Jeanne L. Narum
Independent Colleges Office
As Founding PKAL Director, Narum has a variety of responsibilities, all focused on building leadership at the institutional and national levels to ensure that American undergraduates have access to robust learning experiences in STEM fields. A major responsibility was to coordinate the volunteer efforts of a national cadre of change agents, whose experience shape PKAL institutes, seminars, workshops and publications, illustrating best practices in the work of reform. A continuing responsibility is as editor of PKAL publications (electronic and print). PKAL's goal is to encourage the design and development of an intellectual, physical and organizational infrastructure that supports strong learning in STEM fields. PKAL's Faculty for the 21st Century network is a significant dimension of PKAL. Narum was the project director for the grants from NSF and other funders that supported the work of PKAL for more than 20 years.
A PKAL Interview
In response to the question "What is PKAL?" Jeanne answers:
Our world is one in which science and technology have a profound impact on every aspect of life. PKAL is part of the growing national effort, using the energies and expertise of leaders within the undergraduate STEM community, to prepare coming generations for that world, for lives that are self-fulfilled, productive, and of service to society.
What we learn from the experience of those involved with PKAL is that strong programs, innovative approaches, and risk-taking ideas emerge when a community:
- understands who their students are
- energizes gifted and respected faculty leaders at all career stages, giving them the flexibility, responsibility, and resources to effect change
- identifies critical questions to be asked at each stage of reform, ensuring they are asked in the context of mutual respect and shared commitments
- is willing to take risks, to seek collaborators within the campus, and develops partnerships with the external community of stakeholders
PKAL's goal in the next few years is to support and enhance the work of leaders building such communities.
- The PKAL Learning Spaces Collaboratory
- PKAL Phase VI— Empowering Faculty: Pedagogies of Engagement
- Project Kaleidoscope Phase VI: Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning