Campus News

Bowdoin Appoints First Director for Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching

Story posted July 15, 1999

BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Bowdoin has hired a director for its Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching, which will operate programs to help students attain their academic goals and to aid faculty in enhancing student learning.

R. Elizabeth Barnhart will come to Bowdoin August 16 from Southwestern University in Texas to direct the center.

The 1999-2000 academic year will be the first year of operation for the center, which was created by a $1.5 million gift to the College by Linda G. Baldwin '73. Baldwin was the first woman to major in mathematics at the College. In 1978, she completed a master's degree in business administration at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. She is the founder and president of Brookside Enterprises, the Brookside Foundation for Girls Sports, and Precision Publishing, a desktop publishing company.

The Center will operate based on a holistic approach to learning, working with not only academic but also emotional aspects of learning, such as time and stress management. Goals for the center include offering programs to help students understand their own approaches to learning and develop strategies to accentuate their strengths and cope with their weaknesses. Students will also be able to learn about different teaching styles and the best ways to respond to them. The Center will encourage students to become active learners through programs such as the training of peer tutors and study group facilitators. Faculty will be able to use the Center for feedback on curriculum and teaching methods in relation to varied student learning styles.

Barnhart has years of experience in education working as a teacher, supervisor and administrator. At Southwestern she created the office of academic services, which offers programs similar to those the Baldwin Center will offer. She has experience working with and creating programs for minority students, international students, and students with disabilities. "Elizabeth brings wonderful experience in program-building to Bowdoin," said Craig McEwen, who served on the Center planning committee and will become Bowdoin's dean for academic affairs on July 1. "We look forward to her leadership in realizing the enormous potential that the Baldwin Center has to enhance learning and teaching at Bowdoin."

She comes to Bowdoin with a passionate conviction that the College can influence student culture and that academic learning can become an integral part of student's lives outside the classroom and a joy for students as well. Barnhart earned a bachelor's degree at Middlebury College and a master's degree at the University of Texas at Austin.

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