Association for Interdisciplinary Studies

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AIS Awards

AIS Awards

The Boulding Award

The Boulding Award honors Kenneth E. Boulding, an economist who rose to the top of his discipline while carrying out pioneering interdisciplinary research. A nominee for the Nobel Prize in both peace and economics, Boulding received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the American economist under forty who made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. He later served as president of the American Economics Association. Boulding’s seminal interdisciplinary research helped establish the fields of integrated social science, peace studies, conflict resolution, general systems, future studies, philanthropy studies, and evolutionary social science. Appropriately, then, in 1979 he gave the keynote address at a national conference on the teaching of interdisciplinary social science where a new professional association, the Association for Integrative Studies (AIS), was founded. His inspiration continues to shape the mission of AIS, and in 1990 the AIS Board of Directors established the Boulding Award in his honor, naming Boulding himself the first recipient.

Recipients of the award are distinguished by their major long-term contributions to interdisciplinary studies, whether by clarifying and deepening the conception of interdisciplinary or by promoting scholarly or public understanding. Because the Boulding Award celebrates outstanding records of accomplishments, it is conferred only occasionally.

Award Criteria
Criteria for this award are shaped by Boulding’s own dedication to interdisciplinary across education, research, and community work.

The award is conferred upon an individual whose writings or other professional achievements have made major, long-term contributions to the conception or implementation of interdisciplinary. Membership in AIS is not a prerequisite for receiving the Boulding Award. Excellence is demonstrated by qualities such as the following:

  • creation of important, unexpected, or new connections among disciplines, interdisciplinary fields, and professions; 
  • generation of new understandings or redefinitions of interdisciplinary; 
  • design and facilitation of major institutional or societal change or awareness based on conscious promotion and deep understanding of interdisciplinary;
  • production of influential scholarship on interdisciplinary at large or in specific fields; or
  • widespread diffusion of interdisciplinary work that has scientific or social merits.

Boulding Committee Membership and Nomination Procedures
(1) The Boulding Committee consists of three members of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies appointed by the AIS President to three-year, staggered terms. Thus, each year one member rotates off and a new member is appointed. When feasible, past AIS presidents and past Boulding Award recipients will have priority to serve. The member of the Committee in the last year of her/his multi-year appointment shall serve as chair.

(2) Each year AIS members may recommend potential nominees to the Committee. The Board of Directors and the Committee will invite nominees each year in the December newsletter.  Nominations received by March 15 will be considered for an award presented at that year’s conference.

(3) Committee members must refrain from recommending candidates for this award until their 3-year term on the Committee is completed. They are also ineligible for the award while serving on the Committee.

(4) The Committee will review any recommendations and:
  • nominate up to three candidates to the AIS Board of Directors along with justification, in either ranked or unranked order at its discretion, with the possibility of no nomination if warranted; and
  • submit to the AIS Board of Directors an annual report on its deliberations and decisions.

(5) The AIS Board of Directors will make the final decision whether to confer the Boulding Award on any candidate nominated by the Committee.

Instructions for Recommending a Candidate to the Boulding Committee
A formal recommendation packet should include a letter of recommendation that makes the case for a candidate based on designated criteria along with supporting material, including an updated curriculum vitae of the candidate and pertinent evidence.

Claims of “excellent,” “outstanding,” major,” “groundbreaking,” etc. must be substantiated. Informal testimonies on publisher websites and sellers such as may be included but do not constitute valid peer review.

Claims of “impact” and “influence” must be supported by documentation such as sales figures, course adoptions, and scholarly citations.

Work based on research collaboration or team curriculum design and teaching  should include a description of the candidate’s contributions and their relative importance.

Recommenders may expand traditional proxy criteria (e.g., number of publications or patents) as warranted, such as guidelines for the scholarship of integration, criteria of excellence in specific interdisciplinary fields, and expanded indicators in the literature on interdisciplinary research and education.

