How do our journeys and experiences in academia inform us as Friendly scholars, teachers and students? How do we move beyond the Quaint Quaker and into cyberspace as Friends, with “the grace of great things”? The essays in the Spring, 2015 edition of Quaker Higher Education, which grew out of the June 2014 conference of the Friends Association for Higher Education at Haverford College, address these matters forthrightly.
Janet Gray, who teaches in the Women’s and Gender Studies program at The College of New Jersey, shares with us her process and trepidation in approaching online education, finding that the work of Rose Braidotti on The Posthuman (2013) helped her “become” open to the possibilities of such teaching.
Julie Meadows, who runs The Generous Reader, a “midwifery service” for academic writers, also shares her journey of living the Quaker values of peace and integrity by practicing plain speech, honesty and intellectual hospitality in the academic settings so infused with doubt and critique, of creating “cracks” in others’ work.
Due Quach, an MBA and founder of Calm Clarity, provides us with an insider’s view of the experience of firstgeneration students who have made it to college against all odds, including through harrowing experiences—and then find themselves unable to realize their potential. Her work and mission is to develop a mindfulness process for such students, using the tools of neuroscience and meditation practices.
Diane Reynolds, Ohio University Eastern, digs into the evolution of the term and practice of plain-ness for Friends, beginning with its geographical references and unearthing the development of the pastoral romance and anti-modern posture that attached to Quakers.
Finally, we are pleased to include two poems by the late Joan Joffe Hall, of Storrs Friends Meeting in Connecticut. Dr. Hall was the first woman hired for a tenure-track position in the English Dept. of the University of Connecticut, in 1963. She helped found the women’s studies program at UConn, as well as the creative writing and film study programs. A tireless advocate of women’s rights and gender equity, she was also a gifted poet.
The Quaker Higher Education, Autumn 2014 edition considers how to establish and nurture right relationships. Most of the pieces in this issue grew out of the June 2014 conference of the Friends Association for Higher Education at Haverford College. This year’s conference included many passionate and careful explorations of how we can support each other, our students, and our society.
This is a milestone issue of QHE! The founder and editor for many years, Donn Weinholtz, has decided to pass the torch to other hands. We begin this issue with a letter of appreciation from all of FAHE for Donn’s work on this journal.
Donn remains an active member of FAHE, however. He currently serves as Assistant Clerk of FAHE’s Executive Committee, is a member of our newly-formed Book Committee (having co-edited, with Don Smith and Jeff Dudiak, FAHE’s first book, Quaker Perspectives in Higher Education), and is FAHE’s liaison to New England Yearly Meeting.
FAHE is pleased to announce the publication of its first book. Quaker Perspectives in Higher Education is composed of articles drawn from the first fourteen issues of Quaker Higher Education (QHE), FAHE’s biannual scholarly journal, which the association launched in 2007. Initiated as a vehicle for promoting communication among Quaker scholars, WHE has become a popular venue for sharing many of the finest papers and write-ups of presentations from the annual FAHE conference, products that previously too often disappeared following each conference’s conclusion. It also solicits articles addressing a wide variety of topics and issues of interest to Friends. QHE is published in April and November of each year.
The Spring 2014 edition of Quaker Higher Education looks at Quaker-focused, student leadership initiatives. Matt Hisrich leads off with a description of the Quaker College Leadership Gathering hosted last summer by Earlham School of Religion. Matt’s overview is followed by reflections on the gathering from the following students who attended; Riley Foley (Wilmington College), Grace Sullivan and Kiernan Colby (Guilford College), and David Reid (George Fox University.)
Next, Deborah Shaw (Guilford College), Jamie Johnson (George Fox University), Walter Hjelt Sullivan (Haverford College), Dan Kasztelan (Wilmington College), and Trish Eckert (Earlham College) provide descriptions of the Quaker leadership programs at their particular schools. As you read, you will see some similarities across colleges, but also recognize differences that make each of the school’s initiatives distinctive. You will also likely further appreciate the benefits of convening students and advisors from these programs. Hopefully, our Quaker colleges will continue to offer opportunities for Quaker student leaders to gather and learn from each other.
The final article in the issue, by Rebecca Leuchak, is a companion piece to The Art of Silence which Rebecca published in QHE last spring. Her exploration of silence is deeply insightful.
This issue is framed by memorials for two beloved and important figures in Quaker higher education, who both passed away in February. It opens with Wilmington College’s memorial minute for T. Canby Jones. An FAHE founder and beloved faculty member at Wilmington College, Canby inspired generations of students, colleagues and fellow Friends.
We close the issue with a poem from Stanford Searl’s new book, Quaker Poems. Stan dedicated this particular poem to another beloved Friend, brilliant scholar and a force of nature, Newton Garver.