Fogelson 2018: Revolutionizing the University with Dr. Cathy Davidson

November 6, 2018


On October 24, the John V. Roach Honors College welcomed educator, innovator and author Dr. Cathy Davidson as the keynote speaker for the 2018 Fogelson Honors Forum. Each fall, the forum brings renowned speakers, scholars and professionals to TCU’s campus to share innovative ideas and to engage in thought-provoking dialogue in alignment with the Honors College’s mission to enrich the intellectual life of TCU.

A noted workplace innovator, Davidson is a leader in developing new methods, tools and tricks to deal with the special mental challenges we face in a digital world. She is the author of Now You See It and The New Education.

Davidson kicked off her TCU visit with a student Q&A session where she fielded questions on education and the roles of data and technology in the modern world.

After interacting with students, Davidson met with TCU faculty, staff and administrators at an evening reception. Former Honors Faculty Fellow, Dr. Beata Jones tweeted, “Super stoked to meet @CathyNDavidson today, the woman whose early work inspired one of my honors colloquia, my thinking about faculty role in higher education, and what I do day-to-day!”

Davidson’s keynote address explored the history of higher education, from its humble beginnings to its current role in today’s information-saturated world. She noted that “it was no coincidence that early higher education classrooms looked like the inside of a machine shop,” due to a historically hierarchical structure that resisted change.

Davidson offered a few suggestions on how to “revolutionize” the university, some of which are similar to activities the John V. Roach Honors College is already implementing. For example, she discussed a university that offers its students a unique look at humanity through a class on happiness. At TCU, the Honors College offers a colloquium on happiness co-taught by Honors Associate Dean and Professor of Social Sciences Rob Garnett and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Lisa Vanderlinden.

Following the Forum, many TCU faculty members reacted to Davidson’s talk on social media:

“Such an inspiring talk by @CathyNDavidson!” tweeted Dr. Charlotte Hogg, Associate Professor of English in the AddRan College of Liberal Arts.

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Musicology in the College of Fine Arts Dr. William Gibbons agreed, “Amazing, thought provoking talk tonight by @CathyNDavidson at the @jvrhonors Fogelson Forum – ‘Revolutionizing the University’!”

The Fogelson Honors Forum is an annual community event established through a gift from the estate of Buddy Fogelson and Greer Garson. The trustees of the E.E. Fogelson and Greer Garson Charitable Foundation of Dallas selected the Honors College as a recipient of the generous grant because of Fogelson’s association with TCU. A successful oilman and rancher, Buddy Fogelson attended TCU in 1919 and 1920.

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