Submit the complete recommendation packet, preferably in a single PDF file via email with “Boulding Recommendation of [individual]” in the subject heading, to

Supporting letters of recommendation for a candidate from up to two other AIS members are encouraged but not required. They should conform to the above criteria for claims and proxy criteria, and may be submitted separately to

Recipients of the Boulding Award:

Ernest L. Boyer, Sr. (1993)
Ernest L. Boyer, Sr. was the leading educational spokesperson and reformer in the U.S. during the 1970s and ‘80s. He was an advocate for integration and connections between the disciplines, the founder of the experimental Empire College, a proponent of rewarding faculty for teaching and a tireless supporter of the scholarship of teaching. During his 40-year career, he served as director of the Western College Association's Commission to Improve the Education of Teachers and director of the Center for Coordinated Education at UC-Santa Barbara; chancellor of the State University of New York; a member of national education commissions under Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter, and then U.S. Commissioner of Education; and president of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. As SUNY chancellor, he not only founded the Empire State College as a non-campus school in which adults could study for degrees without attending classes, but also set up an experimental three-year Bachelor of Arts program, and established a new rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor to reward faculty members for educational distinction as well as research. In Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate he identified four legitimate kinds of scholarship: discovery, integration, application, and teaching. This report has created debates around the country and has influenced many colleges and universities to evaluate their faculty differently.  While president of The Carnegie Foundation he co-authored with Arthur Levine A Quest for Common Learning: The Aims of General Education, which proposed that general education at the college level become more integrated. A call for greater integration between the disciplines was to be a recurring theme in his other reports through the years.

Based on information provided by the Ernest L. Boyer Center, Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania. Photo also courtesy of the Ernest L. Boyer Center. To access the Center's webpage on Ernest L. Boyer, click here.

(Photo courtesy of Ernest L. Boyer Center, Messiah College)

Jerry G. Gaff (1993)
Jerry GaffJerry G. Gaff is Senior Scholar at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), where he has directed national projects to strengthen undergraduate general education programs, to establish programs that support the professional development of faculty, and most recently to develop new models for the graduate preparation of future faculty members. He also is the founding director of AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal. During the 1960s, while a teacher at Raymond College, an innovative college at the University of the Pacific, he wrote and edited The Cluster College (1970), the first systematic analysis and assessment of interdisciplinary experimental colleges. During the 1970s he helped to define the new terms of faculty development to include growth as a teacher and as a member of the academic community with his Toward Faculty Renewal (1975). Through directing the Project on Institutional Renewal Through the Improvement of Teaching, writing, speaking, and consulting, he helped to establish centers for faculty development or teaching excellence at dozens of institutions. During the 1980s he worked on curriculum issues and assisted scores of institutions to strengthen their core curricula. He published General Education Today (1983), New Life for the College Curriculum (1991), and Strong Foundations: Twelve Principles of Effective General Education Programs (1994). Beginning in 1993, he has directed the Preparing Future Faculty program, which has awarded grants to research universities and disciplinary societies to develop model programs that prepare graduate students for research, teaching, and service roles in a diversity of colleges and universities. Among his 21 books, he co-edited the Handbook of the Undergraduate Curriculum: A Comprehensive Guide to Purposes, Structures, Practices, and Change (1997), which brought national attention to the mainstreaming of interdisciplinary general education and its connections to other innovations.

Julie Thompson Klein (2003)
Julie Thompson Klein, Professor of Humanities in the English Department and Faculty Fellow in the Office for Teaching and Learning  at Wayne State University, is an internationally respected authority on interdisciplinary research, education, and problem solving. Her books include  Interdisciplinary: History, Theory, and Practice (1990), Interdisciplinary Studies Today (co-editor, 1994), Crossing Boundaries: Knowledge, Disciplinarities, and Interdisciplinarities (1996), Transdisciplinarity: Joint Problem Solving among Science, Technology, and Society (co-editor, 2001), Interdisciplinary Education in K-12 and College (editor, 2002), the monograph, Mapping Interdisciplinary Studies (1999), Humanities, Culture, and  Interdisciplinary: The Changing American Academy (2005), and Creating Interdisciplinary Campus Cultures (2010). She is also Associate Editor of the Oxford Handbook of  Interdisciplinary (2010), co-editor of the University of Michigan Press series Digital Humanities@digitalculturebooks, and author of a forthcoming book on Mapping Digital Humanities exploring the interdisciplinary contours of the field. For more information on her books, see the listings in Recent AIS-connected Publications on Interdisciplinary.

