A new president’s welcome

By DEBRA GASKILL Special Correspondent

March 18, 2014

YELLOW SPRINGS — Two communities — the Antioch University Midwest and Yellow Springs — turned out Friday to welcome the university’s fourth president, Dr. Karen Schuster Webb.

The open house was held at Antioch University and featured performances by Sassabrass, a New Orleans-style jazz band from Yellow Springs High School and Vernetta Willett, a 2013 Midwest graduate and member of the Jeremy Winston Chorale.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of Antioch University Midwest,” said Webb. “I could have asked for more supportive and more experienced group of people to work with. I’m really excited about things to come.”

“We’re thrilled to have her,” said board of trustees member Maribeth Graham. “She has a lot of good ideas and she’s making them happen.”

The open house is part of what Webb hopes will be an annual event.

“We are determined to be good neighbors and valued partners,” she said.

When the search for Antioch’s next president began, said board member Dan Young, the board knew they wanted someone with “a deep commitment to liberal arts,” and who could “lead by example and effect positive change.”

Dr. Schuster Webb came from Alliant International University, a private nonprofit institution that focuses on graduate education and includes multiple campuses in California and abroad. From 2000 to 2009, she was a professor and the founding university dean of the Shirley M. Hufstedler School of Education. From 2009 to present she has served as associate provost for community engagement.

Prior to joining Alliant International University, Dr. Webb held teaching and academic leadership positions at Southern University and A&M College, the University of Kentucky, Howard University, George Washington University, Indiana University-Bloomington, and Coppin State University. She earned a PhD in applied linguistics: English education, a master of science degree in education, urban and overseas English, and a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish from Indiana University Bloomington.

Dr. Webb has been a leader in her fields of study and has spoken at conferences nationally and internationally. She has published numerous articles on urban education and teaching, bilingual education, and speaking and writing. Additionally, she has been very active with professional organizations and currently serves on six boards and as the World Council of Curriculum and Instruction’s representative to

the United Nations Department of Public Information.

She succeeds interim president Dr. Ellen Hall, who was will the university since January 2011.

“Legacy is what we do every day,” she said.

Webb ended her prepared remarks with a quote by writer Edith Wharton: “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. We at Antioch are the mirror and the students are the light of the candle.”