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David Gaines Named New Director Of Southwestern University’s Paideia Program

David J. Gaines, associate professor of English and former Brown Teaching Professor, has been named director of the Paideia Program at Southwestern University effective July 1.

In 2002, Gaines was named one of 10 inaugural Paideia Professors at Southwestern. The innovative Paideia (pronounced pie-DAY-uh) Program was developed as part of the University’s Strategic Plan for 2010. Paideia Professors work with small groups of students over the course of three years to help them make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and the world around them. The first class of Paideia Scholars is graduating this month and approximately 180 students will be participating in the program next fall.

“I am honored and thrilled to be working with my faculty colleagues and our students as we move the program into its next phase,” Gaines said. “Public intellectualism, substantive and sustained conversations among students from varying academic disciplines, and educational transformation will continue to be central to Paideia. We at Southwestern are most fortunate to have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students and the communities in which they will work and serve. I look forward to it all.”

Gaines has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1984. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and advanced degrees (M.A. and Ph.D.) from The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches courses in American literature, film studies and cultural studies, and has won three teaching awards in his career.

“David has demonstrated a passion for the Paideia Program that makes him well-suited for this new leadership role,” said Provost Jim Hunt. “He is one of the inaugural Paideia Professors and is a long-standing and respected member of the Southwestern faculty. I believe his knowledge of the program and his deep understanding of the core mission of Southwestern will allow him to effectively shape the program as it continues to evolve in the coming years. I look forward to seeing the program continue to develop under his leadership.”

Gaines will continue to teach not only in the Paideia Program but also in Southwestern’s First-Year Seminar Program and the English Department.

Gaines replaces Stephanie Fabritius who is leaving Southwestern to become vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Centre College in Danville, Ky., effective July 1.