Jennifer Schneider named critical thinking chair

Professor Jennifer Schneider accepts three-year position effective Aug. 17

Jennifer Schneider

Jennifer Schneider has been named as the Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking at Rochester Institute of Technology. Schneider is a professor in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology and will assume her three-year appointment on Aug. 17.

“Our goal is to assure that every RIT student obtains critical thinking skills prior to graduation,” said Jeremy Haefner, RIT provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “During the next three years as the Fram Chair, Jennifer will partner with faculty, staff and administrators across all programs to catalogue where and how critical thinking is used in existing curricula, to fully integrate critical thinking into new curricula, and to facilitate faculty development and scholarship related to critical thinking—with a long-term vision of developing a National Center of Excellence in Applied Critical Thinking.”

A certified industrial hygienist, Schneider is a risk analysis and HAZMAT process expert known for her scholarship in the areas of global resilience and community criticality. She is the principal of the Collaboratory for Resiliency and Recovery at RIT, a 2014 RIT Board of Trustees Scholarship Award winner, and a “million dollar PI” who has completed multiple research initiatives funded by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor and the National Science Foundation.

Schneider said she is proud to follow the footsteps of RIT Associate Professor Clarence (Chip) Burton Sheffield Jr. who served as the inaugural Fram Chair and laid important groundwork in advancing RIT’s contributions to the applied critical thinking arena.

“The ability to think critically gives us the power to consider fully and make well-grounded decisions for ourselves and for our world, and there is no more important work than that,” said Schneider. “Critical thinking is and should be part of the fabric of RIT. We must continue to lead by example through our teaching and scholarly efforts and by creating opportunities that encourage and support the growth of critical thinking in all we do.”

Prior to RIT, Schneider worked at ITT/Goulds, Mobil (Chemical) Oil and Eastman Kodak Co. She received her undergraduate degree from Roberts Wesleyan College, MS degree from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and doctorate degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell College of Engineering.

The Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking was funded in 2011 by an anonymous RIT alumnus who donated $3 million to honor Fram. A renowned local and national retail expert, Fram is the J. Warren McClure Research Professor Emeritus of Marketing who retired from RIT in 2008 after 51 years of teaching at Saunders College of Business.

“Integrating critical thinking pedagogues throughout all RIT curricula is an important plank in the new strategic plan,” noted Fram. “The donor and I are delighted to have Jennifer’s proven leadership involved.”

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