Margaret Beale Spencer is the Charles L. Grey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Comparative Human Development and the Marshall Field IV Professor Emeritus of Urban Education and Life Course Human Development at the University of Chicago. Dr. Spencer’s adolescent-focused research addresses resiliency, identity and competence formation processes of African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American and Euro-American youth. Her research and programming applications explore youths’ emerging capacity for healthy outcomes and constructive coping methods while developing under generally unacknowledged and highly stressful conditions.
Eboo Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a non-profit organization working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm in America. He is a respected leader on national issues of religious diversity, civic engagement, and the intersection of racial equity and interfaith cooperation. He is the author of four books and dozens of articles, and is a frequent keynote speaker at colleges and universities, philanthropic convenings, and civic gatherings, both in person and virtually. He served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council.
Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992, is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. He was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (2011).
Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Rutgers University-Newark, is a globally recognized advocate for higher education, a catalyst for social mobility, and a leader for universities serving as a public good in their communities. Reflecting Boyer’s own enduring work to transcend boundaries within and beyond the academy, Cantor has led internal transformations at Rutgers and other institutions — the University of Michigan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Syracuse University — so that they could better serve their public missions.
Frederick M. Lawrence, secretary/CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, is a noted scholar and advocate of civil rights and free expression who has worked to advance our understanding of constitutional law in the context of higher education. An accomplished educator and attorney, Lawrence is one of the nation’s leading experts on civil rights, free expression and bias crimes and has previously served as president of Brandeis University.
José Antonio Bowen is a noted scholar, musician, and past president of Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. He is the author of Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012) and also co-authored Teaching Naked Techniques: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes (Jossey-Bass, 2017).
Beverly Daniel Tatum is president emerita of Spelman College and a leading authority on racial issues in America, especially as they related to education. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, which was originally published in 1997 and has been re-released several times.
Cathy N. Davidson is a leading interdisciplinary and technology scholar who is recognized for her work addressing equity in higher education and the need to examine and modify existing thoughts, policies, and models so that all persons will be able to succeed in their educational endeavors and the complex, changing world that awaits after graduation.
Ira Harkavy is associate vice president and founding director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania. As its director since 1992, Harkavy has helped to develop academically based community service courses and participatory action research projects that involve creating university-community partnerships and university-assisted community schools in Penn’s local community of West Philadelphia.
Edward Ayers is a noted historian, president emeritus at the University of Richmond, and has played a pioneering role in digital scholarship since the inception of the field in the early 1990s. He received the National Medal for the Humanities in 2013.
Carol Geary Schneider is president emerita (1998-2016) of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and a champion of equitable access to high quality learning. During her AAC&U presidency, the association became widely recognized as a powerful force and resource for strengthening the quality of student learning in college for all students and especially those historically underserved in U.S. higher education.
Betsy Barefoot and John Gardener are renowned scholars of first-year programs in higher education and founders of the Gardner Institute in Brevard, NC.
Barefoot serves as senior scholar for the Gardner Institute where she is directly involved in the development of instruments and strategies to evaluate and improve the first college year and collegiate transfer. In addition, she conducts seminars on the first-year experience across the United States and in other countries and assists other colleges and universities in implementing and evaluating first-year programs.
Gardener serves as chair and CEO of the Gardner Institute. His special area of expertise in higher education was for almost three decades the creation of programs to enhance the learning, success, retention, and graduation of students in transition, especially first-year students, for example through first-year seminar courses. But more recently, since 2003, his efforts have been directed almost exclusively to working with institutions to look beyond this long standing “programmatic” approach to improving the first year and instead to focus the entire experience of first-year or transfer students.
Alexander “Sandy” Astin was present at the Wingspread Conference that influenced the formation of the New American Colleges and Universities consortium. He currently serves as the Allan M. Cartter Distinguished Professor of Higher Education Emeritus and founding director of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.
For most of her early professional life, Helen Astin’s scholarly work focused on issues of equity for women, motivated in part by her experience as a young woman with a Ph.D. in psychology trying to find work and by her activism during the early years of the women’s movement.
The Astins have authored numerous publications in areas such as the role of values and spirituality in higher education, human consciousness, the outcomes of higher education, institutional quality, leadership, equality of opportunity and access, assessment and evaluation, citizenship, educational reform, and the interface between research and policy.