In today’s ever-changing world, young students and their parents are rightly concerned with preparing themselves most effectively for the future. President of Wesleyan University (Connecticut, USA), Mr. Michael S. Roth and acclaimed global and Indian personalities from the film and entertainment industry, Mr. Matthew Weiner (Mad Men, The Romanoffs) and Mr. Navdeep Singh (NH10, Manorama Six Feet Under), discussed the value of pursuing ‘Liberal Arts’ education with a special focus on ‘Film & Storytelling’ in an event hosted by Mr. Ajay Vaghani, Managing Director – Hamilton Housewares Pvt. Ltd. & Mrs. Manisha Ajay Vaghani. The session took place at the Trident Hotel, Nariman Point in Mumbai on Sunday 12th January, 2020.
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut that offers unique courses in arts and sciences. It is known to challenge its students to explore new ideas and use their education to make an impact in the world. Among its alumni, the university boasts many leading practitioners in the film industry including Matthew Weiner, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Michael Bay (Transformers), Carter Bays and Craig Thomas (How I Met Your Mother), and many others. Through the ‘Liberal Arts + Film & Storytelling’ session, the university showcased its top ranked film program, according to prestigious publications including Variety and Hollywood Reporter, which prepares graduates to excel on both sides of the lens through a rigorous liberal arts curriculum.
Speaking about Liberal Arts Education, President Michael S. Roth, Wesleyan University said, “It’s a pleasure to be in Mumbai and have the opportunity to discuss how the pragmatic liberal education Wesleyan offers prepares students to thrive in a rapidly changing world long after they graduate. Our alumni make an outsized impact all around the world; something perhaps most evident in the film and entertainment industry where numerous top directors, writers, producers, and actors credit their Wesleyan education with empowering them to develop a personal vision, learn to take risks and problem solve, and collaborate effectively with others from diverse backgrounds.”
Mr. Matthew Weiner, renowned Writer, Director & Producer and Nine-time Emmy Award winner said, “I was honored to be asked by Wesleyan to speak at this inaugural forum in Mumbai and to share how my Wesleyan education and my experience as both a student and parent, has impacted my personal and professional development.”
Mr. Navdeep Singh, respected Director of acclaimed movies the NH10 and Manorama Six Feet Under shared his views, “I was very happy to be involved with the Wesleyan University event. Their enthusiasm and passion for their students and the film program shows clearly.”
The host of the event, Mrs. Manisha Ajay Vaghani said, “I have always admired Wesleyan University and its focus on Liberal Arts Education. They provide unique cross-cultural learning experiences and offer graduates the opportunity to explore different professional paths around the world. By hosting this event today, we hope to give audiences, a sense of Wesleyan’s distinct culture and its strong, interdisciplinary educational approach, and thus spread the word to more suitable students.”
The Liberal Arts + Film & Storytelling session brought together Wesleyan faculty, distinguished alumni, and the wider Wesleyan community across the globe. It was also attended by students aspiring for higher education overseas and their parents who got an opportunity to interact with the speaker during the open forum Q&A session.
Over the past decade, an increasing number of students from India are choosing to pursue higher education in the United States. Wesleyan has seen applications from India increase by 70 percent over the past 5 years. Students of all ages from around the globe are also experiencing instructions from Wesleyan faculty members through the University’s offerings on the massive open online course provider Coursera. These include a specialization (series of courses) in “Data Analysis and Interpretation,” Roth’s own course, “The Modern and the Postmodern,” and a career exploration course called “Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact.” The latter represents one piece in Wesleyan’s extensive programming to encourage students to think about their future careers from before they even arrive on campus.
Wesleyan has deep, long-standing ties with India dating back to the 1960s. These include an annual Navaratri Festival held at Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts for more than 40 years, an annual student-organized Holi Festival, South Indian music course offerings, a South Asian Studies concentration, and an active South Asian Student Association.
The event was attended by media, university alumni, aspiring students and their parents, along with academicians of Mumbai’s renowned schools and colleges.