North Central College students voted to invite Jack Shindler, professor of English and director of international programs, to speak at the annual Last Lecture.
Originally scheduled for May 13, the free event has been changed and will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, in the Harold and Eva White Activities Center. A dessert reception will follow the event.
Like many colleges and universities nationwide, North Central has adopted the concept of the Last Lecture where faculty talk to their students as if it was their last. This is the eighth year the College Union Activities Board (CUAB) has sponsored North Central’s Last Lecture.
Shindler’s lecture, titled “Cross, Question, and Connect: Debriefing a Global Citizen’s Education,” will focus on his passion to help visitors in new cultures process their experience. He feels it’s vitally important to learn how to cross borders, how to ask questions and how to make connections. Only then, he says, do we deserve the title of global citizen.
Shindler joined North Central’s faculty in 1981, after teaching for five years at Texas Southern University. He earned his B.A. in English from Williams College and his Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University, followed by an M.A. in applied linguistics at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He also received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to France in 1968-1969.
At North Central, he’s served as English department chair, Division of Arts and Letters chair and international student advisor. He’s directed the Office of International Programs since its inception in 1994 and established and developed more than 50 student study abroad programs, the D-Term study abroad courses and the annual international focus cocurricular programming.
Shindler led campus efforts to apply for and receive the 2015 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization and he’s written and directed three major grants for the College: globalizing the curriculum (1997-1999), advancing the next level in Asian studies (2002-2005), and establishing the Middle Eastern and North African studies (2015-2017).
He’s the recipient of North Central College’s 2003 Harold and Eva White First Citizen of the College award, the 1999 Dissinger Outstanding Senior Faculty award and the 1987 Dissinger Outstanding Junior Faculty award.
He continues to present on aspects of campus internationalization at national and international conferences and conducts research on debunking cultural stereotypes. His recent research interests have focused on how the international experience affects student learning, the psychology of sentence construction, and the essay, especially the essays of Annie Dillard, Joan Didion and James Baldwin.
Previous North Central last lecturers include Kristine Servais, associate professor of education, and William Muck, associate professor of political science, 2014; Al Carius, professor of health and physical education, head men’s cross country coach and associate head men’s track and field coach, 2013; Harold Wilde, president emeritus, 2012; Lou Corsino, professor of sociology, 2011; Susan Mack, visiting instructor of education, 2010; Perry Hamalis, Cecilia Schneller Mueller Professor of Religion, associate professor of religious studies and director of academic opportunities, 2009; and Stephen Maynard Caliendo, professor of political science, 2008.