President Carol Quillen's new op-ed for Forbes shares the story of why she became a professor.
Quillen reflects on an undergraduate teacher who showed her the power and visceral excitement of learning -- as well as the challenges that come with confronting the darkest episodes of human history.
"He demanded that we think, not simply react, because thinking people could better defend a noble human existence against the capacity for evil that lies in us all," Quillen writes.
As a teacher, Quillen sought to share those lessons.
"I wanted my students to cultivate the mind they needed to see the world in new ways. I wanted them to face complex moral questions bravely, equipped with a rich conceptual language, even when this meant naming frightening things in themselves."
Quillen says learning takes courage.
"Learning is not for the timid... Our students need to feel able to risk the freedom that comes from pursuing their desire to know, even when that pursuit gets difficult."
Quillen will continue to contribute to Forbes on a regular basis.