William H. Newell (2003)
newell imageWilliam H. Newell is Emeritus Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University. He was a founding faculty member in 1974 of Miami's School of Interdisciplinary Studies (Western College Program), where he taught for 37 years. Most of his teaching was in the senior project workshop and first year seminars in the social sciences. Previously, he taught economics and interdisciplinary social science at Temple University for a year, then served four years as a tutor in the Paracollege at St. Olaf College. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an AB in philosophy from Amherst College. He has edited two books, including the foundational  Interdisciplinary: Essays from the Literature (see listing in Recent AIS-connected Publications on Interdisciplinary) , and three special issues of journals, and he has published over 30 articles and chapters on interdisciplinary studies, with seminal contributions to the theory and practice of interdisciplinary recognized in his receipt of the Kenneth E. Boulding Award. Newell has served as a consultant or external evaluator on interdisciplinary higher education over 100 times. The founding president of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (formerly Association for Integrative Studies) in 1979, he has served since 1983 first as its secretary-treasurer and then as executive director.

Issues in Integrative Studies 2008 published his article, "The Intertwined History of Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Teaching and the Association for Integrative Studies: An Insider's View." AIS members can access the article by clicking here.

Raymond C. Miller (2008)
Raymond C. Miller is a past president, journal editor, and longtime member of AIS.  He is also the past president of the Society for International Development and Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Social Science at San Francisco State University. He received his PhD from Syracuse University and MA from the University of Chicago. His culminating work, International Political Economy: Contrasting World Views, was published by Routledge in 2008 (see listing in Recent AIS-connected Publications on Interdisciplinary). His most significant early publication on interdisciplinary was his 1982 Issues in Integrative Studies article: “Varieties of Interdisciplinary Approaches in the Social Sciences (click here). At his university Miller was the founding chair (1980) of the University Interdisciplinary Council on which he served until his retirement in 2006.  Miller’s “courage in the service to the public good” was cited as a key feature of his commitment to creating social change, another criterion of the prestigious Boulding award. He served for over a decade on his city’s governing body with three terms as mayor (Brisbane, California).  He was also the founding chair of the joint powers organization that encompassed all 20 cities in San Mateo County.

Yves Lenoir (2012)

Yves Lenoir, Professor of the Faculty of Education of the University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, has contributed to clarifying the plurality of meanings of interdisciplinary and integration as well as their impacts on teaching practices. In 1991, he established a research group, the Centre de Recherche sur L’intervention Educative (CRIE), which he directed until 2006. Characterized by its interdisciplinary perspective, the CRIE has brought together professors from different departments in education with other outstanding faculty in humanities, sciences, and engineering in order to analyze educational questions from a multidisciplinary perspective based on a variety of interdisciplinary approaches. His published works constitute an essential reference on an international scale: in European, Latin American, and North American higher education.  His numerous publications are characterized by an unusual synthesis of breadth, depth, and originality.  The rare ability to turn thought into action is also evinced in the daily professional lives of educators in school settings around the world. He has lectured and trained in such countries as Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Spain, France, Morocco, Lebanon, Tunisia, and the United States, and his work and its widespread influence have brought him both national and international renown. In 2007, he was decorated on behalf of the King of Belgium by the Belgium Ambassador to Canada, with the Order of the Crown, the highest distinction awarded to a civilian and the first order of knighthood in Belgium. He is the holder of the prestigious Canada Research Chair in Educative Intervention for a second mandate (2008-2015) and a member of the evaluation council for the Canada Research Chair Program (CRCP). He was also a member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and of the Quebec commission on teaching and university research (CERU) of the Superior Council on Education. He is also an active international expert for various international organizations,and he has served as president of the World Association for Educational Research from 2000 to 2012.

