AALE Welcomes New Board and Council Members

The American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) held annual elections on June 10, 2016. The Board of Trustees welcomes for a first-term of office on the Board, Steve Balch, Adam Kissel, Philip Lively, Barbara Oakley and for a one-year replacement position, Christine von Renesse. Returning for a third term is Donald D’Amour. Joining the Council of Scholars for a first-term are Steven Meyer and William Schmitt. Returning to the Council of Scholars for a third-term is James Beall.

Mr. Steve Balch is the Director of the Institute for the Study of Western Civilization at Texas Tech University. Previously he served for twenty-five years as founding president and chairman of the National Association of Scholars (NAS), a Princeton (NJ) based organization of higher education professionals dedicated to the traditional principles of liberal arts education. He has written on higher education issues for a variety of publications and co-authored The Vanishing West: 1964-2010, a report that documents the decline of the study of Western civilization in America’s universities. Balch received a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Mr. Adam Kissel is Senior Program Officer for University Investments at the Charles Koch Foundation in Arlington (VA). Formerly he served as the Vice-President of Programs for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in Philadelphia (PA). Kissel is an active public speaker and writer on the topics of academic freedom, free speech, due process, and individual rights in higher education. Kissel completed doctoral coursework at the University of Chicago, and received a M.A. in Social Thought from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University.

Mr. Philip Lively is Vice-President of Finance and Administration and Treasurer at the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International. Prior to his appointment as Vice-President of Finance and Administration, he served as ASTM International’s Vice-President of Information Technology Development and Application. Currently he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Clinical and Laboratories Standards Institute. Lively received his M.B.A. in Finance from Drexel University (PA), completed graduate studies in Political Philosophy at the University of Chicago, and received a B.A. in Politics from Assumption College (MA).

Ms. Barbara Oakley is Professor of Engineering at Oakland University (MI). Her research interests range from STEM education, to Engineering education, to learning practices. Oakley lectures internationally on STEM education, ‘Learning How to Learn’, and ‘Shaping Careers and Learning-21st Century Skills’. She is the author of A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra). She is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Oakley received a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from Oakland University (MI), a M.S. in Electrical Computing Engineering from Oakland University (MI), a B.A. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, and a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Washington.

Ms. Christine von Renesse is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Westfield State University (MA) and is an author and principal investigator for the project, Discovering the Art of Mathematics, which provides resources to support college faculty teaching Mathematics for Liberal Arts. She has also served as a principal investigator for project PRIME: Promoting Resources for the use of Inquiry throughout Mathematics Education, and has published specifically on inquiry-based learning and the art of mathematical discourse. Von Renesse received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a M.Ed. and a M.S. in Mathematics from the Technical University in Berlin, and completed undergraduate studies at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin (Music Conservatory).

Mr. Steven Meyer is Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas, Houston (TX). He is the author of the forthcoming book, Theology of Christian Faith in the work of Cardinal Avery Dulles (Fordham University Press). He has taught on the secondary level and served as a certified accreditation visitor for the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department. Meyer received a Ph.D. from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, a Licentiate in Theology from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC, an M.A. in Theology from Franciscan University, Steubenville (OH) and a B.A. in History and Theology from Franciscan University, Steubenville (OH).

Mr. William Schmitt is headmaster of Trivium School, an independent co-educational day school in Lancaster (MA). He is the 2014 Recipient of the Henry Salvatori Prize for Excellence in Teaching, awarded through Hillsdale College for the purpose of focusing attention on teaching as the core ingredient of education reform. He has taught at the Thomas More College for Liberal Arts Rome campus and was the Managing Editor of Communio: International Catholic Review. Schmitt received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from Pontifical John Paul II Institute, a B.A. and Licentiate in Theology (S.T.B. and S.T.L.) from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and a B.A. in History from the University of Dallas (TX).