Investing in Hope

Peabody Dean Camilla P. Benbow (center) with Rodes and Patricia Hart.

Bruce Compas holds one of eight Patricia and Rodes Hart Chairs at Peabody. The Harts also have endowed two chairs at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Endowed chairs act as a springboard for faculty members who are conducting groundbreaking research, and Compas credits this support for positioning his research to attract long-term federal funding.

Bruce Compas

The 2015–16 year, his 14th year as a Hart chair holder, represented Compas’ most productive year in terms of securing external funding from the National Institutes of Health. He currently leads four grants as principal investigator from three branches of the NIH. These resources also allow him to support seven doctoral students.

Compas’ research also is supported by the National Cancer Institute and other funding agencies.

“Over the years, Bruce’s work has reminded me of the powerful combination of science and compassion—and the tremendous impact it can have on learners of all types,” says H. Rodes Hart, BA’54, an emeritus member of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust. “It’s not just dealing with the sickness, but the lasting effects of sickness and treatment.” Patricia adds, “There’s so much opportunity for helping these children become the learners and dreamers they deserve to be, and Bruce is wholly devoted to finding the discoveries that will change their futures.”

“Bruce’s work has reminded me of the powerful combination of science and compassion; and the tremendous impact it can have on learners of all types.”

—Rodes Hart

Other Peabody faculty members who currently hold chairs supported by the Harts include:

Camilla P. Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development, explores areas including academically talented children and equity in education policy.

Laurie Cutting focuses on the growing field of educational neuroscience, which examines how the brain affects behaviors such as reading, language and executive function.

Ellen Goldring examines how school leaders can influence the quality of teaching and learning in their schools—and how to develop school leaders to improve the educational experience for all students.

David Cole studies developmental psychopathology, including childhood depression, with new explorations into the risks and benefits of social media use in this population.

Gary Henry assesses school reform in Tennessee and other states, recently evaluating the most effective models for student achievement.

Carolyn Heinrich is an education policy expert with interests in labor force development, social welfare policy and program evaluation.

The eighth Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair at Peabody is expected to be awarded this fall.