Inauguration Symposium

Thinking Forward … Embracing New Dimensions

View the program from the symposium (PDF)
View Symposium (VIMEO)

Panel Moderator

David R. Evans, Ph.D.
President, Southern Vermont College

David R. Evans, Ph.D., has served as president of Southern Vermont College since January 2015. Prior to his appointment as the leader of SVC, he served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Buena Vista University from 2008 through the end of 2014. His previous experience included serving as dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University (2005-2008), professor of English and chair of the department of English, speech and journalism at Georgia College & State University (2000-2005), and a member of the faculty (1990-2000) and chair of the department of English (1996-2000) at Cornell College.

A native of Los Angeles, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Virginia, all in English. He has published on various aspects of Early Modern English literature and culture, particularly travel literature and aristocratic and genteel identity.

More recently, Evans has spoken nationally and internationally and written extensively on professional issues including faculty hiring and careers, training for administrators, and the future of small private colleges in The Chronicle of Higher Education and elsewhere. He is a regular presenter, facilitator and session leader for programs sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges.
Evans enjoys travel, golf, gardening and leisure and professional reading. He and his wife, Ursula McCarty, are passionate collectors of New Mexico Hispanic devotional art, Turkish textiles and ceramics, other traditional and folk art forms, and stray dogs and cats.

Panel Participants

Mark Shields
Political Analyst, PBS “NewsHour” and Syndicated Columnist

One of the most respected political analysts and the “most trenchant, fair-minded, and thoughtful” according to The Wall Street Journal, Mark Shields entertains and informs audiences with his incisive analysis of American politics and policy.

With a career spanning nine presidents, Mark Shields is one of the most respected analysts in Washington, a pundit whose experience and encyclopedic knowledge of politics combine for one of the most trusted bylines in journalism. A syndicated columnist for more than 25 years, he has been deemed “A Walking Almanac of American Politics” by The Washington Post.
For nearly two decades, Shields has been one half of the political analysis team on the award-winning PBS “NewsHour”. For 17 years, he served as moderator of CNN’s weekly political discussion show, “Capital Gang”. Shields informs and engages audiences with his unique brand of wit and wisdom as he discusses his impressions of the major political events of the past few decades and today’s political headlines. A native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Shields is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has taught American politics and the press at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Public Policy and he was a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy Institute of Politics.

Debra Humphreys, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Academic Planning and Public Engagement, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Debra Humphreys, Ph.D., is an expert in the areas of general higher education issues, higher education research and policy, diversity in higher education, women in higher education, civic engagement, quality of student learning and advocacy for liberal education.

Humphreys was recently named senior vice president for academic planning and public engagement at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Prior to that, she served the AAC&U as vice president of communications, policy and public engagement and as director of programs in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Global Initiatives.

Humphreys currently oversees AAC&U’s projects and continuing programs that build capacity across higher education to provide engaged public-spirited liberal education to all students.  She also leads AAC&U’s national and state-level advocacy and policy efforts related to issues of student success and the quality of student learning. Humphreys works to advance communications capacity on the part of college and university leaders and faculty members and educate the public about the value of an engaged liberal education to prepare for the changing global economy.

Humphreys received her bachelor’s degree from Williams College and her doctorate in English from Rutgers University.

Scott McCorkle
CEO, Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Scott McCorkle serves as CEO, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce. His passion for the Marketing Cloud’s products and technology, combined with his dedication to customer success have been instrumental in building the world’s most powerful 1:1 digital marketing platform.

Prior to his current role, Scott led technology and strategy for ExactTarget. Since its founding in 2000, the company and its technology have grown to power the digital customer experience for many of the world’s leading brands across email, mobile, social media, advertising, and the web. He also co-founded Mezzia, Inc., served as vice president of IBM’s customer relationship management (CRM) product group, and was vice president and general manager for Software Artistry. Scott began his career at BorgWarner Automotive’s Technology Research Center developing computer vision-guided robotic systems, and then spent several years at Eli Lilly and Company’s Lilly Research Laboratories.

Scott earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from Ball State University and his MBA from Indiana University.

Khadijetou “Atama” Abdourahmane
Franklin College senior; Political Science and Spanish Major

Khadijetou “Atama” Abdourahmane traded the familiarity of home to pursue an education in the United States. Born and raised in Mauritania, a country in West Africa, she moved to Indianapolis at the age of 16 to attend the International School of Indiana. Her path eventually led to Franklin College.

On campus, Abdourahmane has served as a student ambassador in the Office of Admissions. “My favorite part of giving tours of campus is showing Old Main, because it is the heart of the college. The close proximity of the departments shows what it means to go to a liberal arts college. There is no separation between subjects as they intermingle to create a holistic approach to education.”
Abdourahmane also serves as a resident assistant and is a member of SASOM (Student Association for the Support Of Multiculturalism).

She has interned at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington D.C. and she gained political experience at the Hannah News Service in Indianapolis. Upon graduation, Abdourahmane plans to travel through the Americas before attending graduate school.

Ian Mullen
Franklin College senior; Journalism Major (broadcast journalism track), Art Studio Minor

Hard work outside the classroom has paid off for senior Ian Mullen. His first internship took him to Los Angeles to work at Lifeboat Productions, a full-service production and development company, working on the film “Joe Dirt II.” He has also interned with the science and comedy podcast StarTalk Radio where he helped launch a daily video project. Mullen most recently worked as an assistant production designer on the feature film “The Good Catholic” starring Danny Glover and John C. McGinley.

On campus, Mullen has served as director of operations for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity’s Haunted House helping to raise more than $2,500 for The Wounded Warrior Project. He serves as a Pulliam Fellow in the Office of Communications.

Mullen has received several awards for his work in design. His artwork has been featured in the campus art show for the past four years. He has also written and directed a short film and is currently writing his first feature length screenplay. He plans to travel to Australia following graduation.