The Backdrop Behind Curry’s First-Year Coordinator

BY TYLER MILLIKEN // Feb. 28, 2017 //

Since joining Curry College as the First-Year Coordinator in 2015, Silas Pearman has played a crucial part in making sure first-year students begin their Colonel careers on the right foot.

Before making his transition to New England and Curry College, Pearman grew up in South Carolina where he developed an indistinguishable southern twang. He’d attend Furman University as an undergraduate in Greenville, SC, before returning to the university for work years later.

Pearman spent the next ten years at his alma mater, helping the school redo their entire general education program.

However, the combination of the Boston area and Curry’s employment needs drew Pearman to uproot his life in the South.

“I had never visited or lived in New England and I enjoy traveling and seeing new places,”  Pearman explained. “It was an opportunity to basically replant myself.”

Throughout Pearman’s first academic year at Curry, he fulfilled a role the college was implementing for the very first time; assisting in the development of Curry’s new and improved First Year Inquiries courses along with the newly established General Education curriculum. His ability to understand how the campus functioned and operated, made it easy for Silas to connect with first-year students almost immediately.

First-Year Coordinator Silas Pearman’s passion and dedication reflects Curry’s mission. // PHOTO BY TYLER MILLIKEN //

But first-years wouldn’t be the only students who Pearman connected with, as he chose to become a faculty advisor for the Gender Sexuality Club.

“Being a gay man, I wanted to be an advocate for LGBT students. So, there was just an automatic connection,” Pearson noted.

Silas has been a constant voice for students being targeted by hate crimes on campus these last few months.

Passion has played a crucial part in Pearman joining the Curry community with such ease. In the time since he arrived, Silas has been focused on edging his way into the mix. He has hopes of working with as many students on campus as possible, even if they don’t correlate directly with his department.

Although year one was a significant adjustment for Pearman, year two has welcomed even larger challenges for the First-Year Coordinator. The addition of Curry’s new General Education program and the First-Year Inquiry Seminar has created some havoc, but the transition has enjoyed a fair amount of success.

“There’s challenges within any new program,” Pearman indicated. “Scheduling the classes is a challenge. We’ve had to use different time blocks.”

Despite the First-Year Coordinator role containing a large workload, Pearman continues to teach as a professor and be an advisor on campus.

“I do think if you’re going to be any kind of program coordinator or administrator, that you should also be teaching in the classroom as well,” Pearman vocalized. “Otherwise, you’re organizing a program for people that you’re not connected to or don’t understand,”.

While Pearman has played a crucial part in getting the General Education program off the ground, his goals have yet to be slowed down.

“I think my next biggest goal is to help students understand and communicate the value of the FYI [First-Year Inquiry], and to try and develop a system where students feel like they have the opportunity to select topics they’re truly excited about.”

When looking ahead at the new direction Pearson has helped lead Curry in, he believes there will be even more growth in the following years. As the school has the chance to discuss change and the assessments given to students, there is bound to be new information that arises.

Although Pearman has joined Curry rather recently, he offered some positive sentiments when it comes to his future at the school.

“I’ve made the decision to come to Curry because the college communicated to me that they value students and value faculty-student relationships. That’s kind of been my guidepost in my higher education career,” Pearman made clear. “If Curry remains committed to those ideals, then yes, I’ll be very happy in terms of coordinating programs that continue to promote that spirit.”

As Curry continues to establish new First-Year programs and prepare freshmen students for the stressful rigors of college, Dr. Silas Pearman will continue to have a large role in the school’s growth.

The passion and dedication he puts towards his craft each day, reflects the ideals Curry College preaches towards each one of their students when classes begin every Monday morning.

Nine New F-T Professors Join Faculty


There are a lot of new faces on campus this semester, and it’s not just students. Nine new faculty members joined the Curry community this year.

The new full-time faculty members are, front row from the left: Jennifer Ceven, Shavindrie Cooray and Kristen Getchell. Back row: Coleen Toronto, Laura Carsten and Benjamin Hidalgo. // COURTESY PHOTO //

Some professors were hired to fill vacant positions, while others were brought on to expand certain academic departments. The new faculty hires are: Alissa Cardone (Fine and Applied Arts), Laura Carsten, (Politics and History), Jennifer Ceven (Math), Shavindrie Cooray (Management), Kristen Getchell (English), Benjamin Hidalgo (Psychology), Coleen Toronto (Nursing), and Karen Lischinsky (Sociology), a longtime Curry lecturer—and the college’s “Teacher of the Year” in 2011—who is now full time.

Dorria DiManno, interim associate dean of academic affairs, said she is thrilled to welcome such “fabulous new faculty” who are “brimming with ideas” to serve their students and the campus as a whole.

William Nancarrow, interim dean of faculty, explained that every college hires new professors most years. But given the relatively small size of Curry, new professors can have a far greater impact here than at larger institutions. “Curry College is changing, and being a part of that change is exciting to new faculty,” said Nancarrow. “It allows them to really make their mark.”

Curry hasn’t just added people, though. Both DiManno and Nancarrow left their full-time teaching positions, in the Communication and Politics and History departments, respectively, to fill in due to a pair of administrative departures. Associate Dean Lisa Ijiri and Dean of Faculty Cassandra Horii left Curry this past summer for new jobs. Ijiri, who worked as a PAL professor and administrator at Curry for nearly 20 years, is now associate provost for academic programs and resource planning at Lesley University (Cambridge, Mass.), while Horii, who joined Curry in 2009, is now director of teaching and learning programs at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena). Curry is currently working to fill both positions.

There have been relatively few faculty departures at Curry in recent years. As more new faculty come to work here, DiManno said the college hopes they can join with existing professors, administrators and staff to help drive positive results for students and the institution.

“Overall, change comes slowly to large institutions, whether it’s Curry College or General Motors,” said DiManno. “Although [recent changes are] not revolutionary, I hope students believe this is a better place to receive their education.”

The new full-time faculty members are, front row from the left: Jennifer Ceven, Shavindrie Cooray and Kristen Getchell. Back  row: Coleen Toronto, Laura Carsten and Benjamin Hidalgo.