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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Scholar in Residence

sirtateWe are excited to have Dr. Tate as a Scholar in Residence! Dr. William F. Tate IV is the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and currently serves as Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education. You may visit his web page at Washington University for a bio. 


The Belmont Scholar in Residence program is designed to bring scholars of note—a dean, senior administrator, president, or scholar—whose life and career will serve as an inspiration to underrepresented students and who, by interacting with our students, will be able to offer them guidance and opportunities for advanced work leading to a career in the academy. The program also allows these scholars of note to engage with faculty and staff in support of the overall efforts of the Welcome Home Diversity Council and Vision 2020.


Monday, January 22

10:00 AM: Who is My Neighbor? The Geography of Opportunity in Ferguson and Beyond

Location:  McWhorter 102

Description:  Ferguson, Missouri, has been characterized as an archetype of structural inequality and segregation. Several questions guide this presentation of Ferguson and its surrounding region. How did policies, practices, and folkways help create the conditions in Ferguson and the broader St. Louis metropolitan region? What state of affairs exist for young persons and their families in the region? To address this question, I use geospatial methods to inform the development of a set of visuals to determine if racial segregation, economic opportunity, health and developmental outcomes, and education-related outcomes are spatially arranged. The spatial arrangement raises another question: How does a politically fragmented region intervene to disrupt concentrated disadvantage? Several recommendations offer hope for improvement.


Tuesday, April 23

3:00 PM: STEM Education: Is Geography Destiny?

Location:  Massey Boardroom

Description:  According to Tobler’s first law of geography, “Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.” This presentation examines the implications of this law for opportunity to learn in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Using geospatial analysis, I illustrate the relationship between place and STEM attainment. Urban and rural areas present challenges. Yet, interventions vary in their effect. What are the costs and benefits to society? State policymakers have used mandates to foster “equal opportunity” within their state boundaries. Conditioned by demographic groups, I describe the effects of STEM coursework mandates in terms of intended and unintended consequences.