The Undergraduate Center

Allen Salzman
A Quick Biographical Sketch

I grew up on a family farm not far from here. I still get back to the farm to work, recharge my batteries, and remember a more tranquil time. Somehow, I went from an isolated, rural lifestyle to the University of Chicago, where I earned an M.A. in the Humanities in the mid 1970s and a Ph.D. in the Social Sciences (Committee on Social Thought) in the mid 1980's. Many departments and degree-granting "committees" within the divisions of the University of Chicago (such as the one in which I took my doctorate) offer advanced degrees in interdisciplinary subjects.  This is why I can say that my credentials are "solidly interdisciplinary."  (My mom would say that  I  never really decided what to major in.)  I live in Oak Park, a near-western suburb of Chicago. I have three sons, ages 17, 21, and 23.  I am a lifelong Cub, Sox, Bulls, Bears, and Hawks fan., and I believe that one day one of them will win it all.  This  will be on the same day that monkeys fly.  (Actually, monkeys did fly! They flew when the Sox won the World Series, didn't they?)

Lucky for me, in the mid-70s Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, was searching for people with eclectic backgrounds in the "real" world and expertise in multiple disciplines. I have been fortunate to teach some wonderful young (and not so young) people over the last twenty five years in the areas of U.S. History, the Humanities of Western Civilization, Sociology, and English and American Literature.

In addition to teaching, in 1994  I began Triton's program of International Study and Travel. In  March, 2010, we are planning to return to Paris for the 5th time !!  As usual, Triton promises extremely reasonable rates, with transferable college credit offered, and a scholarship competition !

At the moment, I am privileged to be the chair of the Undergraduate Center, (known around here simply as the "UC" program) where each of the teachers works closely with the others in the department to create interdisciplinary  "packages" of transferable courses in the School of Arts and Sciences. In the past few years our department has spearheaded the development of   Triton's online offerings, an undertaking begun with a grant from a program administered by Northwestern University.  Because of the uniqueness of an interdisciplinary program that is available totally or partially online, this effort has recently received a great deal of attention. Since January, 2000, two of the teachers in the department won the "exemplary initiatives" award from WebCt Corp., which is the nation's largest educational software company, and all of us have been invited to give conference presentations on the model we have created around the country and even internationally.

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