Thiel physics professor chosen for conference on student engagement with vocation

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College Assistant Professor of Physics Eugene Torigoe, Ph.D., has been selected to participate in the 2019 NetVUE summer conference, “Broadening the Scope of Vocational Exploration.”

“Thiel College has made an extraordinary effort to not only revitalize the science programs but also how those programs prepare students for a lifelong vocation. A collaborative effort by four professors at Thiel have secured a National Science Foundation grant to redesign how our students engage with science, vocation and community collaboration,” Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Elizabeth Frombgen, Ph.D., said. “The NetVUE seminar is an amazing opportunity for our faculty to present and hear other best-practice techniques in vocational education.”

The Council of Independent Colleges through its Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education sponsors the conference from June 17–21 at the Techny Towers Conference and Retreat Center in Northfield, Ill.  The council selected nearly 20 participants by competitive nomination from its member and affiliate organizations. Designed for early- to mid-career faculty members, participants learn how to strengthen the teaching of vocational exploration by probing a variety of understandings of vocation and their importance in educating undergraduates, by developing new courses or course materials or redesigning existing courses, and by establishing a broader network of faculty members committed to teaching vocational exploration.

“For the past few years, I have been exploring the various ways vocation could be emphasized to increase student motivation to pursue majors in the sciences. We need to do a better job of helping students understand how the pursuit of science can be a lifelong vocation,” Torigoe said. “With a group of Thiel science faculty, we have developed a first year seminar course to emphasize science as a vocation, and, in particular, the ways that the skills learned in the sciences can be used to help others. I believe that this seminar can help me find better, more effective ways to transmit this message.”

Seminar discussions also will focus on mentoring students for ongoing vocational exploration, understanding the characteristics of emerging adults, and considering how social, cultural and institutional dynamics both facilitate and hinder living out one’s vocation. Paul J. Wadell, director of the NetVUE Faculty Development Seminars, who is a professor of theology and religious studies at St. Norbert College, and Darby Kathleen Ray, who is the Donald W. and Ann M. Harvard Professor of Civic Engagement at Bates College, where she also is professor of religious studies and director of the Harvard Center for Community Partnerships, will lead the seminar.

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About NetVUE

​​            Since its creation in 2009, the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education is a nationwide network of colleges and universities formed to enrich the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students. National conferences and regional events are held in alternating years to bring together teams of campus leaders with expert resource persons from across the country and serve as one of the NetVUE cornerstone activities. This initiative is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc.

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a new Master of Science in speech-language pathology and 2Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program.A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation as it celebrates 150 years.