Published 03/28/13

An interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research

Jeff Arellano Cabusao, Ph.D., assistant professor, English and Cultural Studies

Jeff Cabusao was initially drawn to Bryant because of its energy, commitment to enhancing the educational experience of its students, and the fresh interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research. A half a dozen years later, his initial perceptions still ring true, he says.

Says Cabusao, “If you’re in the College of Business, you compliment it with a minor in the College of Arts and Sciences; if you’re in the College of Arts and Sciences, you minor in business. I admire our students because they learn how to see the connections between the two schools and can balance the curriculum. I don’t think I would have been able to do that at 18.”

Our students "ultimately learn how to read the world around them by drawing on multiple disciplines."

Cabusao values the collaboration among colleagues and the idea of interdisciplinarity between disciplines. “In the Department of English and Cultural Studies, we have faculty who are trained in anthropology, art history, English, ethnic studies, and Latino studies,” he says. “I’m trained in Asian American studies. A colleague in my suite is in business. Another is in psychology. It’s really wonderful to encounter that variety of interests and expertise every day.

“We can provide students with a variety of lenses and methodology through which they can read the literature in class and, ultimately, learn how to read the world around them by drawing on multiple disciplines.”

Cabusao received the Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award from the National Council of Teachers of English for his classroom work in the area of diversity. He is co-advisor for Bryant Pride, coordinator of the Africana/Black Studies minor, assistant fiction editor for the Bryant Literary Review, and a member of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Faculty Advisory Board.

“I encourage my students to engage with the idea of diversity,” he says. “It’s not just about studying abroad – it’s about the very rich diversity within the United States along the lines of race, gender, sexuality, and class.”