Kenen shares her new position with Noel Bisson, who was also appointed to the post in August, but it is Kenen’s task to make sure that Gen Ed is fully functional by next fall.
“The areas of my duties are largely the same,” said Kenen, who was previously an assistant dean for four years. “There’s just a lot more responsibility.”
Kenen will be working with the new program manager for General Education, Anne Marie E. Calareso, who is a former administrator at the Law School, and Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris.
Calareso, who is in the process of obtaining a Master’s degree in higher education at the Graduate School of Education, said that she is excited about her new position.
She added that she first became interested in general education when she took a class last spring called “Curriculum and Instruction in American Higher Education,” taught by Education professor Julie A. Reuben.
According to Calareso, a section of the course provided an intensive overview of the history of the College’s curriculum, from the elective system under former President Charles W. Eliot, Class of 1853, to today’s imminent Gen Ed program.
The class encouraged her to reflect on the value of a college education, Calareso said.
“The two big questions I always ask are: What does having a Harvard degree mean? And what is unifying, what is unique, about Harvard graduates?” she added.
While enrolled in this class, Calareso heard that the College was looking for a new Gen Ed program manager from one of her friends, who was interning at University Hall last spring. Kenen interviewed Calareso over the summer and offered her the job.
This new administrative reshuffling has moved several office locations as well.
Harris is now in Kenen’s old office, which she jokes is larger than her new one. Calareso was originally situated in the Core Office over the summer, but has recently moved to across the hall from Kenen in University Hall.
Kenen joked that she is glad she doesn’t have to communicate with Calareso over Skype anymore.
Calareso and Kenen have brought their unique educational experiences in developing the Gen Ed program for next fall.
While Calareso holds an English degree from Middlebury and a Masters degree in humanities from the University of Chicago, Kenen received a degree in science and public policy from University of Wisconsin at Madison and a Ph.D. in history with an emphasis on history of science from UC Berkeley.
Kenen has also previously held the position of assistant director of undergraduate studies in Harvard’s History of Science department.
Calareso said that she hopes to learn from Kenen’s administrative experience in the College through their collaboration on the Gen Ed program.
“She has an incredible wealth of knowledge about how Harvard works,” Calareso said. “She is sort of the perfect person to be heading the administrative side of things because she really sort of gets it.”
—Staff writer Bonnie J. Kavoussi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.