Union to host annual symposium on engineering and liberal arts

Publication Date

Maria Klawe, the president of Harvey Mudd College, will deliver the keynote address at the College's annual symposium on integrating a liberal education with engineering.

The two-day symposium kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday, June 6, in the Nott Memorial with opening remarks by Therese McCarty, the Stephen J. and Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Klawe’s talk, “Passion with a Purpose: Using your life to change the world,” follows. Klawe became the first female president at Harvey Mudd in 2006. She also served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University. She also spent eight years with IBM Research in California.

Saturday will feature two special sessions, “The Role of Liberal Education in Increasing Participation of Women in STEM-C” and “Modules for Liberal Studies in Engineering.” There will also be general lectures and workshops led by Union faculty and others focused on integrating engineering, technology and the traditional liberal arts. All sessions are in the Wold Center.

Among the schools expected to be represented this year are Bucknell, Olin, Smith College, WPI and Arizona State University.

“The symposium is a great opportunity for our campus community to hear from experts working at the intersection of engineering and the liberal arts,” said Shane Cotter, director of engineering at Union. “Their ideas can inspire new collaborations and initiatives at Union.”

This marks the seventh year the College has hosted a conference on integrating engineering and the liberal arts, which has attracted national attention, including a feature in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

In 1845, Union became the first liberal arts college to offer engineering in response to the needs of a nation characterized by rapid industrial and urban growth.

This year’s symposium is funded in part by the David Falk ’39 and Elynor Rudnick-Falk Endowed Fund and the Laurence W. Levine ’52 and Barry Traub ’53 Endowed Lecture Fund.