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Distinguished Professor of Humanics: Martin Dobrow 2014-2015

Martin Dobrow 2014-2015

Title of Humanics Lecture
Bending the Arc

Learn more about Professor Dobrow and his career as a Distinguished Professor of Humanics by listening to the "History of Humanics" podcast, which can be found here.

Earned Degrees
B.A., Wesleyan University, 1983
M.Ed., University of Massachusetts, 1989

Final Title at Springfield College
Professor of Communications 

Short statement that describes what it means to be a Distinguished Professor of Humanics:

Being a DPOH is at once humbling, intimidating, and a great honor. For a year, you are the keeper of the flame. In fact, I do think of it as being akin to carrying the Olympic torch for one leg of an important relay that has been going on since 1885. You dig into the best of yourself and the best of this place to find a passion project. For me, that meant plunging into the school's considerable social justice legacy: trying to shine a light on little-known history and to point the beam forward. To me, social justice is all about fairness. We all know that the world is unfair. But it is the job of adults to try to make it more fair, and at a place like Springfield College, we have a special responsibility. My project plunged deeply into the stories of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s commencement speech in 1964 (doubly fascinating because of the FBI pressure on former President Olds to disinvite King, and because of MLK's arrest in St. Augustine, FL, three days before the commencement); on the far-too-suppressed story of Tom Waddell (the vision, in my opinion, of living the Humanics philosophy); on our Team IMPACT program; and on what was then called the School of Human Services. I had the honor of making commencement speeches at our campuses in Boston, Charleston, and Tampa. It was an exhausting year. It was a great year.

Short statement that describes how you continued to live the Humanics mission after your year as Distinguished Professor of Humanics:

Once you become "extinguished" (as some clever DPOH once said), I think it is important to still keep the fire burning. I have attempted to do so in a variety of ways. One path has been the "Sports and Social Justice Symposium," which (thanks to the support of people like Craig Poisson, Calvin Hill, and Michelle Scecina) became the next phase of the "Tom Waddell Day" from my Humanics Year. We have brought in some magnificent speakers who have threaded the sports/social justice needle in different ways: people like Justine Siegal, Justin Zook, Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, and Jessica Waddell Lewinstein Kopp (Tom's daughter). I have also co-chaperoned social justice-themed spring break trips to Washington D.C. and St. Augustine, Fl., with another one planned in 2023 to Atlanta and three cities in Alabama: Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery.


Image credit: Springfield College Directory