Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Liberal Arts Leader

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Liberal Arts Leader

Article excerpt

Isiaah Crawford's next step in higher education is just 40 miles up the road. The provost at Seattle University will become the 14th president at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, beginning July 1.

A lover of liberal arts institutions, Crawford considers Puget Sound one of the most exceptional. "It's got a great faculty, dedicated staff, and just really talented and highly motivated students," he says. "I'm so glad and blessed that they thought I would be a good match."

Crawford was raised in St. Louis by his grandmother, mother and aunt. "Their lives were structured around trying to provide opportunities for me such that I would be able to pursue a college education," he says, the first in his immediate family to graduate from college.

As an undergraduate at Saint Louis University, a Jesuit Catholic liberal arts institution, Crawford fell in love with higher education. In addition to studying a broad array of subjects, "I had great faculty persons and people in my life back then who took an interest in me. And it helped me think about life and opportunities that were before me that I, on my own, wasn't able to see as clearly," he says. "That really helped me recognize just how important dedicated, student-oriented faculty are to the experiences of students."

During Crawford's collegiate years, psychology became his most intriguing subject. "I was just always fascinated by human behavior and was curious about why people do some of the interesting, unusual things that we do," he says. "And I wanted to try to understand that."

Crawford received a bachelor's in psychology in 1982. He narrowed his focus to clinical psychology when he attended DePaul University in Chicago, where he earned a master's in 1985 and a Ph.D. in 1987.

DePaul's approach to educating consisted of training students as behavioral scientists, clinicians and clinical psychologists, Crawford says, adding that this approach allowed him to conduct research as well as pursue careers in higher education and private practice.

Crawford started a clinical practice in Chicago in 1987. At the same time, he began on the tenure track as an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, Crawford taught courses such as theories of personality, human sexuality, psychotherapy theory/clinical supervision, human diversity and more.

"I really enjoyed those types of courses and taught with a variety of styles and approaches --everything from the traditional lectures and Socratic approach to more of a flip classroom where you're much more discussion and problem-focused to address the basic concepts of the material," he says. …

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