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Faculty Panel to Discuss "Role of Humanities in Contemporary Education" Impact
Fairmont State News

Faculty Panel to Discuss "Role of Humanities in Contemporary Education"

Nov 13, 2014

The Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee of the Fairmont State University Faculty Senate will host a Panel Discussion on the “Role of Humanities in Contemporary Education” from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, in Multi-media Room A of the Ruth Ann Musick Library.

Moderated by Dr. Tad Kato, Chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee, the Panel Discussion is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts. The panelists will discuss positive roles of humanities and their interaction with science, based on the perspectives in each discipline. 

Students, faculty and staff at FSU and Pierpont Community & Technical College and members of the local community are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served, and a question-and-answer session will take place at the end of the forum.


  • Dr. Tadashi Kato is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Fairmont State. He received his Ph.D. from the Ohio University and has taught at Fairmont State since 2003. Along with ongoing research projects in the area of psychophysiology, he also teaches history and systems of psychology in which he covers the general history of epistemology (question about ‘how we gain the knowledge of the world’).


  • Dr. Adam Podlaskowski, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, received his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in 2006 and has been teaching at Fairmont State as a full-time faculty member since 2009. He regularly teaches courses in course areas of philosophy, and his published work is primarily in the areas of the philosophy of mind, language and epistemology. His presentation is titled “Critical Thinking and the Humanities.”
  • Dr. Mary Angela Schwer, Professor of English, has taught at Fairmont State since 1997.  Her presentation grows out of an interest in the origin of English studies, which were seen as a poor man’s (and woman’s!) substitute for the Latin and Greek required for university entrance at the time. She conducted research on this project during a National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar in 2002 and has published a chapter on the People's College of Sheffield in Victorians and the Case for Charity: Essays on Responses to English Poverty by the State, the Church and the Literati (2013) edited by Marilyn Button and Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen. Her presentation title is “The Beginning of Liberal Education for the Masses: The Working Men’s College Movement in Nineteenth-Century Britain.”
  • Dr. Deborah Nestor, Professor of English, is originally from California and received her master’s degree and Ph.D. from UCLA in English literature from the Restoration to the Romantic Period. “Up until the last two decades of the 20th century, humanities education has focused on educating students about Western Civilization, thus giving students an understanding of the European texts, traditions and events that have led to the formation of mainstream American culture. This began to change with the rise of multiculturalism in the 1980s, a movement that has been reinforced by universities and accrediting boards who began to require that students also gain an awareness of cultural traditions from other parts of the globe, thus giving them a better sense of their place in the world,” she said. Her presentation will be on the “Role of Humanities in Terms of Helping Students to Gain a Sense of a Place in the World.”
  • Professor L. Beth Thompson received her B.S. in Chemistry from Fairmont State in 1999 and also completed graduate work at Penn State University in chemistry. She taught chemistry labs as well as Science That Matters at FSU. Currently, she is the Coordinator of Co-Requisite/ Developmental Math Courses through the College of Science and Technology. She is exploring the following: “In what ways are music and math linked?  Why might a physicist study dance? How could art skills be useful to a biologist?” Using an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates the humanities into a STEM curriculum can provide many benefits for both instructors and students. Thompson will provide an overview of how content traditionally viewed as “non-scientific” can be an integral part of STEM coursework and why the “Arts” should be put into STEM. Her presentation title is “Benefits of STEAM vs. STEM.” 
  • Dr. Daniel Eichenbaum, Assistant Professor of Music, is a composer whose music has been performed and published throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. His music is published by Southern Music, Reynard Music and Warwick Brass, as well as recorded on the Capstone Records label. More information about Eichenbaum’s music can be found at his web site: Eichenbaum combines his love of music and science as curator and composer for the interdisciplinary per­formance group, Dark Matter. The group performs live, electroacoustic music in a planetarium, combining performance art and science education into a single, unified experience. Dark Matter has already won grants from the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City and the Charlotte Street Foundation in association with the Spencer Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Foundation. Recently, Dark Matter won a Rocket Grant for its project, “Ascent,” which combined video imagery from a high-altitude balloon camera system. More information about Dark Matter is available at His presentation title is “An Incomplete World.”

For more information about the panel discussion, contact Dr. Tad Kato at (304) 367-4759 or

Office of the ProvostfacultyInstructor Exchange Ad-Hoc CommitteeCollege of Liberal ArtsCollege of Science and TechnologySchool of Fine Arts