• Hendrix College

    The Value of a Liberal Arts Education: A Panel Discussion

  • On Friday, April 17, 2015, Hendrix hosted a panel discussion in Reves Recital Hall in the Trieschmann Fine Arts Building on the value of a liberal arts education. The panel discussion was part of the events and festivities surrounding the inauguration of William M. Tsutsui as the 11th President of Hendrix.

    The panel was moderated by Dr. Peg Falls-Corbitt, Associate Provost for Engaged Learning, Director of the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling, and Professor of Philosophy at Hendrix.

    Panelists included Dr. Alice Hines, C. Louis and Charlotte Cabe Distinguished Professor of English at Hendrix; Rahfin Faruk, senior at Southern Methodist University, President's Scholar, and Truman Scholar; Dr. Carl J. Strikwerda, 14th president of Elizabethtown College, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; and Maia Yang ’13, President's Medal Winner, and Watson Fellow.

    The panelists discussed the media and public perception that liberal arts education has become too costly and irrelevant in shaping careers and futures. They shared, from their perspectives as liberal arts college students, alumni, faculty, and administrators, how liberal arts colleges prepare students for life after college and why they are vital for citizenship and democracy.

    View the Panel Discussion photo album on Flickr.

    Learn more about the panelists

    Dr. Alice Hines, C. Louis and Charlotte Cabe Distinguished Professor of English at Hendrix

    Hines, Alice

    A graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Hines received her M.A. degree in English from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and her Ph.D. degree with an emphasis in 17th and 18thcentury British literature and a sub-specialty in rhetoric from Texas Woman’s University Denton, Texas in 1990

    An educator for more than thirty-eight years, she has taught at Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma; the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Upward bound program.

    She is the recipient of numerous teaching and service awards including the Sears Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award, has served as Chair of the Hendrix College English Department and the Humanities Area. In April 2001, she was named the C. Louis and Charlotte Cabe Distinguished Professor of English.

    Dr. Hines teaches courses in Restoration, Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century British Literature, Freshman Composition, Drama, World Literature, African and African-American Literature, Hawthorne, Zora Neal Hurston, and Literary Analysis. She also serves as Director of the College’s Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum Program. Dr. Hines conducts writing workshops locally and nationally.

    Rahfin Faruk, senior at Southern Methodist University, President's Scholar, and Truman Scholar

    Faruk, Rahfin

    Rahfin Faruk will graduate from Southern Methodist University with degrees in economics, political science, public policy and religious studies. In 2014 he was named a Truman Scholar. Rahfin is the founder of a microfinance initiative and has worked at Grameen Bank and the U.S. State Department. At SMU, he serves as the sole student trustee and was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. He has presented original research at conferences and has been published in the Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. After graduation, Rahfin will take a one-year Truman-Albright fellowship to work at a federal agency in Washington, D.C.

    Carl J. Strikwerda, 14th president of Elizabethtown College, in Lancaster County, Pa.

    Strikwerda, Carl

    Carl J. Strikwerda is the fourteenth president of Elizabethtown College, located in Lancaster County, Pa., serving since 2011. He previously served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas. He received a B.A. from Calvin College, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, all of them in history.

    Besides three books and numerous articles on European and global history, he has published a book, Deans and Development: Making the Case for the Liberal Arts.

    President Strikwerda has served as an historical consultant to the National World War One Museum in Kansas City, Mo., and to numerous colleges and universities on higher education administration. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Lancaster County Economic Development Company, public radio and television station WITF in Harrisburg, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP), as well as serving as a member of the Presidents’ Trust of the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

    Maia Yang, Hendrix class of 2013, President's Medal Winner, and Watson Fellow

    Yang, Maia

    Maia Yang graduated summa cum laude from Hendrix College in 2013 with a Business/Economics degree. She is the recipient of Hendrix’s President’s Medal and received a yearlong Watson Fellowship in 2013, traveling to Bangladesh, Vietnam, Rwanda, and Peru to gain perspective on the female experience within microfinance. She has since settled back into life in the United States, making a temporary home in Austin, Texas. She will be attending the University of Texas starting in the summer to receive a Master in Professional Accounting degree with which she hopes to one day start her own social business. She is currently an Educational Programs Associate at REACT to FILM, a non-profit based in New York City that seeks to engage students in today’s critical issues through documentary films. In her free time, she dreams of one day organizing all the seemingly endless video footage taken during her Watson year into a documentary.