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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Humans of UWW: Meet Robert Dwyer

Jul 20, 2022

Robert Dwyer, 70, from Illinois, has returned to finish his bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies after a fifty-year hiatus. Robert is a First Generation college student who is self-employed as a renewable energy project financer and a construction developer with his company American Renewable Energy. He is continuing his education at UWW with a degree concentration in public literacy and philosophy, and plans to teach after graduation.

Every adult student has a story. What’s your story?

When I left DePaul University in 1971, like many of my contemporaries, I believed there was no hope of overcoming the fascism of the military/industrial/educational complex. The anti-war, civil rights, women's rights, and indigenous rights movements were rapidly being swallowed up by the wealthy, privileged, and politically powerful in this country. The growing middle-class meritocracy—the yuppie farm for managers and professionals—would serve the elites in the hope that some bite-sized portions of wealth and power would trickle down to them.

What are your plans for after graduation, professionally and personally?

Starting now, and continuing after graduation, I plan to find as many effective strategies as I can to bring to the non-academic public the desire and abilities needed for truly independent, rational, critical thinking. I hope to develop practical methodologies by which everyday people can analyze for themselves, according to the needs of their everyday life, the sciences of biology, chemistry, electromagnetism, politics, economics, and business. My goal is to teach observation and process rather than detailed, reductionist content.

What advice do you have for other adults thinking about finishing their degrees?

If you want job or career training, work within an existing degree concentration with a proven track record. If you want to learn about the world you really live in and how to make the world you live in a better, bigger, more loving place, design the degree concentration yourself here at UWW.


*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the person being featured and do not necessarily reflect those of the University.