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Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Addrain Conyers ’96 Makes Inaugural Appearance at Skeptics

What does one do when they’re passionate about multiple fields? Well, if they’re anything like Dr. Addrain Conyers ’96, they find a way to do it all. Joining the hilltop for his first Skeptics appearance on Tuesday, April 16 was none other than current Assistant Provost for Faculty Development and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Marist College in New York, Dr. Conyers.

Addrain Conyers

Dr. Conyers, holding a doctorate degree in sociology from Southern Illinois University, balances his roles as an educator and researcher. He splits his time between teaching and researching interests centered around criminology, deviant behavior, corrections, and race relations and leading his academic peers as assistant provost. Additionally, he finds time to write and publish a variety of pieces in his fields of expertise while also attending Boston College to obtain his Executive Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) degree. 

At Skeptics, Dr. Conyers plans to share anecdotes of his life as a previous student and present on the social problem of mass incarceration and how the phenomenon has a negative impact on human rights, health, families and quality of life.

“It is a tremendous opportunity to speak to our future leaders,” said Dr. Conyers in a pre-event interview. “I remember vividly this period of my life. I was excited and hopeful but still undecided about my future goals. Blair taught me to enjoy the journey. The outcome was still important (i.e., education and career), but the joy is in the process. Higher learning is a goal and process that I strive for because of my Blair experience.”

“I did not know I would pursue a career in higher education, not to mention an administrator. But here I am, a college professor and an assistant provost. Blair challenged me to engage in learning, not to just complete the assignment, but to embrace the challenge.”

Passionate about his work, he wishes to leave his alma mater with one important note: “Policies have unintended consequences. History offers valuable lessons that aid us in analyzing our present problems. As young citizens, it is imperative to develop strategic foresight to anticipate challenges that are on the horizon.”

History of Skeptics

The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.

The program, which is funded in part by the Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are thought-provoking, engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please visit Blair’s website.

Recent Lectures

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Paula Hong '16

On Thursday, April 18 the Blair community welcomed the daughter of Holocaust survivors, Betty Schwartz, in a conversation moderated by Lisa Friedman in the forum of the Chiang-Elghanayan Center for Innovation and Collaboration. This event, graciously sponsored by the Alex “ARob” Roberts Forum on Holocaust Education, is part of an ongoing commitment to bringing impactful speakers to Blair on the subject of the Holocaust and is inspired by the legacy of Alexander Roberts ’18

Read More about Keeping the Stories Alive Program Helps Blair Remember the Holocaust & Its Survivors