A conversation with Louis Soares (June 2, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

“I was a lot more technology triumphalist when I was in the think tank world,” Louis Soares tells us by videoconference, standing in front of a colorful painting on the wall of his home dining room. When envisioning the future of education, “I thought ‘this is technology and it will…

A conversation with Ted Carter (May 13, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

“We are the only university system in the state,” says Nebraska University System President Ted Carter, “with four large campuses, 52,000 students and 16,000 faculty and staff.” Keeping the university system running on campus, Ted says, was essential because “a large portion of the region is rural and didn’t have…

A conversation with Jean Ryoo (June 4, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

“We come to this work with a lens that is broader than computer science,” says Jean Ryoo, as she tells us enthusiastically about her group’s research on student learning. “Engagement doesn’t happen in any learning unless there’s a connection to student identity and the things youth care about,” Jean continues…

A conversation with MIT UA leaders (May 27, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

“We were elected in May 2020,” says Danielle Geathers, president of the MIT undergraduate student government. “Our platform was written with Covid in mind,” she explains, ‘“although we did not have any idea how [covid] would develop or how long it would last. “ Assessing the situation, Danielle pondered how…

A conversation with Harry Elam (May 28, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

“I feel optimistic,” says Occidental College President Harry Elam. “That sense of hope is not something I have alone. We all want 2021 to be better.” Before beginning his tenure in July 2020, Harry visited the college in March just before the shutdown. “Oxy prides itself on activism,” Harry reminds…

A conversation with Joyce Jacobsen (June 1, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

“New York State was a very proactive state,” says Joyce Jacobsen, President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in the bucolic Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. “[Governor] Cuomo was like texting us twenty times a day telling us what to do.” She recalls that he told colleges, “You…

A conversation with Mariko Silver (Apr 16, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

“We are at a point of societal reckoning,” says Mariko Silver, President and CEO of the Henry Luce Foundation. Referring to structural factors that advantage some segments of the population and disadvantage others, Mariko continues, “many structures don’t serve us [as a society] even if some [of us] are successful…

A conversation with Heather Cooper (June 4, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

“So much of dance depends on experiential learning and group activities,” says Heather Cooper, chair of the San Jose State University Dance Department, “that we set up an outside studio in a parking garage.” Cooper describes her new pandemic dance studio: “No one was parking there because no one else…

A conversation with Kiara Wahnschafft (May 13, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

Before the pandemic, MIT was “very much a bubble, [with] students taking pride in not knowing what’s going on in the wider world,” says student Kiara Wahnschafft. A typical view was: “I work on my problem sets and that’s it.” But Covid-19 “brought us face to face with social issues…

A conversation with Raynard Kington (Apr 15, 2021)

By John Mitchell and Maxwell Bigman (Decade Ahead Project)

“I’m one of the few people who have done this twice,” says Raynard Kington from his academically scattered office with an Andover sign over his left shoulder, “once at Grinnell and once here.” A public health physician and former leader at the National Institute of Health, Dr Kington served as…

Maxwell Bigman

PhD Student @Stanford | Former CS Teacher | Innovator

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