Roslyn Abt Schindler (2013)

The fourth recipient of the Newell Award has been a faithful participant in AIS conferences for nearly thirty years, giving presentations on:

  • adult learners, working women, life-long learners, and other non-traditional students;
  • teaching literature, especially in translation;
  • IDS programs—their evolution, administration, interactions with the rest of the institution, especially disciplinary departments, and how they relate to institutional values;
  • study abroad;
  • learning communities;
  • honors;
  • core courses, capstone courses, and bridging courses;
  • the future of the academy; and
  • holocaust studies.

 After starting to attend AIS conferences, our colleague has given presentations in a number of other venues that bring AIS insights into IDS to the attention of:

  • A Swiss conference on IDS,
  • national and regional meetings of the Modern Language Association,
  • the George Mason conference on non-traditional students,
  • conferences on adult learners and continuing education,
  • the annual learning communities conference of the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education, and
  • local conferences sponsored by our colleague’s institution.

      Not content with being a fixture at AIS conferences, our colleague has hosted them as well—three conferences, in fact, more than anyone else in the history of AIS. In addition, our colleague has served as liaison to other conference hosts on behalf of the AIS Board of Directors, first for a couple years in the mid-1990s and for the last half dozen years and counting.

      Our colleague has been a member of the AIS Board of Directors for a full twenty years—a longer tenure than anyone else other than Bill Newell—including serving a term as president. Other leadership roles in AIS included co-editing our journal and serving for many years as a member of its editorial board; serving on the Nominating, Boulding Award, and (last year) Newell Award Committees. Perhaps most important of all our colleague’s leadership roles has been her service on the Leadership Team for the last half dozen years, alongside currently Rick Szostak as President and Bill Newell as Executive Director.

       In all her years of service to AIS, our colleague has brought a humane touch, gentle sense of humor, and a fierce protective loyalty to whatever issue was under consideration. She has a keen eye for what each individual member can best contribute to AIS or to the interdisciplinary studies profession, and she has been marvelous at helping members select or refine their interdisciplinary research and service. Don Stowe remembers when she rotated briefly off the Board in favor of a member we thought would take her place as conference liaison. When that didn’t work out, the Board anguished over possible replacements until someone wondered if our colleague might be willing to take on the task again. Stuart Henry called her in the middle of the meeting to ask her, and she agreed without hesitation. Please join me in recognizing Dr. Roslyn Abt Schindler as the fourth recipient of The William H. Newell Award for Exemplary Service.