Director's Message

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR, PROFESSOR THOMAS BRASHEAR-ALEJANDRO

Thomas Brashear-Alejandro

Greetings from our new home in 350 Campus Center Way. The last year and a half BDIC has seen various changes in the way that we deliver our courses, interact with our students and advise some of the most interesting curriculum on campus. We still see many changes in the future as we begin the 2021-22 academic year.

After six years being housed in Commonwealth Honors College, we have found a new home where we have been greeted with open arms to begin another step in the 50+ year journey of BDIC. We are a bit further away from the center of campus but we inch closer to our goal of being part of a broader collection of supportive interdis­ciplinary programs and leadership like never before. We have a new permanent home as an official unit of University Without Walls and we look forward to continuing our contribution to interdisciplinarity on the Amherst campus and beyond.

In addition to our new home, we have had a transition this year after more than 25 years of service and dedication by Assistant Director and Chief Advisor Linda Roney. Upon her retirement in December 2020, we welcomed back Rebecca Schwartz in this important role. We wish all the best to Linda in her new transition and look forward to continued dedication and focus on students as Rebecca takes the reins of the most important role in BDIC.

The past year we started building a new curriculum for BDIC students. We are expanding into new classes to transition students into the complex curriculum build­ing of BDIC and also developing new courses to focus on community among our students. We are introducing new seminars that will allow students with similar interest to have a specialized course in such areas as Fashion Studies, Innovation and Creativity, as well as Design focused students. The past year has seen the Film Studies track enroll more than 50 students. This track, based on the very successful Film Studies Certificate, is being incubated with all signs of having sufficient student demand for a new campus major.

We look forward to the 2021-22 academic year with hope of a return to our tra­ditional interaction with students in our advising and classwork with one focus in mind; continuing to remain a student-centered program whose students have been “Revolutionizing Undergraduate Education for 50 Years.” Come and see us at 350!

—THOMAS BRASHEAR ALEJANDRO