Plenary Speakers


The Role of African World View in the Music, Songs, and Singing of African Americans
Ysaÿe M. Barnwell
Thursday, October 26
8:30 a.m.

Regency West Ballroom

This presentation will explore the world view and practices embedded in the traditions of music originating in Africa; traditions which have traveled with her people through the physical journey to the new world; through slavery, the struggle for emancipation, and the ongoing struggle for civil rights.

ysaye barnwell Ysaÿe M. Barnwell, Ph.D. MSPH, is a commissioned composer, arranger, author, actress and former member of the African American female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock. She is a vocalist with a range of over three octaves and appears on more than twenty-five recordings with Sweet Honey as well as other artists. Trained as a violinist for 15 years beginning at the age of 2 1/2, she holds degrees in speech pathology (BS, MSEd), cranio-facial studies (Ph.D.) and public health (MSPH). She was a professor at Howard University College of Dentistry for over a decade, and over the following 8 years developed training programs in Child Protection at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center, and administered community-based health programs at Gallaudet University, all in Washington DC. For almost thirty years, and on three continents, Barnwell has led the workshop Building a Vocal Community – Singing In the African American Tradition, which utilizes oral tradition, an African world view and African American history, values, cultural and vocal traditions to build communities of song among singers and non-singers alike. Her pedagogy is highly respected among musicians, educators, health workers, activists, organizers, and members of the corporate and non-profit sectors.

Seeing Music
Alex Chen
Saturday, October 28
11:00 a.m.
Regency West Ballroom

How does music work? What does music look like? How can you visualize the music of Bach or
Debussy? What if you could turn anything into music – even a subway map? Alexander Chen,
Creative Director at Google Creative Lab, will explore these questions by sharing projects that
he has helped create that combine the areas of coding, visual design, and physics, together with

alexander chen Alex Chen
At Google Creative Lab, Alexander has helped lead projects such as Chrome Music Lab, A.I. Experiments, and the Les Paul Doodle, a Google doodle which generated 5.1 years’ worth of shared music around the world. His personal projects include MTA.ME, which transformed a New York subway map into a string instrument. His music visualization work has been featured in The New York Times, Wired, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, and many more.

Technology, The Liberal Arts and the New Learning Economy: Creating a Climate that Supports Student Development
José Antonio Bowen
Friday, October 27
11:00 a.m.
Regency West Ballroom

Technology has changed our relationship with knowledge. Our phones may have access to more content then any professor, but they are not actually “smart” phones. This new access to
information comes with an even higher volume of hyperbole, satire, lies and foolishness, which has only increased the value of discernment, analysis and critical thinking. At the same time, students and the public have come to see college as either a direct return on investment dollars and training for specific careers. Both positions assume that we are still in the Information Age and that parents and colleges can reasonable predict the jobs of the future. They cannot. No one can teach information that has not yet been discovered for jobs that have not been invented, but we know what skills employers want: complex problem solving in diverse groups. Can colleges do more than just say they teach skills? They should, since we have actually crossed into a new learning economy where graduates will be valued not by how much they know, but by how much they can learn.

jose bowen José Antonio Bowen is President of Goucher College. Bowen has won teaching awards at Stanford, Georgetown, Miami and Southern Methodist University where he was Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. He has written over 100 scholarly articles, edited the Cambridge Companion to Conducting (2003), is an editor of the 6-CD set, Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology (2011), and has appeared as a musician with Stan Getz, Bobby McFerrin, and others. He has
written a symphony (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), music for Hubert Laws and Jerry Garcia, and is the author of Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012) which was the winner of the Ness Award for Best Book on Higher Education from the American Association of Colleges and Universities). He is also a Founding Board Member of the National Recording Preservation Board for the Library of Congress and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in England. Stanford honored him as a Distinguished Alumni Scholar in 2010. See his blog at or follow him on Twitter @josebowen.