President, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
Years in current role: 2.5
What is your biggest takeaway from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?
One of my most significant observations as we continue to address current and yet-to-be identified issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic is an ability to respond in a manner that reflects a commitment to the institution’s core principles of community, collaboration, compassion, flexibility, respect. For example, as a small free-standing graduate theological institution, we continue to benefit from the collective wisdom of the Rochester Area College Presidents’ meetings and information shared by Monroe County’s Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza. These conversations serve as a reference point as we make educational and quality of life decisions on behalf of students, faculty, staff, and service providers.
What is your favorite thing about the Rochester community?
Spending time at area nurseries is one of my favorite past times, though I selfishly wish for a slightly longer growing season.
If time were no issue, what would you do to help the community that you aren’t already doing?
Given this region’s philanthropic commitments and my research focus on faith, race, and violence, there are two intersecting issues on which I would welcome an opportunity to engage actively with one or two organizations. One moral dilemma is educational genocide and the other is policing. Central to both of these issues is a socio-theological understanding of who is (or is not) perceived to be fully human. A presenting question for me is how might philanthropy impact change that results in a quality educational experience for a majority of this region’s public school children as well as reduction in violent crimes.