Public Talks

Public Talk 1: What is the essential outcome for GE?

Dr. Ashley FINLEYAshley FINLEY

Dominican University of California

Dr. Finley is the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs & Dean of the Dominican Experience at the Dominican University of California and the national evaluator for the Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) Project. Previously, she served as the senior director of assessment and research at AAC&U. Dr. Finley's national work, at both the campus and national levels, focuses on developing best practices regarding program implementation, instrumentation, and mixed methods assessment. Her work combines assisting campuses with the implementation of assessment protocols and the promotion of best practices across the institution, including general education, academic departments, and the cocurriculum. She is the author of Making Progress: What We Know the Achievement of Liberal Education Outcomes, and Using the VALUE Rubrics for Improvement of Learning and Authentic Assessment, with Terrel Rhodes, and many other articles and book chapters on assessment and student learning. In her work with Bringing Theory to Practice, Dr. Finley worked with campuses to implement and assess programs focused on the intersectionality of emphases attendant to the whole student— their engagement in learning, civic development, and their psychosocial well-being. Before joining AAC&U, she was an assistant professor of sociology at Dickinson College, where she taught courses in quantitative methods, social inequality, and gender in Latin America. As a faculty member she taught courses incorporating high-impact learning practices, such as learning communities and service learning. Finley received a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MA and PhD, both in sociology, from the University of Iowa.

Public Talk 2: Back to the Basics: Reading as THE Foundational Skill


Columbia University

Dr. Martinsen, formerly the Associate Dean of Columbia's famed Core Curriculum, is currently Associate Dean of Alumni Education and Adjunct Associate Professor of Russian Literature at Columbia University, where she teaches courses in the Core Curriculum, the Slavic Department, and the Department of English and Comparative Literature. In conjunction with Dr. Karin Beck, she taught an award-winning Skype course at the University of Leuphana; she and Dr. Beck also ran teaching workshops at Leuphana. She is the author of Surprised by Shame: Dostoevsky's Liars and Narratives of Exposure (2003; in Russian 2011) as well as articles on Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Nabokov. She is the editor of Literary Journals in Imperial Russia (1997; in paper 2010) and the co-editor, with Olga Maiorova, of Dostoevsky in Context (2015), and with Cathy Popkin and Irina Reyfman, of Teaching Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature: Essays in Honor of Robert L. Belknap (2014). She was President of the International Dostoevsky Society from 2007-2013 and Executive Secretary of the North American Dostoevsky Society from 1998-2013. Her current research is on Dostoevsky and the moral emotions.

Dr. Karin BECKKarin BECK

Kean University

Dr. Beck is the Executive Director of the School of General Studies at Kean University, where she is responsible for the General Education program at Kean's campuses in New Jersey as well as in Wenzhou, China. Before her work at Kean, she was the Director of the College at Leuphana University in Lueneburg, Germany, where she implemented a General Education program with an emphasis on transdisciplinarity. During her time as a graduate student in the Slavic Department at Columbia, she taught Literature Humanities in the Core Curriculum and later served as a Core lecturer. She teaches courses in General Education and has, together with Bridget Lepore from Kean University, developed a first year seminar with a focus on critical reading. She has run several workshops on reading in general education in the US, in Germany and in China. Together with Deborah Martiensen, she has won a teaching award at Leuphana University.

She is the author of several articles on Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, on Czech literature and on teaching and learning in General Education. Her latest article is "Foreign Languages in Dostoevsky's Works." In: Dostoevsky in Context (Cambridge 2016). Her research is on teaching and learning in General Education and on multilingual literature.