Faculty Fellows

Richard J. Light

Faculty Fellow of the Bok Center
Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Richard Light

Richard Light is the Carl H. Pforzheimer Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). His Ph.D. is in statistics from Harvard, and after years of teaching statistics at HGSE he currently focuses on higher education policies and controversies. Light has been asked by four Harvard presidents over the past twenty years to explore ways to improve the undergraduate experience both at Harvard and also for a diverse group of other, quite different colleges. To accomplish this he created the Harvard Assessment Seminars, a consortium of leaders from 25 colleges and universities, with the common goal to carry out research on enhancing college effectiveness.  One of Richard Light’s special interests is to work on strengthening the connections between high schools and success for students as they start colleges that are demanding.

Light is author of Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds (2001). This book won The Stone Award for best book on education and society. It has become one of the three best selling books in the 98-year history of the Harvard University Press. He is coauthor of Summing Up: The Science of Reviewing Research with David Pillemer, 1984); and he is co-author of By Design: Planning Research on Higher Education (with Judith Singer and John Willett, 1990), both published by Harvard Univ. Press.  He has been Chairman of the Panel on Youth for the National Academy of Sciences, elected President of the American Evaluation Association, and has served as a member of the National Boards of the U. S. Government Accountability Office and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. Light is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of The National Academy of Education. Light has won the Paul Lazarsfeld Award for distinguished contributions to science, and has been named by Vanderbilt University’s Chancellor’s Lecture Series as one of America’s great teachers.

Bok Project:
Richard Light is collaborating with the Bok Educational Research and Evaluation group to host the first Annual Summit on Educational Excellence. The theme for this first summit being held in the fall of 2017 is “Challenges of Academic Inclusion.”  The Summit will be a gathering of university leaders from around the country who will come together to discuss challenges and best practices around this crucially important area of interest.

Elisa New

Faculty Fellow of the Bok Center
Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature
Elisa New

Elisa New is the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University where she teaches classic American literature from Anne Bradstreet through Marilynne Robinson and from the Puritans to the present day. She is the Creator and Host of Poetry in America, and the Director of Verse Video Education. She is the author of New England Beyond Criticism: In Defense of America’s First Literature (Wiley Blackwell, 2014) The Regenerate Lyric: Theology and Innovation in American Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 1992) The Lines Eye: Poetic Experience, American Sight (Harvard University Press, 1999) and Jacob’s Cane: A Jewish Family’s Journey from the Four Lands of Lithuania to the Ports of London and Baltimore (2009). She also has a companion book to the Poetry in America project, How To Read American Poetry (2017-18), forthcoming from Wiley Blackwell.

Bok Project:

Elisa New is collaborating with the Bok Center’s Learning Lab team on the Harvard Arts and Humanities Public Partnerships Initiative (HAHPPI). HAHPPI is a multiyear initiative to bring groups of Harvard students, faculty, professionals, and alumnae together in the work of conceiving, producing, testing, and disseminating the highest quality humanities content suitable for a broad public. Using digital tools to translate, transmit and expand the reach of humanities content, while, at the same time, deploying classic modes of humanistic inquiry to enrich and deepen digital instruction, participants in HAHPPI will take their place at the forefront of socially engaged humanities instruction.

The mission of HAHPPI is to provide practical, usable, affordable knowledge for a wide range of learners-- including teachers and students in U.S. schools and abroad, medical professionals, lifelong learners, English language learners, and television audiences. By providing resources for innovation, by organizing and supporting interdisciplinary partnerships, and by encouraging the development of new modes of pedagogy, scholarship and outreach in all those it supports, HAHPPI at the Bok Center will provide fresh perspective, and new purpose, to humanists across the university.

The inaugural 2016-2017 year of the initiative will see the launch of two flagship projects, the Humanities Online Practicum (HOP) and Poetry in America for Teachers.


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