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How are the liberal arts important to STEM?

Published on October 4, 2016 10:00AM

Chris Breitmeyer is the president of Clatsop Community College.

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Chris Breitmeyer is the president of Clatsop Community College.


ASTORIA — Clatsop Community College and Fort George Brewery announce the kickoff event in the 2016-17 Ales & Ideas community lecture series. On Thursday, Oct. 6, CCC’s new president, Chris Breitmeyer, will present the talk “STEAM Rising: Why A Science Guy is Not Worried About His Daughter Majoring in Poetry.”

Doors open with food and beverage service at 6 p.m., and the lecture will begin at 7 p.m. The Fort George Lovell Showroom is located at 14th and Duane streets. Minors are welcome. 

CCC’s new President will discuss the importance of a liberal arts education to those pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. The acronym “STEAM” takes the standard STEM formulation (science, technology, engineering and math) and adds an A for arts. 

Nationwide, colleges and universities are re-embracing the value of the liberal arts education, not only for its own sake, but because they recognize the ways in which the curriculum supports the creative thinking and design skills that allow students to apply STEM skills in the workplace. 

Breitmeyer’s talk will discuss the similarities between the scientific method and the creative process. Although the swing of the educational pendulum is currently on the side of skill acquisition and “hard” sciences and career focus, Breitmeyer’s an advocate for the value of “soft” subjects. As a passionate advocate for the truth science seeks, he also believes those who experience a liberal arts education are best prepared to discover the truth about our world. 

Breitmeyer assumed his role as president of Clatsop Community College in July.  Prior to moving to Astoria, he served at Saint Charles Community College in St. Louis, Missouri, first as dean of math, science and health and then as the vice president for academic and student affairs. He started his career in education as a high school science teacher in Bloomington, Illinois and then completed a master’s degree program in zoology at Arizona State University, completing Ph.D. research in ecological genetics before accepting a position on the biology faculty at Yavapai Community College in Clarksdale, Arizona. He will defend his dissertation for the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at the University of Nebraska this November.  



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