“I credit my ability to teach in diverse and interdisciplinary fields to the course of study that I pursued as an undergraduate at GMC.”
The ability to navigate uncertainty is not often cited as an attribute of a liberal arts education. Ray Coderre ‘04 doesn’t buy the notion that traditional liberal arts degrees don’t prepare students for productive careers. In his experience, exposure to a broad field of knowledge serves as a springboard for both advanced study and professional success. “I speak from experience,” Ray wrote recently, while reflecting on his time at Green Mountain College.
He described himself as an underperforming secondary student in a parochial school in New Jersey when he arrived at GMC. “My decision to attend a small, rural private college in Vermont, focused on the environmental liberal arts, proved cathartic. In addition to providing fertile ground for self-exploration and development, my undergraduate experience gave me the opportunity to investigate diverse academic fields, from creative writing and environmental science to human rights law and ecological economics.”
A writing major at GMC, Ray spent his last semester at GMC serving as an intern for the presidential campaign of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean before transitioning to full-time campaign work after graduation. He subsequently worked for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Beginning with my early work in political campaigns, I found that my academic training allowed me to approach a question, find and synthesize the necessary information, think critically, and then make a decision. This ability has contributed greatly to my professional growth and trajectory over the last nine years at Harvard.”
Ray now serves as the assistant dean for faculty affairs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at Harvard. Prior to his role as dean, Ray directed faculty and academic affairs for Harvard’s first cross-school department encompassing 20 stem cell labs with nearly 200 researchers across the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard-affiliated hospitals. In his current position, Ray works with the faculty and administrative leadership of the FAS to oversee strategic and academic planning activities and faculty development.
Ray also plays an active role in teaching and advising at Harvard College and at the Harvard Extension School by serving as a teaching assistant in stem cell and regenerative biology and as a freshman academic advisor.
“I credit my ability to teach in diverse and interdisciplinary fields to the course of study that I pursued as an undergraduate at GMC. Whether referencing Yeats in explaining the political symbolism of blood in a history of science course, or encouraging neurobiology concentrators to think critically about the social and ethical impact of emerging therapeutics, I often draw upon the foundational knowledge that I encountered as an undergraduate to provide greater context in class discussions. I attribute this intellectual plasticity, in no small part, to my exposure to a diverse curriculum, led by exceptional and highly invested faculty, at Green Mountain College.”
Ray received his A.L.M. in government from Harvard in 2012 and is a doctoral student in higher education administration at Northeastern University.