The Idea Factory
By Neal Burdick '72
When Joseph Lieberman got the call asking him to run for the vice-presidency,
Melceditha "Melody" Diegor '01 was in his office; the Windsor,
Conn., resident had been an intern for him last spring while on St.
Lawrence's Washington, D.C., program, and he'd been so impressed he'd
asked her to stay on for the summer.
When Todd Matte '01, Canton, developed an interest in abstract art,
he undertook a University Fellowship (see St. Lawrence, Summer/Fall
2000, p. 14) and traveled to Vietnam to work with an artisan who had
been on campus last spring as part of the Festival of the Arts. He also
did an independent study in painting on campus in fall 2000.
When Sarah Long '01, Bethesda, Md., decided she would like to compile
a record of women's first experiences, she was able to have the study
authorized as an English honors project. And when Catherine "Cat"
Bush '01, Montpelier, Vt., wanted a summer internship in business, she
lined up a project with University Trustee Jo Ann Campbell '86.
The point? Each of these students had an idea, and various individuals
in the St. Lawrence community made it possible for them to implement
that idea. The lesson learned? "If I have a good idea, I can find
ways to make it work." The larger implication? In the world these
students will enter upon graduating in three months, that's the key
to success, whatever they will do.
Kathryn Poethig, a faculty member in global studies, has some thoughts
on how St. Lawrence can best prepare its students for her vision of
the new economy, and they revolve around more than just business. "On
an international level, we need to focus less on generating money and
more on raising consciousness on worldwide issues," she says, adding
that the social implications of the "new economy" need to
be studied. To this end, she says she hopes to promote more international
service learning opportunities for St. Lawrence students.
Professor of Economics Robert Blewett agrees that there's more to the
"new economy" than business; his goal is to prepare his students
for life after college generally. "That's the advantage of a liberal
arts education," he points out. "Students work on communication
and analytical skills, which give them the advantage later in life.
Our aim is to produce innovative thinkers."
"What St. Lawrence does through its liberal arts program is to
encourage students to be broad-minded thinkers," says Professor
of Economics Peter FitzRandolph. To him, the greatest battle in setting
up an online company is management, not technical know-how. "There
is a great shortage of experienced managers and we give our students
the tools to become those managers," he says.