His publication record includes editorial leadership for the special 28th edition of Issues in Integrative Studies (2010), co-edited with Julie Thompson Klein. This groundbreaking issue presented a comparative view of national perspectives on interdisciplinary in schools. AIS members can access the by clicking here. click the link for Issues in Integrative Studies Special No. 28, 2010

The Newell Award
The Newell Award for Exemplary Service honors William H. Newell, founding President and longtime Executive Director of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies and a leading voice for interdisciplinary studies in the U.S. Recipients are individuals who have distinguished themselves by contributions that support and enhance the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies.

In the minds of those who conceived the award, there was no question that it must bear the name of Bill Newell. Beginning with its founding in 1979 and continuing through more than three decades, he has been the central driving force for AIS and by extension interdisciplinary studies in the United States. His exemplary record includes organizational and leadership accomplishments, grant seeking and acquisition to benefit interdisciplinary studies, workshops on the teaching of interdisciplinary studies, mentoring colleagues in the areas of teaching, research and scholarship, and service, encouraging and authoring scholarship on interdisciplinary studies, and serving as a consultant and external evaluator on interdisciplinary higher education. His role within AIS has helped to broaden the scope and applicability of interdisciplinary studies worldwide and deepen the understanding of interdisciplinary studies among colleagues, colleges, and universities, here and abroad. As Executive Director, he supervises support staff, prepares budgets and oversees the finances of AIS, monitors current AIS membership and strategies to increase participation, provides day-to-day as well as visionary leadership for the Board of Directors and cultivates new members for the Board who bring in fresh ideas. He has provided AIS an institutional home at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he is a Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, and he has successfully negotiated with the university for technical support, financial support, staff support, and other needs. For more than three decades, he has edited the Integrative Pathways newsletter, bringing the latest information about new books, interdisciplinary conferences and new perspectives on interdisciplinary studies to members on a regular basis. The Newell Award was established in 2009.

Award Criteria
The award is to be given to one whose service to the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies has made long-term contributions to its mission and vision. That service can take a variety of different forms:
  • Leadership and active membership on the Board of Directors, task forces, committees, and other AIS bodies.
  • Service as host, member of program or other committees, or coordinator for AIS conferences, and active conference participation ( e.g., presenting papers, moderating sessions, or conducting workshops).
  • Representation of AIS at other professional conferences, in other professional associations, or on inter-organization task forces.
  • Leadership in extending AIS into other countries, other levels of education (e.g., K-12 education, graduate education), or outside the liberal arts (e.g., professional education, research, or practice; governmental policy making and administration).
  • Development of new resources for members (e.g., a directory of interdisciplinary master’s degree program, a bibliography of publications on interdisciplinary studies, an AIS certificate for excellence in interdisciplinary general education programs).
  • Consulting.

Membership on the Newell Committee
The Newell Committee consists of the Board President as ex officio chair, a past recipient of the award, and two members not currently on the Board, who are elected by the general membership. The elected members serve a term of two years.

(1) Each year, members of the Association for Integrative Studies may nominate Newell Award candidates to the Newell Committee. Nominations should be sent c/o the AIS President. Nominators should submit a brief rationale and background along with the name. The AIS Board of Directors and the Newell Committee will encourage nominations for the Newell Award from the AIS membership through notices in the AIS Newsletter and via the website.

(2) Newell Committee members should refrain from nominating candidates for the Newell Award until their service on the committee is done. Committee members are ineligible for the award until their service on the Newell Committee has concluded.

(3) Each February, the Newell Committee will review the nominations and:

     (a) Recommend up to three nominees to the Board, along with its reasons. The Committee will decide whether or not to rank these names. In any year, the Committee may decide not to recommend anyone.

     (b) For informational purposes, make an annual report of persons nominated from the membership.

(4) The AIS Board will decide whether or not to make the Newell Award to a recommended candidate.

To Nominate a Candidate
Please submit a Word document describing the nominee's service in accordance with the criteria for the William H. Newell Award. Submit this, along with a curriculum vitae of the candidate, in an e-mail with "Newell Nomination" in the subject line to .

