Columbia University scholar to deliver Presidential Leadership Colloquium 

By Ellie Puljak

Louisiana Tech University will host Human, Humanism, Humanities: Refections on an Education for Freedom – a lecture by Dr. Roosevelt Montás – at 4 p.m. March 17 in Wyly Auditorium as the University’s next Presidential Leadership Colloquium. 

Montás, who currently serves as Columbia University’s Senior Lecturer in American Studies and English, will discuss the significance of a liberal arts education and its profound role in his life as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic to the United States. 

Dr. Jeremy Mhire, Director of the Waggonner Center for Civic Engagement and Public Policy and Associate Professor of Political Science at Louisiana Tech, said Montás’ work has sparked meaningful discussion on the unwavering significance of the humanities and their particular relevance to students from marginalized communities. 

“Professor Montás’s recent book Rescuing Socrates is at the forefront of the national conversation about the future of higher education,” said Mhire. “In this lecture, Montás will speak of the transformational effects the liberal arts had on him as a young immigrant to the United States in the early 1990s, and why those experiences are more vital than ever for future generations of Americans.” 

Rescuing Socrates is Montás’ own testament to the significance of a liberal education. The book cites the works of Plato, Augustine, Freud, and Gandhi, synthesizing memoir and literary analysis in defense of the education often criticized by modern academics and seen as a force of exclusion for underprivileged students. 

“Louisiana Tech is truly fortunate to sponsor this event,” Mhire said. “This lecture will appeal to anyone interested in substantive questions about education. It will be especially important for those committed to removing the barriers faced by too many students from underprivileged or unrepresented backgrounds.” 

Montás serves as Director of the Center for American Studies’ Freedom and Citizenship Program, a program designed to introduce high school students to college-level work in the humanities and prepare them for lives as informed, responsible citizens. In the program, students attend a free four-week summer residential program where they take an intensive seminar course on political philosophy taught by Ivy League professors and then engage in a year-long civic leadership project focused on contemporary political issues and advocacy initiatives. 

Montás’ book is available at a 30 percent discount through the Princeton University Press. Use the code RMPUP on checkout at press.princeton.edu. 

 


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