Director of Interdisciplinary Studies; Professor, Department of History
Robert Rook, director of the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDIS) program, believes that an ability to examine issues from multiple perspectives is an essential skill in the world of work, citizenship, and myriad communities in which Towson University students will exist upon graduation. Providing students with the skills to continuing learning about the world and themselves is one of the primary goals of IDIS.
“Many issues we confront as a society encompass such a wide range of contexts that using one single perspective deprives students of the opportunity to approach a problem in a way that captures its complexity,” he says.
Clearly, the world is complex – filled with vigorous change and dynamic challenges. Rook and the IDIS team address the reality of these challenges through programs that offer students multiple contexts in which to consider an issue.
Whether it’s the program’s most popular major, International Studies, or most popular minor, Business Communication and the Liberal Arts, or another of their interesting options, the IDIS program fosters students’ critical thinking and offers life skills that will help them navigate life beyond university.
IDIS faculty directors manage programs and teach courses that address current needs as well as pioneer new programs that anticipate tomorrow’s next challenges, providing students with opportunities to expand their horizons. As practitioners of multidisciplinary approaches, IDIS faculty are actively engaged in their disciplines even as they cross disciplinary boundaries in pursuit of programming that will serve students now and in the future.
Rook is serious about and enjoys his role as director but readily acknowledges a quality program depends upon others who are as just as committed to the interdisciplinary cause.
“I couldn’t do anything without the talented cadre of faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and other colleges supporting IDIS…those who teach and engage our students. That’s where the real value is.”