Bryan Penprase, PhD
Dean of Faculty
I work with our faculty to offer the best possible interdisciplinary curriculum for undergraduate education that provides a synthesis of perspectives from cultures around the world.
Welcome to our unique and innovative Soka University of America undergraduate education page. I have been honored to serve as dean of faculty at Soka University since July 2017, and have been working with our faculty to offer the best possible interdisciplinary curriculum for undergraduate education that provides a synthesis of perspectives from cultures around the world, offered in small classes to provide vibrant and rich discussions in every classroom. Our uniquely international students provide a cross-section of the world in each classroom, and our dynamic faculty are leading scholars in their fields, dedicated to providing personalized undergraduate education in small classes that promote dialog and active learning.
Before coming to Soka University of America, I taught for 20 years at Pomona College, and also was professor of science at Yale-NUS College, where I was one of the founding faculty and the inaugural director of the Yale-NUS Centre for Teaching and Learning. In 2012–13 I served as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at Yale University, where I was one of the authors of the blueprint for the Yale-NUS College Curriculum. After those experiences, I deeply appreciate how special the Soka University of America curriculum is—and how it uniquely captures the mission of Soka University to foster “global citizenship.”
Our Soka University of America curriculum combines interdisciplinary and intercultural perspectives across all disciplines, and employs a unique academic calendar that includes both 3.5-week intensive “block” courses (such as Core I and Learning Cluster) and longer semester courses. The blocks allow students to immerse deeply into Enduring Questions of Humanity, or to thoroughly study questions about the world or our region in our Learning Cluster program. Additional courses such as American Experience, Modes of Inquiry, Core II, and Introduction to Pacific Basin provide great breadth and traverse a wide range of cultural perspectives in the first years of our academic program. Students then acquire deep skills through their work in our concentrations, culminating in a Capstone project under the mentorship of one of our amazing teacher-scholar faculty members.
I enjoy meeting with students and faculty, and am always available to discuss ways we can move forward at Soka University to further strengthen our undergraduate program. My office is Pauling Hall 425, and I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your explorations and I hope you enjoy learning more about Soka University of America’s amazing academic programs.