By Deniece Diggins
Dr. Lauren Onkey, newly appointed Dean for Humanities at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center, brings “passion…for teaching and for trying to create environments where students can bring their best,” to the Tri-C community.
With Onkey at the helm, the former Liberal Arts Building is being recreated into a collaborative new learning environment for faculty, students and the community that will help strengthen economic and social connections.
“It will be a really unique educational experience really unlike anything else you might have a chance to do,” she said. “It’s a chance to create something brand new for the students to have these very special experiences.”
In the spring of 2015, Tri-C received a $10 million donation from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation to establish the new Humanities Center and appoint a new Dean to lead the center’s initiative.
“We are very excited to welcome her to Tri-C to lead the crucial work of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center in developing the next generation of leaders for our communities,” Tri-C President Dr. Alex Johnson said in a press release.
Dr. Onkey was an English professor at Ball State University in Indiana for 14 years before moving to Cleveland to manage The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum’s educational programs and library and archives.
She said she looks forward to working with students and faculty in different projects that will help cultivate leadership and encourage involvement in the new Humanities Center.
“What is the 24th century going to be? How are we going to function? What are issues around social justice? How the arts can really function in the community to affect change. How [to help] people get meaningful work and keep it. Those are big humanities kinds of questions, so the opportunity to do that at Tri-C at this time was just so exciting for me as an educator,” Onkey said.