Recipients of The Newell Award for Exemplary Service:

Joan B. Fiscella (2009)
Joan B. Fiscella, Principal Bibliographer and Associate Professor for the University of Illinois at Chicago Library (PhD, University of Notre Dame), has been a member of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies since 1987 and served actively as a member on its Board of Directors from 1991 to 2010, making her the longest serving board member other than its founder, Bill Newell. She was the AIS Board President from 1999 to 2001, Co-chair of the AIS Task Force that prepared “Interdisciplinary Studies in General Education Guidelines,” and Co-editor of Issues in Integrative Studies from 2004-2007.

During her presidency, AIS changed from a venue for discussion of intellectual issues into an organization as concerned with providing services to the profession as with exploring ideas. She oversaw a major expansion of the range of AIS leadership activities: from sponsoring original scholarship, to evaluating and developing methods of assessment, to making new scholarship on interdisciplinarity Web-accessible, to preparing for a directory of interdisciplinary doctoral programs, to collaborating with national organizations such as The College Board and the Society for Values in Higher Education, to professionalizing interdisciplinary consulting.

Her work with AIS-sponsored publications included serving as a guest co-editor of a special edition of Issues in Integrative Studies (1992) on Interdisciplinarity and Information: Issues of Access; compiling and editing with Stacey Kimmel, Interdisciplinary Education: A Guide to Resources (New York: The College Board, 1999), and writing a series of articles encouraging scholarship for the AIS Newsletter (2001-2002). Along with Issues in Integrative Studies co-editor Fran Navakas, she held mentoring sessions on interdisciplinary scholarship at AIS conferences, created a series of templates for communicating with authors, set up a Web-based electronic system for sharing manuscripts between editors, and researched copyright laws.

She spearheaded the first AIS workshop to introduce instructional and professional technology to conference attendees and followed that with a number of conference workshops and presentations on the role of technology in interdisciplinary teaching. She was a tireless advocate for the importance of AIS establishing a strong presence on the Internet, and she selected and hired a firm to design the first AIS Website, overseeing its development in early 1999. She is almost single-handedly responsible for the emergence of AIS into the electronic age, serving for many years as a consistent and reliable resource to keep the Board of Directors apprised of developments in information technology and what has became the World Wide Web.

In recognition of her contributions to AIS, she was named the first recipient of the William H. Newell Award for Exemplary Service in 2009.

Donald E. Stowe (2011)
Dr. Donald Earl Stowe has been a member of the Association since 1992. He was introduced to AIS when, as the newly appointed director of the BIS program at the University of South Carolina, he discovered in his new files an external evaluation report from a team headed by Executive Director Bill Newell. In that report he learned that there was a professional association actively discussing issues faced by his program, and he immediately joined.

Always soft-spoken, low-key and self-deprecating, Don viewed himself as a neophyte interdisciplinarian for some years and was content to listen to the presentations by the scholars who wrote the literature on interdisciplinary studies that he was reading and assigning to his students. His first conference presentations were on integrative pedagogy (1997) and adult learners (1998). It wasn’t until 1999 that he gave his first of nine conference presentations on assessment. A few years later, his focus expanded to the intersections of assessment and theory (2002) and then SOITL (2008). In 2000 he was elected as an At-large member of the Board of Directors, in which he held positions at every leve for nearly a decadel, most notably a two-year term as president from 2005-2007.

Don has provided leadership to AIS and to the entire interdisciplinary studies profession in three major areas of service and scholarship:

Assessment: For at least a decade Don has been the AIS voice on assessment. The year after his first AIS conference presentation on assessment in 1999, he took on the duties of chair of the AIS assessment committee. He published on assessment in Issues in integrative Studies (now Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies), in the AIS-sponsored book on Innovations in Interdisciplinary Teaching that Carolyn Haynes edited, and in journals for professionals in assessment and academic advising, and he prepared a new section on assessment for the AIS general education guidelines. He became an advocate for grounding assessment in interdisciplinary theory, and then for connecting assessment to the emerging Scholarship of Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning.

Telecast: In the fall 2004 meeting of the AIS Board of Directors, Don submitted a proposal (with all the details worked out) for a North American teleconference on “Interdisciplinary Studies Today” featuring experts from AIS as panelists. In late fall of the following year, Julie Klein, Bill Newell, and Carolyn Haynes were featured in a two-hour live teleconference beamed to 31 subscribing institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Somehow, he arranged for his institution to pay all the costs and for AIS to receive all the income, first from the teleconference itself and then for the sale of DVDs of the teleconference.

