Paideia

Interdisciplinary Learning

Paideia is Southwestern’s interdisciplinary approach to education, but what exactly is interdisciplinary learning?

The National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine define interdisciplinary research as “a mode of research by teams or individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice” (Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research, p. 26).

Interdisciplinary Learning in Action

Check out these stories to see Southwestern students and faculty’s interdisciplinary approach to learning. 


  • Full STEAM Ahead

    Paideia Scholar Lauren Muskara ’21 champions making connections between science, technology, and the fine arts.

  • Countering Terrorism through Research

    Meili Criezis ’17 publishes scholarship about extremist rhetoric, terrorist propaganda, and political violence.

  • The Wheel’s Still in Spin

    First-generation college student and English major Delilah Dylan Dominguez ’09 has three graduate degrees to her name and is now a practicing physician assistant.

  • A Close-Knit Community

    Faculty, staff, and STEM majors crocheted together virtually all year, culminating in an on-campus exhibit and a new student organization.

  • Computers and Creativity

    Anna Krolikowski ’20 sees creativity and story as the common denominators of her English and computer science majors.

  • A World Traveler

    Fulbright Scholar Brielle Read ’20 has been traveling the world and making a difference since the tender age of 14.

  • COVID Creativity and Communication

    Southwestern STEM students combine science, art, and community engagement in collaborative SciArt projects.

  • Chasing Curiosities

    For Zack Nesbit ’13, a life worth living means always learning and never compromising one’s passions.

  • Shakespeare across Time, Languages, and Disciplines

    Associate Professor of Theatre Sergio Costola and Associate Professor of English Michael Saenger coordinated a seminar on translating Shakespeare at an international conference in Rome.

  • Baroque Economic Beauty

    Southwestern undergraduates explore the beauty of global economics through artful data visualization.

  • The Science and Art of Salamanders

    Kira McEntire ’13 explores creative expression while teaching and researching wildlife biology.

  • Southwestern Alum and Math Faculty Win Prizes for Coauthored Paper

    Robert Lehr ’15 and Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura receive the Carl B. Allendoerfer Award