michie ’96
Director, Family Planning & Reproductive Health at Population Services International

March 11

Improving women’s health is at the core of the Sustainable Development Goals. Jen Pope Michie ’96, director of family planning and health at Population Services International (PSI), shared the leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide: unsafe abortions. With PSI, Michie has worked through listening to what women and men want in choosing the family size, exposing youth in underprivileged areas around the world to effective means of contraception. By following the supply chain from customers to retailers and producers, Michie has been able to support local populations in promoting sustainable family choices and reducing maternal mortality.

 

Climate Change and the Threats to Global-and National-Security
Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret.)
(Sponsored by the Schlagers P’20)

March 14

Brigadier General Stephen Cheney, the CEO of the American Security Project (ASP), charged that the United States is woefully equipped to deal with the impact of climate change and this will weaken national security. Globally, the dislocation of climate change acts as an accelerator of instability. Increasing catastrophic weather is causing undeniable humanitarian crises and prompting waves of migration.

Base assets will be comprised. General Cheney noted that the United States Navy only has access to one icebreaker, which is currently being repaired. In comparison, China and Russia have several to open new Arctic lanes. In terms of solutions, General Cheney characterized that under the current administration, change seems unlikely. It is up to the public as voters to elect representatives and leaders who prioritize climate change and will support meaningful policy such as the Paris Agreement.

 

Leading Diverse Organizations: Lessons from Military Commanders
Mike Wisecup, Colby Presidential Leadership Fellow, former Navy Seal, and
Melissa Maclin ’98, Navy Intelligence
Professor Patrice Franko, moderator

March 18

What is it like to lead when people’s lives are on the line? Six signature traits of inclusive leadership-cognizance, curiosity, cultural intelligence, collaboration, commitment and courage-contribute to successful missions. The Goldfarb Center was pleased to host CDR Mike Wisecup, Colby presidential leadership fellow and former Navy Seal (RET), and CDR Melissa Maclin ’98, a naval intelligence officer. Wisecup and Machlin answered questions surrounding the complex topic of leadership and shared unique personal anecdotes relating to their leadership experiences. Through a case study of the capture of Osama Bin Laden, they illustrated what can be accomplished when people from diverse backgrounds are brought together to accomplish a single goal. One central topic that was brought up throughout the panel was the idea that diversity is crucial to success and that sometimes the quietest people have the most to say, they just need to be pushed to speak their minds.

 

The Diversity Bargain:
And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities
Natasha Warikoo
Associate Professor of Education at Harvard University

April 8

The Goldfarb Center, along with the Education Program and Sociology Department, welcomed Dr. Natasha Warikoo to campus to share her recent research on how white American and white British students at top universities (Brown, Harvard, Oxford) viewed race and privilege. Despite two very different college admissions systems, similar levels of inequality exist in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Low admissions rates at elite universities legitimate the view that those who are accepted merit this hard-won award. In reality, however, the advantages of elites in achieving the requisite portfolios for admissions reproduce the unequal class structure and perpetuates a cycle of inequality.