AIS Website Redesign: In the second year of his AIS presidency, Don decided to assume full leadership responsibility for a major redesign of the AIS Website, a process that continued through his service as Past President. He ended up hiring a professional web designer, oversaw the redesign, and ended up paying for all cost overruns himself.

Don’s work has contributed to the growing rigor and professionalism of interdisciplinary studies, and its recognition in related fields. He has brought the work of AIS to the attention of dozens of institutions and many hundreds of faculty and administrators throughout North America.  And he has updated and greatly expanded the presence of AIS on the Internet.

In recognition of his contributions to the Association and to the entire interdisciplinary studies profession, he was named a recipient of the William H. Newell Award for Exemplary Service in 2011.

Pauline Gagnon (2012)

AIS recognized Pauline Gagnon, past president of AIS, for her contributions to the Association by bestowing on her the Newell Award for Exemplary Service.

AIS President Rick Szostak presented her with the award in ceremonies during the 2012 AIS Conference in Rochester, Michigan. She is the fourth recipient of the award, which was established in 2009.

Pauline, Chair of the Mass Communications and Theatre Department and Professor of Theatre at the University of West Georgia, has been a member of AIS since 1996. She first became involved in AIS when she participated in the Institute in Integrative Studies as the head of a three-person team from the University of West Georgia, where she was Director of Interdisciplinary Studies and Writing Across the Curriculum at the time.

She gave her first AIS conference presentation on “Using AIS Standards in Assessing Interdisciplinary General Education Courses” in 2001 (in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Towers}. The following year she was elected to the AIS Board of Directors, where she has served for the last decade. Her rise to leadership within the Board was rapid: two years later she became Director of Development, and two years after that she was president-elect.

Her contributions to AIS have focused on the annual conference, consulting, the website, the initial internationalization of AIS, and most recently establishing Alpha Iota Sigma, the international honor society for interdisciplinary studies.

She has long been highly visible at AIS annual conferences. In 2003 she served as the first coordinator of the “Getting to Know AIS” sessions, and has contributed to most of them ever since. Similarly, she volunteered for the Guide session on curriculum. And for six of the last seven years she has teamed with Allen Repko on what has become known as the “Nuts & Bolts” workshop, which has introduced so many AIS members to self-consciously interdisciplinary teaching.

The Nuts & Bolts workshops are a direct outgrowth of her consulting on interdisciplinary curriculum development, which dates back to 1996 when she finished her six-month participation in the Institute in Integrative Studies. In 2002 she became the first AIS consultant trained by Beth Casey and Bill Newell. The practicum portion of that training was a joint two-day consultancy with Bill at the University of South Dakota, the second day of which she took over the lead role. USD was so impressed with her that they wrote a letter to The Chronicle of Higher Education praising the consulting services of AIS and Pauline in particular. Since then she has consulted at seven other institutions, most recently last year.

For members who may never have attended an AIS conference, she may be best known for her long-standing contributions as editor and lead reviewer of the peer-reviewed syllabi section of the AIS website. She took over that position from Marcia Seabury, who initially proposed the idea and oversaw its establishment. And Pauline has since assembled and coordinated able teams of reviewers, providing important opportunities for members not on the Board of Directors to make significant contributions to AIS. Over the years she has added new categories to that section of the website, enriching it as a resource for all interdisciplinary teachers.

As president she continued projects initiated by Carolyn Haynes on the future management of AIS and by Don Stowe on a redesign of the website. In retrospect, though, the chief contribution of her presidency may be the initial steps taken to internationalize AIS, which notably included the appointment of Lorraine Marshall and Machiel Keestra as international liaisons to the AIS Board of Directors.

Most recently Pauline has championed the establishment of an honor society. With Michelle Buchberger as co-coordinator, she led the formation of a group of pilot chapters and then the development of a mission statement and by-laws. The inaugural meeting of the National Council at the 2012 conference marked the founding of the International Honor Society for Interdisciplinary Studies.

