My name is Lana Rings, and this blog addresses the heart and soul of higher education, as I see it.

This is, to me, higher education in a nutshell:

To speak the truth, as one sees it
To open one’s heart

What I continually see around me is the interconnectedness of all things, of all events, of all people, and of all ideas.

I am coming to value the intersection of thought between minds that a friend and colleague of mine, as well as Steven Johnson talks about — that it is not only the work of the lone scholarly researcher sitting in the library or the lab that is critically important, but also those with whom we carry on a two-way conversation, whether synchronous or asynchronous.

I see events on campus that are of value to our students and address problems and solutions for our time. I see courses on campus that do the same. I see a diverse student population and our desire to help them succeed, so they can have a good physical, mental/intellectual, and emotional/spiritual life. I see a more beautiful campus than ever before, with amenities and help for our students – mental, intellectual, emotional, physical. I see us reaching out to people to help them understand the world and knowledge better, to help them help themselves and others. I see compassion and understanding, desire and hope.

Amid all the problems, I see my people, the people I come from in some ways, the people I serve, and the knowledge I serve that is for the greater good.

I am the interim director of our new Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and an associate professor of German at the University of Texas at Arlington. These are my thoughts on higher education. They may or may not be the views of UT Arlington.


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