"WORDS MATTER" Radio Interviews - Click for Podcasts

Words are symbols; words shape our thoughts.  Thoughtful and logical word choice is a responsibility of leadership and key to creating a civic culture that enables citizens "to evaluate their role within society and to have input into it." (MSU student Justin Garcia - 2012)

During the spring semester 2014, NJ Arts News explored the importance of words to leadership in a 5-part series of radio interviews with leaders in higher education.   Called "Words Matter," the project was funded in part by the NJ Council for the Humanities and facilitated by Seton Hall University.



[Susan Haig, Series Producer; Sonia Schnee, Editor] 

Part I:  Dr. Peter Mercer, President, Ramapo College [8:12] 
Peter Mercer shares thoughts, humor, and personal anecdotes on the challenges and rewards of     college leadership, the central role of humanities in education, and the importance of words and meaning.  Dr. Mercer holds an LL.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and a J.D. from the University of Western Ontario, where he later served as Dean of the Faculty of Law.  He is currently Vice Chair of the NJ Association of Colleges and Universities.  

Part II:  Dr. Judith Stark, Professor of Philosophy, Seton Hall University [7:14]
Judith Stark suggests “quality of life,” as a new metric, and to ensure a healthy, thriving planet, underscores the need for citizen responsibility, respect for nature, and a rich interior life.  Dr. Stark holds a B.A. from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, an M.A. from Marquette University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research in NYC.

Part III:  Dr. Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers University–Newark [7:35]
Nancy Cantor speaks about Newark’s potential for growth, her love of Social Psychology and creative dialogue, and the news media’s role in empowering diverse voices and fostering collaboration.  Dr. Cantor served 9 years as Chancellor of Syracuse University; she holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University.

Part IV:  Dr. Michael Zavada, Professor of Biology, (with Dr. Judith Stark) [9:54]
Michael Zavada speaks about environmental change as a “test of humanity,” and the necessity of citizen knowledge and civic action.  Dr. Zavada served as Professor and Chair of Tennessee State University’s Biological Sciences Department, holds an M.S. in Botany  from Arizona State University and a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University Connecticut-Storrs. 

Part V:  Dr. Shirley Tilghman, President Emerita, Princeton University [7:09]
Shirley Tilghman discusses arts as central to undergraduate education, the urgency of "putting a price on carbon" to motivate environmental stewardship, and the need for women in leadership.  Dr. Tilghman served 12 years as President of Princeton University and is a Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton.  She holds an Honors B.Sc. in Chemistry from Queen’s University in Ontario and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Temple University.