Andrew Garrod, a professor of education emeritus, former chair of the Department of Education, and director of teacher education at Dartmouth, delivered the commencement address and received an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of New Brunswick in Canada last month.
Prior to coming to Dartmouth, where he taught for 25 years, Garrod taught English in Saint John, New Brunswick, public schools for 16 years. His student productions of Shakespeare brought wide acclaim to Saint John High School, prompting alumni to establish a scholarship in his name at the University of New Brunswick.
The scholarship has enabled UNB students to work with Garrod on theatrical productions with Youth Bridge Global, an organization he co-founded that uses drama to bridge cultural divides, connect youth across cultures, and provide educational opportunities to under-resourced regions of the world.
“I was absolutely thrilled and extremely surprised to be asked to deliver the commencement address at the University of New Brunswick,” Garrod says. “I am extremely fond of Saint John, New Brunswick. I still have many friends there.”
Garrod co-founded Youth Bridge Global in 2004 while he was still a full-time faculty member in Dartmouth’s education department. Though he retired in 2010, Garrod has maintained a strong connection to the College, recruiting Dartmouth students to work on Youth Bridge Global theater productions in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Marshall Islands. As director of the Dartmouth teacher education program, Garrod also led teacher-training programs in the Marshall Islands for many years.
At Dartmouth, Garrod’s research in the fields of education and human development focused on cross-cultural applicability of moral development theory and on the use of personal narrative to explore issues of development.
His work in autobiographical narrative at the College led him to publish more than a dozen collections of Dartmouth students’ writing with a focus on distinct cultural perspectives. Recent works include Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories (2013); Growing Up Muslim: Muslim College Students in America Tell Their Life Stories (2014); and in April this year, I Am Where I Come From: Native American College Students and Graduates Tell Their Life Stories (2017), edited with Native American Studies professor Melanie Benson Taylor and Robert Kilkenny, a Harvard Graduate School of Education colleague.
Dartmouth’s emphasis on undergraduate teaching has been an inspiration, he says.
“I was very committed to teaching and I was awarded the distinguished teaching award twice at Dartmouth,” Garrod says. “That has meant a great deal to me. So I see myself as active in scholarship, but also as someone who has been profoundly involved in trying to teach well.”
Garrod was the program director for Dartmouth’s teacher education program and served on the executive committee for the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) program, which helps students from under-resourced high schools prepare for college.
With support from Dartmouth alumni, Garrod’s Youth Bridge Global mounted productions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in Kigali, Rwanda, with students of Hutu and Tutsi heritage, and Much Ado About Nothing in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Muslim, Serb and Catholic Croat youth.
These shows were the subject of two widely acclaimed documentaries in recent years. In addition, Garrod’s most recent anthology of writing by Native American students at Dartmouth, I Am Where I Come From: Native American Students and Graduates Tell Their Life Stories, was recommended as one of PBS Newshour Art Beat’s “19 summer books that will keep you up all night reading.”