In 2013, Pauline will continue her record of service to AIS as co-editor, with Gretchen Schulz, of the first edition of the association’s peer-reviewed academic journal under its new name, Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Roslyn Abt Schindler (2013)

  The fourth recipient of the Newell Award has been a faithful participant in AIS conferences for nearly thirty years, giving presentations on:

  • adult learners, working women, life-long learners, and other non-traditional students;
  • teaching literature, especially in translation;
  • IDS programs—their evolution, administration, interactions with the rest of the institution, especially disciplinary departments, and how they relate to institutional values;
  • study abroad;
  • learning communities;
  • honors;
  • core courses, capstone courses, and bridging courses;
  • the future of the academy; and
  • holocaust studies.

 After starting to attend AIS conferences, our colleague has given presentations in a number of other venues that bring AIS insights into IDS to the attention of:

  • A Swiss conference on IDS,
  • national and regional meetings of the Modern Language Association,
  • the George Mason conference on non-traditional students,
  • conferences on adult learners and continuing education,
  • the annual learning communities conference of the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education, and
  • local conferences sponsored by our colleague’s institution.

      Not content with being a fixture at AIS conferences, our colleague has hosted them as well—three conferences, in fact, more than anyone else in the history of AIS. In addition, our colleague has served as liaison to other conference hosts on behalf of the AIS Board of Directors, first for a couple years in the mid-1990s and for the last half dozen years and counting.

      Our colleague has been a member of the AIS Board of Directors for a full twenty years—a longer tenure than anyone else other than Bill Newell—including serving a term as president. Other leadership roles in AIS included co-editing our journal and serving for many years as a member of its editorial board; serving on the Nominating, Boulding Award, and (last year) Newell Award Committees. Perhaps most important of all our colleague’s leadership roles has been her service on the Leadership Team for the last half dozen years, alongside currently Rick Szostak as President and Bill Newell as Executive Director.

       In all her years of service to AIS, our colleague has brought a humane touch, gentle sense of humor, and a fierce protective loyalty to whatever issue was under consideration. She has a keen eye for what each individual member can best contribute to AIS or to the interdisciplinary studies profession, and she has been marvelous at helping members select or refine their interdisciplinary research and service. Don Stowe remembers when she rotated briefly off the Board in favor of a member we thought would take her place as conference liaison. When that didn’t work out, the Board anguished over possible replacements until someone wondered if our colleague might be willing to take on the task again. Stuart Henry called her in the middle of the meeting to ask her, and she agreed without hesitation. Please join me in recognizing Dr. Roslyn Abt Schindler as the fourth recipient of The William H. Newell Award for Exemplary Service.

Julie Thompson Klein (2014)

The nominee for [recipient of] the 2014 Newell Award for Exemplary Service is famous for her scholarship on interdisciplinary studies, but even most AIS members are unaware of the nature and extent of her contributions to our Association. Her networking, initiating, consulting, editing, and supporting of interdisciplinarians and interdisciplinary programs have been just as important as her research, even though they often take place out of the limelight.

 Her networking of individuals interested in interdisciplinary studies began in the summer after her first AIS conference in 1983, when she undertook a national tour of interdisciplinarians. Bill Newell has a vivid recollection of sitting with her in his small home office, surrounded by books, discussing over a couple days the merits and shortcoming of different authors’ approaches to interdisciplinary studies. Through dialogue and networking, she started collecting ideas about IDS that she painstakingly brought together, compared, and organized in her first book. Around that time Roz Schindler remembers the nominee encouraging her to attend her first AIS conference, and Bill remembers the nominee alerting him that Roz would make an excellent leader of AIS.

