Organizing Committee

Our Organizing Committee represents some of the top liberal arts colleges in the world, and are leaders in advancing global liberal arts.  The Committee includes:

Dr. Jane Edwards, Dean of International and Professional Experience; Senior Associate Dean, Yale College, Yale University

Dr. Edwards has served at Yale since 2006, most recently as Dean of International and Professional Experience and Senior Associate Dean. She previously served in similar positions at Harvard, and at Wesleyan University. She has holds a B.A and an M.A from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught throughout her career, and served in national leadership roles on the Boards of NAFSA, The Fund for Education Abroad, CIEE, and SIT/World Learning. She is author of “The World in the Curriculum” and many papers and chapters on international education, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Studies in International Education.

Tamar (Timi) Mayer, Middlebury College Director of the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs (RCGA)

Tamar (Timi) Mayer, is a political geographer, the director of the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs and the Program in International and Global Studies at Middlebury College. She graduated from University of Haifa in Israel (AB), and received her master’s and doctorate from University of Wisconsin in Madison. Her research interests focus on the interplay among nationalism, landscape and memory as it pertains to stateless ethnic nations, specifically Jewish and Palestinians in Israel and the Palestinian occupied West Bank. Her more recent work has focused on the ethno-cultural identities of Uighurs in Xinjiang, China.
Mayer is the editor or co-editor of five books that focus on different dimensions of international and global issues: Women and the Israeli Occupation (Routledge 1994), Gender Ironies of Nationalism (Routledge 2000), Jerusalem: Idea and Reality (Routledge 2008), The Politics of Fresh Water (Routledge 2017), and The Crisis in Global Youth Unemployment (Routledge, forthcoming in 2018).

Scott Carpenter, Carleton College, Director, Global Engagement Initiative

Scott Carpenter (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison) is the Marjorie Crabb Garbisch Professor of French and the Liberal Arts, as well as the director of Carleton’s Center for Global and Regional Studies. He teaches courses on the representation of otherness, modern poetry, nineteenth-century prose, hybrid cultures in Paris, and creative writing. His publications include Acts of Fiction (1996, on political representations in nineteenth-century literature) and Reading Lessons (2000, an introduction to literary theory), Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France: Frauds, Hoaxes and Counterfeits (2009), as well as a novel Theory of Remainders (2013) and a collection of short stories (This Jealous Earth, 2013). An active participant in the theory and practice of global education, he is currently co-authoring a volume about the integration of study abroad into the liberal arts curriculum.

Bryan Penprase, Soka University of America, Dean of Faculty, Undergraduate Program

Dr. Bryan Penprase is Dean of Faculty for the undergraduate program at Soka University of America, where he works to advance the innovative undergraduate liberal arts curriculum and to develop and expand the Soka University faculty as it develops a new Concentration in Life Science. He previously was a Professor of Science and founding Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at Yale-NUS College, and for 20 years was the Frank P. Brackett Professor of Astronomy at Pomona College. Bryan received both a BS in Physics and an MS in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1985, and a PhD from the University of Chicago in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 1992. Bryan’s research includes nearly all aspects of observational astrophysics, from photometric observations of nearby asteroids to spectroscopic studies of element formation in the Early Universe, using telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck Telescope in Hawaii. He is the author of The Power of Stars – How Celestial Observations Have Shaped Civilization, published by Springer, Inc., and has lectured across the world about the intersections between culture and astronomy, and about innovative STEM education in a global context.

Mary Coffey, Pomona College, Associate Dean, and Director for International Initiatives

Mary Coffey is an expert on 19th- and early 20th-century Spanish literature, in particular the work of Benito Pérez Galdós and his contemporaries. Her published work explores the traditions of nineteenth-century Spanish narrative (historical novels, realist novels) as well as early 19th-century periodical literature (costumbrismo). She is currently completing a book entitled The Ghosts of Colonies Past and Present: Spanish Imperialism in the Early Fiction of Benito Pérez Galdós. From 2011 to 2014 she served as President of the Asociación Internacional de Galdosistas. In addition to courses in Spanish literature, Coffey also teaches courses in Spanish cultural studies.

Michael Weiner, Soka University of America, Associate Dean and Professor of Professor of East Asian History

Michael Weiner is Associate Dean of Faculty, and Professor of East Asian History and International Studies at Soka University of America. Among his major publications are: The Internationalization of Japan (1992); Race and Migration in Imperial Japan (1994); Japan’s Minorities: The Illusion of Homogeneity (1997, 2009); Race, Ethnicity and Migration in Modern Japan (2004) and; The Pacific Basin: An Introduction (2017). He has recently been commissioned to edit a comprehensive survey of race and ethnicity in Asia, and is a “Featured Author” at Taylor & Francis, Routledge.


A wide range of leading liberal arts colleges from across the US as well as several international liberal arts institutions will be represented at the conference. The gathering will bring together leaders in Liberal Arts curriculum, pedagogy and research from institutions across the world. Currently we have heard from leaders at the following institutions, who are expecting to attend and to represent their institutions at the Conference:

  • Pomona College
  • Carleton College
  • Middlebury College
  • Yale University
  • Soka University of America
  • Yale-NUS College
  • Duke Kunshan University

More institutions will be added, and we expect 80-90 representatives of over 30 different institutions to attend.