A major aspect of her contribution to AIS has been networking with other associations, organizations, and groups, not just individual scholars. Most visibly, and perhaps of most service to AIS, have been collaborations she set up or facilitated with the Association of American Colleges & Universities. In the late 1980s, she was appointed to the (then) Association of American Colleges task force on interdisciplinary studies for their Study in Depth project, bring AIS sensibilities about IDS to the attention of AAC for the first time.  A few years later she became one of the AIS leaders who collaborated with AAC on a joint FIPSE-NEH-NSF grant proposal for the Asheville Institute on Interdisciplinary General Education, and then staffed the Institute for two summers (1994 and 1995). Several years after that she was designated a senior scholar at AAC&U, contributing to influential AAC&U publications on interdisciplinary and integrative studies, arranging a joint AIS-AAC&U conference on interdisciplinary higher education in 1998, and thereby paving the way for subsequent AIS-AAC&U collaborations on conferences devoted to integrative learning and undergraduate research. Another example of her fruitful networking was with The College Board, which culminated in their publication between 1998 and 2002 of a series of books written by AIS authors.

At the 1984 conference she and Ray Miller proposed that AIS establish three networks in the philosophy, pedagogy, and politics of IDS, and she agreed to serve as overall coordinator. When the politics and pedagogy networks were replaced by the arts network in 1991, she was a leader of that network as well as an active participant in the philosophy network. In particular, she was active in the all-day retreat of the philosophy network task force that met after the 1987 conference to try to achieve some consensus on the definition of IDS, and (no surprise) she was a major contributor to the bibliography on IDS compiled by the philosophy network in 1991.

Also, in 1984 she (along with Ray Miller) represented AIS at the third INTERSTUDY conference on interdisciplinary research. She played key leadership and editorial roles with that organization as long as it continued to function. And later that year she attended an OECD conference in Sweden at which she displayed a newly constructed AIS display and described our work in a paper she presented. That was the first of many such international conferences, congresses, symposia, seminars, academies, panels, centers, research teams, task forces, and advisory boards on interdisciplinary studies in which she actively and prominently participated. It is largely through her efforts over the last thirty years that AIS and its work have been brought to the attention of European inter- and trans-disciplinarians.

Along with a few other AIS leaders, in the 1980s she began consulting at colleges and universities interested in starting interdisciplinary general education programs, as well as serving as an external evaluator of existing general education program. The result was the dissemination throughout the United States of AIS insights into the nature, practice, and habits of mind of interdisciplinary studies.

Largely alone among the leadership of AIS, however, her consulting on interdisciplinarity was not limited to the U.S. but was worldwide (including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Uruguay, to name but a few). Nor was her consulting focused solely on general education, or even on education as a whole; it also included interdisciplinary research and administration, and emerging interdisciplines as well. In these diverse consultations, she has drawn not only upon the work of AIS but also of GRIP—Group for Research into the Institutionalization and Professionalization of Literary Studies (focused on disciplinarity), HASTAC (focused on digital humanities), INTERSTUDY (focused on interdisciplinary research), Science of Team Science (interdisciplinary team research), td-net (focused on transdisciplinary studies), and other professional groups in which she gained prominence over the last three decades.

Just as important have been the quiet, behind-the-scenes networking she has carried out over the decades to forge connections among the various groups, including AIS, with which she has been associated. Her overall approach to the formation of knowledge is highly collaborative, between individuals as well as groups, and across institutional types, national boundaries, and divergent perspectives, including fledgling academics as well as seasoned scholars. The vast majority of these efforts have been highly individualized, involving face-to-face discussions, phone calls, or emails, and requiring an enormous amount of time and effort.

She has made important visible contributions to AIS publications, not just as a frequent contributing author, but also as a guest editor. Again, though, her informal work has been much appreciated by editors as well. For many years she was the source of most suggestions for books to review for the newsletter, and she offered frequent suggestions for up-coming conferences to feature, topics to discuss, or authors to solicit for manuscripts. Well outside public view she has also nurtured scholars seeking to establish themselves in interdisciplinary studies—most notably, perhaps, Tanya Augsburg and Allen Repko, as they wrote textbooks on interdisciplinary studies. And she has been indefatigable in writing letters of recommendation and serving as an external reviewer for promotion or tenure for many a professional interdisciplinarian.

And, finally, she has played important roles in organizing at least four AIS conferences—as a member of the teams organizing the three AIS conferences hosted by her institution, and as the co-host of the 1988 conference when she served as AIS president.

[Please join me in congratulating the recipient of the 2014 Newell Award, Julie Thompson Klein.]